Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Women (NOW), Feminist Majority and the Black Women’s Roundtable today deplored the Senate Republican leadership extending the War on Women to judicial nominations. On a conference call with reporters, Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, Ellie Smeal, president of Feminist Majority, and Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, called on the Senate to move to an up-or-down vote on President Obama’s nomination of Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In October, Senate Republicans filibustered two highly qualified women nominees to the D.C. Circuit, Caitlin Halligan and Patricia Millett. Republicans are set to filibuster Pillard’s nomination this evening, preventing another woman from sitting on the second most important court in the country.
“A filibuster of three qualified women is three too many,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Not only is Professor Pillard superbly qualified, but we are confident that she would be confirmed if the Republicans allowed a vote to take place. Republicans have no excuse for blocking Pillard’s nomination — or Halligan’s or Millet’s nomination. Enough is enough.”
“Less than one-third of active federal judges are women,” said Melanie Campbell, convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “And women of color, who are over 18 percent of the U.S. population, comprise a scant 10 percent of federal judgeships. We cannot allow Senate Republicans to think they can filibuster qualified women without consequence. In fact, this is galvanizing women around the country to action.”
“NOW and its allies will mount an online/social media campaign to raise awareness of the Senate Republicans’ dangerous move to extend their War on Women to judicial nominations,” said Terry O’Neill, president of NOW. “In addition, we intend to score cloture votes on these nominations, and will encourage our allies to do the same.”