|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: |
JULY 19, 2005
NOW Vows to Fight Extremist Court Nominee
WASHINGTON - July 19 - Tonight, George W. Bush announced the nomination of John G. Roberts to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
"Once again, George Bush has chosen partisan politics and paybacks over uniting the country," said National Organization for Women (NOW) President Kim Gandy. "Roberts' background shows a political ideology that is inconsistent with the independence we have a right to expect from the Supreme Court. He does not have a commitment to the basic values of fairness and equality, and our hard-won rights will be in jeopardy if he is confirmed."
"NOW will fight Roberts' confirmation through a nationwide grassroots lobbying campaign. Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, leaves us a legacy as a centrist and independent jurist who upheld the rights of women. We don't need someone with an extremist political agenda, tied to special interests, who will tarnish that legacy," said Gandy.
As O'Connor's replacement, Roberts could cast the deciding vote on countless matters of individual rights where O'Connor had been a key vote, often in a 5 to 4 split -- issues like abortion and birth control, affirmative action, privacy rights, disability rights, Title IX equal educational opportunity, family and medical leave, health care, environmental protection and dozens of other crucial issues for decades to come. For young women, Roberts' votes could determine their access to birth control and abortion for their entire reproductive lifetimes.
Among our many concerns, Roberts actively opposes Roe v. Wade and wrote several amicus briefs while a Deputy Solicitor General. In one case where Roe was not even at issue, his brief offered gratuitously "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled." He also wrote a brief in a case NOW brought against Operation Rescue* in an effort to stop violent blockades at abortion clinics. His brief and oral argument supported Operation Rescue, and argued that the blockades were merely an expression of opposition to abortion.
"Sandra Day O'Connor broke barriers as the first woman on the Supreme Court, where she cast decisive votes to preserve and expand rights for women and to eliminate sex discrimination," Gandy said. "George Bush could have chosen a moderate conservative who would be a voice of reason on the Court. Instead he chose, characteristically, to pick a fight. We intend to give him one."