Laura Bush Wants a Woman to Fill the Supreme Court Vacancy
In an interview on NBC's "Today Show," Laura Bush said that she hoped a woman would fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. “I would really like him (President Bush) to name another woman,” she said, according to the Washington Post.
At a Ms. Community Journalist Forum yesterday in Washington, DC, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and publisher of Ms. magazine, led the call for a centrist woman nominee to replace O’Connor. “We want not only a woman, but a woman who will not close the door on the rights of women,” she said.
Meanwhile, with the rumors that Chief Justice Rehnquist also plans to retire from the Supreme Court, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested that Bush appoint O’Connor to be the Chief Justice on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Some speculation is she might reconsider if she were named chief justice…,” said Specter. “I think it would be very tempting if the president said, ‘Justice O’Connor, you could help the country now.’ She has received so much adulation that a confirmation hearing would be more like a coronation and she might be willing to stay on for a year or so.” Several Senators, not including Specter, had met with O’Connor weeks before she announced her retirement to discuss a campaign to elevate her to the Chief Justice position if Rehnquist resigned; Specter said on “Face the Nation” that O’Connor was reportedly flattered and did not object to the idea.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .