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Republicans Pick Anti-Abortion Senators for Senate Judiciary Committee

The Republican leadership has selected Senator-elect Tom Coburn (R-OK), an advocate of the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions, and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), another strong opponent of abortion rights, to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. When it meets in January, the Republican Conference is likely to follow tradition and agree to the assignments. Coburn and Brownback will join eight returning Republican members to make up the total of 10 Republicans and eight Democrats on the committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings and votes on whether or not to recommend confirmation of federal judicial nominees by the full Senate. With the first Supreme Court vacancies expected in more than a decade, abortion is likely to be a major issue for any nominee that comes before the committee. According to the Washington Times, some on Capitol Hill see the appointments of Coburn and Brownback as “a signal that Republican leaders intend to take a hard line against Judiciary Committee DemocratsÉ” As antiabortion groups praised the assignments, abortion rights advocates expressed concern over the addition of two such vocal foes of abortion rights. Reacting to the addition of Coburn and Brownback to the committee, Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America told the Washington Post, “It appears the far right is massing troops on the border of Roe v. Wade.” DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion

Sources:

Washington Post 12/21/04; Washington Times 12/21/04

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