Supreme Court Preview: Scheidler v NOW, Operation Rescue v NOW
The Supreme Court will hear two related cases on Wednesday involving violence against women's health clinics and access to abortion services. The cases, Scheidler v. National Organization for Women (NOW), et. al. and Operation Rescue v. National Organization for Women, et. al., stem from a case initiated in 1986 by Eleanor Smeal as president of the National Organization for Women (Smeal is currently president of the Feminist Majority Foundation).
This is the third time the Supreme Court will be considering this class action case on behalf of all women who could potentially be patients of womenís health care clinics and virtually all womenís health care providers.
NOW, with the Delaware Womenís Health Organization and the Summit Womenís Health Organization, both owned and operated by the National Womenís Health Organization, filed this case in an effort to stop a nationwide pattern of crimes, including violent assaults and physical attacks on patients, doctors, clinic staff, and police, as well as destruction of medical equipment, supplies, and other clinic property.
At issue is a nationwide injunction prohibiting PLAN and Operation Rescue from conducting blockades, trespassing, damaging property, or committing acts of violence directed at the clinics. The injunction has not affected peaceful protests. Also at issue is whether the Hobbs Act, a federal statute, can be used to curb such violence and whether violations of the Act are sufficient to support the imposition of the nationwide injunction.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .