A very troubling judicial nominee awaits a vote before the U.S. Senate. One of President Obama’s nominees to the U.S. Appellate Court for the D. C. Circuit, Cornelia Pillard is one of the most radical nominees we have ever seen to such an important court.
Pillard is a radical feminist whose extreme views are well outside the mainstream. She does not deserve a lifetime appointment to one of the nation’s most prestigious courts.
Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) had this to say on her nomination at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting:
“[Pillard's] ideology shapes and motivates how she sees both the law and the facts in such cases.”
Did you hear that? Her radical views not only color the way she sees the law but they color the way she sees the facts!
And what are those views? Pillard believes that abstinence education is a radical, extreme view that is actually unconstitutional. She wrote:
The abstinence-only approach is permeated with stereotyped messages and sex-based double standards about acceptable male and female sexual behavior and appropriate social roles. Public school teaching of gender stereotypes violates the constitutional bar against sex stereotyping and is vulnerable to equal protection challenge.
She also pushed hard to get pro-lifers convicted as mobsters through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Her extreme view was rejected 8-1 by the U.S. Supreme Court in the famous Scheidler v. NOW decision.
She even compares pro-life groups to the KKK.
Pillard’s disdain for women of faith is felt vividly on her views on abortion and contraception. She wrote:
Reproductive rights, including the rights to contraception and abortion, play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription into maternity . Our Constitution declares our liberty to protect our own life and health. As a society we have the knowledge to educate young people about reproduction, the means to prevent and in some circumstances to end unwanted pregnancies, and the social resources to support parenting. At this point in our history, women’s equality is infringed when such reproductive freedoms [abortion] are denied without forceful governmental justification.
Yes, according to Pillard, abortion is what frees women from “conscription into maternity.”
She also wrote:
Antiabortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies, but also prescribe a “vision of the women’s role” as mother and caretaker of children in a way that is at odds with equal protection.
The unconstitutional contraception mandate in ObamaCare we are fighting right now comes from the legal theory espoused by legal scholars like Pillard who argued that failing to provide free contraception for women (including abortifacients), regardless of religious objections, relegates women to “second-class statues” who are treated as “presumptive breeders.”
Her disregard for our constitutionally protected religious freedoms is extremely troubling. In a recent case where the Supreme Court upheld the rights of a church to define the role of its ministers without government interference, Pillard stood against religious freedom, saying at a Georgetown briefing that the church’s legal defense was “a substantial threat to the American rule of law.” The Supreme Court disagreed with her views unanimously!
Pillard’s radical views have no place on the bench. And as the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization we must stand up for all women against this nominee.
Here are your action items:
Call both your senators (the Capitol switchboard is (202)224-3121) and ask them to oppose the nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the U.S. Appellate Court for the D. C. Circuit. Tell them: Her legal theories fall way outside the mainstream. Her views on the role of women and motherhood are especially troubling and offensive to conservative women. Her disregard for our religious freedom is dangerous. Ask them to do everything in their power to stop this radical nominee.