Newly Released Memos Confirm Roberts' Hostility to Women’s Rights
Papers released on Thursday by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library show that John Roberts, President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, was hostile to measures designed to protect and expand women's rights. For example, Roberts called state measures to reduce sex discrimination in the workplace “highly objectionable,” including a proposal to require women to be paid the same as men for state jobs considered of comparable worth, according to the Washington Post. The “comparable worth” strategy itself Roberts called “staggeringly pernicious” and “anti-capitalist,” the Post reports. Other memos show Roberts taking aim at the gender gap, saying that the Equal Rights Amendment was simply an attempt to “bridge the purported ‘gender gap’,” according to Slate.com.
In another memo, noting that a staff member in the White House public liaison office had “encouraged many former homemakers to enter law school and become lawyers,” Roberts wrote, “Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide,” reports the Post. This disparaging comment was dismissed as a “lawyer joke” by White House spokesperson Steve Schmidt, according to the Post.
Other memos have demonstrated Roberts’ opposition to affirmative action, Title IX, and what Roberts calls the “so-called” right to privacy.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .