Senator Feinstein Delays Confirmation of Anti-Abortion Judge

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is holding up the Senate vote to confirm Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Mike Mills to be a federal district court judge in Mississippi because of a dissent joined by Justice Mills in an anti-abortion trespasser case.

In the case at issue, an anti-abortion protester who was tried for trespassing on clinic property claimed that she should be able to present the “necessity defense”Ña defense that allows one to take illegal action to stop another illegal act. The protester claimed that illegal abortions were being done in the clinic, thus her trespass was justified to stop them. The trial judge refused to hear the defense and convicted her. The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the conviction, but Justice Mills joined the dissent, claiming that the protester should have been allowed to put on evidence relating to her defense.

Anti-abortion extremists often claim that their actions are “necessary,” even to the point of claiming that murdering abortion providers is “justifiable homicide.” Pro-choice groups, including the Feminist Majority, signed a letter to senators warning that Mills’s decision in this case was a dangerous one for women and clinics.


Associated Press, 10/5/01 and Feminist Majority

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