Tell the Senate: Confirm Judges Committed to Expanding Civil Rights
Extremist judges will not stop endangering the lives of pregnant people or people who may become pregnant—overturning Roe v. Wade, attacking medication abortion, threatening the future of IVF, and now pregnancy accommodations. There are 56 federal judicial vacancies and 30 nominations before the Senate right now.
Tell the Senate to commit to confirming all federal nominees who will defend the rights and well-being of pregnant and postpartum workers, people who can get pregnant, and all women!
Gorsuch’s Views on Chevron Matter for Women and Girls
If you’ve been watching the hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch this week, you could be forgiven for thinking the Senate Judiciary Committee really cares about gas stations. During its hearings on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the Committee talked a lot about Chevron deference.
Gorsuch’s skepticism of court deference to expert agencies should worry anyone who cares about women and girls’ rights. Many of our most important civil rights protections were given form and force through agency regulations and policies. For example, in 1979 the Department of Education published policy guidance explaining how schools should promote equal athletics opportunities for girls under Title IX. Today, nearly 1.5 million more high school girls participate in sports than they did the year before the guidance. That’s 1.5 million girls with access to the indisputable benefits of school athletics, including better grades, higher graduation rates, healthier bodies and minds, leadership skills, and better career prospects.
One of our favorite stories about the importance of athletics for girls’ academic and professional success comes from Karyn Ridgeway. As a student, Karyn was a star basketball player – and a plaintiff in Ridgeway v. Montana High School Association, one of the first Title IX athletics law suits. Today, Karyn is an emergency medicine doctor. “Basketball prepared me for this,” she wrote during her residence. “It’s like being at the free throw line, needing to make a shot in a crucial game. . . . As a basketball player I trusted that my long hours of practice would pay off . . . . that the shot would go in. Today, I trust that I’ll be ready when a critical case bursts through the door. And I am ready.”
But Neil Gorsuch doesn’t think that judges should defer to agency interpretations like the Department of Education’s reading of Title IX. Nor does he think judges should defer to the expert opinions of the Environmental Protection Agency on how to keep our water clean or the Department of Labor’s judgments on how to protect workers. Judge Gorsuch thinks he knows better than the experts, even when his interpretations of the law hurt average Americans and are the opposite of what Congress wanted.
So while Chevron deference may seem like something obscure that only lawyers could care about, we should all be concerned. Agency regulations protect Americans from discrimination and safety hazards in their workplaces, keep our air and water clean, and allow girls the chance to participate in sports. For this and many other reasons, we can’t afford to let the Senate appoint Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.