Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President
The Feminist Majority strongly opposes the nomination of John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 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 to roll backwards 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; eliminate the right to privacy (which he has mocked); and reverse Roe v. Wade.
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.
Finally, the Bush Administration must release documents and papers from Roberts’ years as deputy solicitor general. Women have a right to know where this nominee stands. The stakes for a generation of women are too high for the Senate to confirm a stealth nominee.
The Feminist Majority, a national, cutting edge, advocacy organization dedicated to advancing women’s equality, is part of a 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.