Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-13-05

EDITORIAL: Day One of the Roberts Hearings

by Eleanor Smeal, President Feminist Majority

Today on Capitol Hill, John G. Roberts appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and offered Senators and the American people assurances that he was a nominee with "no agenda" and if confirmed, would decide cases with an "open mind."

If all of this sounds eerily familiar, it may be because it is not the first time a Supreme Court nominee has offered comforting buzz words which later proved to be empty promises to the Senate.

Today, in his opening statement before the Judiciary committee, Roberts stated:

"Mr. Chairman, I come before the committee with no agenda."

"I have no platform."

"Judges are not politicians who can promise to do certain things in exchange for votes."

"I have no agenda, but I do have a commitment."

"If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind."

"I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented."

"I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability."

At his confirmation hearings, Clarence Thomas offered similar assurances to the American public and the Senate. Thomas stated,

"A judge must be fair and impartial. A judge must not bring to his job, to the Court, the baggage of preconceived notions, of ideology, and certainly not an agenda."

"If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge that I will preserve and protect our Constitution and carry with me the values of my heritage, fairness, integrity, open mindedness, honesty and hard work."

Antonin Scalia, in an answer to a question from Senator Kennedy in his confirmation hearings, stated,

"I assure you I have no agenda. I am not going onto the Supreme Court with a list of things I want to do. My only agenda is to be a good judge."

The Senate must not be fooled again. Too much is at stake for women and people of color. Roberts' record indicates he would greatly weaken anti-discrimination statutes in employment and education; lower the standard for constitutional protection against sex discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause; ignore wage discrimination; gut Title IX; water down voting rights; cut back affirmative action; eliminate the right to privacy (which he has mocked); and reverse Roe v. Wade.

Eleanor Smeal is the president of the Feminist Majority, a national cutting-edge advocacy organization dedicated to advancing women's equality, which opposes Roberts' confirmation to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Media Resources:


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
 
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case. UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
 
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall. The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies. Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .