This morning, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement through a letter delivered to President Bush. O'Connor was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981, and was a critical swing vote on issues of civil rights and abortion. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal says "Make no mistake about it: Sandra Day O'Connor was the fifth vote that was saving Roe v. Wade. Abortion rights and womenís rights are on the line."
Speculation about O'Connor's retirement was largely overshadowed by the possibility of Chief Justice William Rehnquist stepping down, and Rehnquist, who has been battling thyroid cancer, may still resign before the next term. His retirement would require Bush to appoint both a new justice and a new Chief Justice.
According to the Associated Press, O'Connor will step down before the start of the court's next term in October, or once the Senate confirms her successor. There has not been a vacancy on the Supreme Court since 1994 and O'Connorís retirement will give President Bush his first opportunity to appoint a member of the Supreme Court.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .