Women’s Rights Leaders Support Current Judicial Filibusters

Women’s rights leaders joined women Senators and Senator Tom Daschle (D-ND) today at a press conference at the Capitol supporting current filibusters against anti-women nominees. The press conference follows a 39-hour debate on judicial nominations led by Republican Senators in an attempt to force votes on some of President Bush’s most extreme nominees. “We stand proudly with these champions of women’s rights-the Senators who have worked literally night and day to block the stacking of the Federal Courts of Appeals with reactionary nominees,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority.

This morning, Senate Democrats continued their filibuster of Priscilla Owen‘s nomination. Republicans were only able to garner 53 votes to end debate on Owen, short of the 60 needed to stop the ongoing filibuster. In addition, Democrats launched filibusters against Carolyn Kuhl and Janice Rogers Brown, defeating both cloture votes by 43-53.

“It is painful to support the filibuster of a woman’s appointment,” Smeal said. “But, we have learned that a woman in a position of power who opposes women’s rights is often used to justify discrimination. The records of these nominees, including the women, in the areas of abortion rights and women’s rights are so extreme that their confirmations would ensure that the courts of last resort in so many states would become dead ends for women.”

Joining with a broad coalition of women’s rights, civil rights, labor rights and environmental groups, Smeal urged the Senate to continue to hold the line against the ongoing campaign by the right wing to take over the Federal Courts of Appeals. Senate Democrats are also maintaining filibusters against Charles Pickering and William Pryor. They previously filibustered the nomination of Miguel Estrada until he withdrew his name from consideration in August.

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