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To arrange a media interview with Ellie Smeal or other spokespersons at Feminist Majority Foundation, contact the FMF media department at 703-522-2214.

 

Date: January-27-03
Contact: Susie Gilligan
Phone: (310) 556-2500
Email:

Feminist Majority Opposes Bushs Anti-Women Judicial Nominee

Feminist Majority Opposes Bushs Anti-Women Judicial Nominee
Kuhls nomination seen as warm-up to Supreme Court battle

Los Angeles With a judicial record that is clearly anti-women, Carolyn Kuhl, President Bushs nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, poses an imminent danger to womens rights, Katherine Spillar, executive vice-president of the Feminist Majority declared today. The Feminist Majority joins a group of womens rights, abortion rights, civil rights, consumer rights, environmental, labor, and other progressive organizations in opposing Bushs latest attempt to stack the courts with judges who have demonstrated a propensity to trumpet their own right-wing ideology over the law.

Senator Feinstein and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee must oppose judges who will take away womens rights and roll the clock backwards, Spillar said. Carolyn Kuhl has openly stated that she believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Indeed, an amicus brief filed in the Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that Kuhl co-authored as a member of the Reagan administrations Department of Justice, urged wholesale rejection of Roe, Spillar continued. The brief stated: the textual, doctrinal and historical basis for Roe v. Wade is so far flawed... that this [Supreme] Court should reconsider that decision and on reconsideration abandon it, Spillar continued.

Kuhls opposition to reproductive rights extends even to contraception, continued Spillar. While in private practice, she filed an amicus brief on behalf of the American Academy of Medical Ethics in support of the gag rule on Title X funds. The gag rule prohibited recipients of Title X family planning funding from providing counseling or referrals for abortion.

Currently a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Kuhl has made no secret of her anti-women sentiments. In addition to opposing abortion and reproductive rights, she has argued for a narrower definition of sexual harassment in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, as Deputy Solicitor
General, Kuhl co-authored an amicus brief in opposition to womens rights groups who appeared on the other side.

In nominating Kuhl and Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen Bush is fulfilling his pledge to nominate ideological conservatives to the federal courts, Spillar continued. Just as the president has taken into account ideology, the Senate has the right and the duty to also examine a nominees views that will affect and determine how they rule as a judge. On the basis of ideology alone, the Senate can reject an otherwise qualified person if their views are too extreme, Spillar explained.

As the only woman member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Feinstein has a particular duty to question Kuhl on her views on abortion, womens rights, and civil rights. Senators must reject any nominee who refuses to reveal their views on or who openly opposes fundamental constitutional rights such as a womans right to abortion and the need for judicial enforcement of laws against discrimination. It is inconceivable that a judicial candidate could be confirmed who had written or advocated that Brown v. Board of Education be overruled. We should expect the same for Roe v. Wade.

On behalf of the majority of Californians who support womens rights and reproductive rights, we call on Senators Boxer and Feinstein to vigorously oppose the confirmation of Carolyn Kuhl to the Ninth Circuit. Indeed, they must be willing to lead a filibuster if necessary to protect womens most fundamental rights, Spillar concluded.

Californians are urged to call Senators Feinstein and Boxer, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, to register their opposition to Kuhl.

Senator Dianne Feinstein 310.914.7300
Senator Barbara Boxer 213.894.5000
Senate Judiciary Committee 202.224.7703

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