Seven Democratic women Senators announced at a press conference yesterday that they will insist Supreme Court justice nominee John Roberts respond to questions about his position on abortion. The Senators are also demanding that Roberts clarify his position on the right to privacy, which underlies not only a woman’s right to legal abortion but also to birth control and a host of other civil rights for women and minorities. The Senators include Barbara Boxer (CA), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), Patty Murray (WA), Mary Landrieu (LA), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Maria Cantwell (WA).
Senator Boxer spoke to the critical role Sandra Day O’Connor played in protecting Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the US. Boxer also expressed serious concern about Roberts’ view on Title IX, the landmark 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. She pointed to a 1982 memo Roberts wrote to the Justice Department in which he took a position against appealing a federal court ruling that limited enforcement of Title IX, according to the San Francisco Gate.
In an effort to give the public a say in Roberts’ confirmation hearings, the seven women senators have unveiled a new website that allows the public to submit questions that they would like the Judiciary Committee to ask of Roberts. “The Supreme Court has the last word on issues that impact all of our lives….This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land…We want the American people to have a voice,” say the women Senators in a joint statement on the website.