Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President
The Feminist Majority, a leading nationwide women’s rights organization, strongly opposes the nomination of John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Today, we call on the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to stand up for the future of American women. The President’s elevation of John Roberts to Chief Justice raises the standard by which Senators must measure Roberts.
As Chief Justice, Roberts would be in the nation’s top judicial leadership position and could lead the rollback of the gains made by women and people of color over the past 40 years. His record indicates he would greatly weaken anti-discrimination statutes in employment and education; ignore wage discrimination; gut Title IX; water down voting rights; cut back affirmative action; weaken the right to privacy; and reverse Roe v. Wade. The burden is on Roberts to prove otherwise.
As the Gulf Coast and New Orleans tragedy reveals, our nation still has a deep race and class divide. We must have a federal judiciary that will not unravel the legal gains and guarantees decades of civil rights and women’s rights struggles have produced.
We again call on President Bush to choose a moderate woman jurist to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s historic seat. He did not win a mandate to appoint right-wing judges who would reverse women’s progress. Americans deserve to know who the President is appointing for both vacancies before a vote occurs.
The Bush Administration must not be permitted to stack the court with reactionaries who will roll back 40 years of progress for women and people of color. If the Senate confirms John Roberts, American women for generations to come may pay the price. The stakes are too high to give John Roberts a pass.
The Feminist Majority, a national, cutting edge, advocacy organization dedicated to advancing women’s equality, is a leading member of the large coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, civil liberties, reproductive rights, disability rights, lesbian and gay rights, and separation of church and state groups opposing Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court. For more information on the Feminist Majority, visit ###