WASHINGTON - September 29 -
Only 22 senators had the courage to stand up for women's rights
when it mattered. NOW applauds those senators who voted to reject
this dangerous nominee, and it is unfortunate that the courageous
actions of a few are overshadowed by the fall-in-line politics of so
In a full Senate vote of 78-22, John G. Roberts was confirmed
Thursday morning to become the next Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court. At the helm of the court, Roberts will soon hear cases about
women's reproductive rights, privacy issues, equal education
opportunities and a host of other issues that are at the heart of
women's equality in this country.
"Republican senators, more worried about the political
intimidation of Karl Rove and Pat Robertson than about women's
rights and civil rights, voted in lockstep for Roberts.
Unfortunately, some Democratic senators also voted for a nominee who
refused to answer questions about our most basic rights," said NOW
President Kim Gandy. "We thank those senators who withstood the
pressure from the Bush administration and voted 'no' on behalf of
the women of this country. Women will remember their commitment to
Throughout the confirmation hearings, Roberts bobbed and weaved,
evading question after question from senators whose responsibility
was to determine Roberts' qualifications and judicial philosophy.
With so few answers, a vote to confirm was a vote that ignored the
palpable threat to women and people of color and disenfranchised
groups everywhere — a vote that will long be remembered.
The fight goes on. The next nomination will be
to replace swing-vote Sandra Day O'Connor, and women will be ready.
George Bush has an opportunity to replace the first female justice
with a woman who will act judiciously and not dismantle our
"If Bush chooses a nominee whose only intention is to scale back
the rights we have fought decades to win, we are prepared for a
battle royal. Bring it on," said Gandy. "In the end, a line will be
drawn between the senators who vote based on personal conscience,
and the senators who vote based on political calculus."
And on Nov. 7, 2006, and beyond, it will be women's turn to vote.