Leading organizations, including the Feminist Majority, held a press conference today on the grassroots efforts to defeat John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Plans ranged from demonstrations outside the Roberts’ hearings and in key states across the country to poetry slams, petition-signing, and rallies on college campuses. “Roberts could roll back women’s rights for a generation,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Young women, with the most at stake, are leading the fight to block Roberts’ confirmation to the Supreme Court.”
Groups also outlined their reasons for opposition to Roberts. “In a country where as a young woman, I saw affirmative action open doors that one were closed, and succeeded because of it, John Roberts wrote that affirmative action programs were bound to fail because they required ‘recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.’ The nerve,” said Sharon Lettman, director of national programs for People for the American Way. “Roberts’ attitudes aren’t conservative, they’re simply backward,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). “And women can’t afford to go that direction.”
Other organizations involved included National Council of Women’s Organizations, Legal Momentum, Human Rights Campaign, ADA Watch/National Coalition for Disability Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, League of United Latin American Citizens, Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Rainbow PUSH/Coalition, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.