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Filtering by Tag: Supreme Court

Why can't she marry a corporation? It is a person isn't it?


By Frank Cerabino Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 7:16 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
Posted: 7:42 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

I don't usually delve into other people's marital aspirations, but this was a special case.
"I'm looking for someone that's well endowed," said Sarah "Echo" Steiner, a 39-year-old Lake Worth woman who is about to begin her hunt for a new husband.
Oh, wait. I forgot to mention that Steiner is looking to marry a corporation.
She's not looking for Mr. Right. She's looking for Mr. Right Inc.
"It would be an open marriage," Steiner said. "I don't think I could keep a whole corporation satisfied."
Steiner, a former co-chair of the Green Party of Florida, said her perfect corporate husband would be environmentally conscious, socially responsible and "not evil."
"I will be looking for how they behaved in past mergers," she said.
Free to campaign- and love
Now you might wonder what makes a woman think she can marry a corporation?
Steiner's search for a corporate marriage partner is kicking off on Saturday, which is nearly the one-year anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended what had been the rights of individual American citizens to corporations.
The landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission overturned a 20-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibited corporations and unions from spending money on campaign ads that supported or attacked candidates for office. It also overturned a 7-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the so-called McCain-Feingold restrictions on corporate influence in elections.
(You might call the Citizens United ruling a breathtaking bit of activist judging, except that the activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court that prevailed in this 5-4 ruling were the ones who are allegedly the paragons of non-activist judging.)
Steiner, who had a brief, human-on-human marriage during her teen years, figured that she might as well try to marry a corporation this time.
"I'm looking for the same thing that any girl is looking for - a partner," she said.
And a corporate partner has its advantages.
"Are you planning to have kids?" I asked her.
"Subsidiaries," she said. "Yes. Maybe even spinoffs."
Steiner said she's already been playing the field a little. She nearly took a tumble for a little video company out of New York.
"But it turned out to be a sole proprietor," she said. "So that wasn't going to work."
"Yes," I said. "Don't sell yourself short."
A brief consultation with the Florida Statutes pointed out some other considerations. Age restrictions would eliminate start-up companies as potential mates. And there's legal language about the marriage being between a male and a female.
"So you can't marry a female corporation," I told her. "That would be gay corporate marriage."
Steiner said she thought she could make it past the obstacles.
Wholly owned matrimony
The Palm Beach County Clerk's Office, the government agency that would issue Steiner and her would-be mate a marriage license, was less enthusiastic.
"We wouldn't be able to issue it because of what it says in the statute," spokeswoman Kathy Burstein said.
It says that both partners had to provide their Social Security numbers and be, well, people.
"I don't think it will be a problem having somebody represent the corporation," Steiner said. "Corporations use people to represent them all the time. Maybe an EIN (Employer Identification Number) can be used instead of a Social Security Number."
How do you douse the dreams of a woman in pre-love?
"I'm doing the full deal," she said. "I'm getting a shower. Bridal registry."
So at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Steiner will officially kick off her corporate marriage hunt at the Little Owl Bar in Lake Worth.
This will be a refreshing change of pace for the Little Owl.
"We've had a lot of marriages end here," Lauri, the bartender, said.
~ frank_cerabino@pbpost.com

Action Alert: Tell Scalia & Your Elected Officials: We WILL Put Women in the Constitution


NOW Action Alert
Women's Rights Must Be Guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution
After taking action, please support our work!
We won't stand for sexists like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia interpreting women's rights as unprotected in the U.S. Constitution. In a recent interview, Scalia erroneously stated that women are not protected under the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Right now, five justices have the power to pick and choose when women should be considered full citizens. And that's not right.
We need to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution that will guarantee women and men equal status under the law. Sign the petition today to stand with NOW today to demand that Congress and the states put women in the Constitution.

Today Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-W.I.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D.-N.J.) stood with NOW and women's rights advocates outside the Capitol to call for putting women into the Constitution. Watch now and sign the petition to stand with them.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure women and men equal status under the law and would explicitly include and protect everyone, regardless of sex. After being ratified by 35 states, the ERA fell short of national ratification by just three states in 1982. Since then, constitutional equality for women has been introduced in every session of Congress. Women must be put into the Constitution to finally provide assurance that rights will not be denied or abridged by the government on the basis of sex -- or the sexist opinions of Supreme Court justices.
Throughout the history of this country, women have faced systematic and purposeful discrimination. Women were conspicuously absent from the U.S. Constitution when it was drafted more than 200 years ago, and to this day women still have no explicit legal guarantee of equal protection. While the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is commonly viewed as a source of protection for women, it does not provide sufficient legal remedies for sex discrimination. The ERA must be ratified to ensure meaningful and lasting equality for all women.
The National Organization for Women has a long and intensive history with the ERA, having mobilized one of the largest grassroots advocacy campaigns in history in support of ratification during the 1970s and early 1980s. We can and will undertake additional efforts, as the time is long overdue for a constitutional guarantee of equality between the sexes.
At the beginning of this 112th Congress, House Speaker John Boehner led a reading of the Constitution, and prior to joining, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) stood with NOW and women's rights advocates outside the Capitol to call for putting women into the Constitution.
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National Organization for Women News & Action Summary: Not Satisfied Yet!


NOW News and Action Summary
National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary
AUGUST 18, 2010

NOW Not Satisfied with Target CEO's Apology

Under protest from LGBT rights activists (including NOW), Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized on Aug. 5 for donating $150,000 to a group that supports an anti-gay marriage, anti-quality candidate for governor in Minnesota. Read more.

Stop the Stealth Attack on Social Security

NOW President Terry O'Neill speaks at press conference on protecting and strengthening Social Security.
The Fiscal Commission is moving under cover of darkness to recover the billions spent on Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the wealthiest and unfunded wars. How? By cutting benefits under the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Take action NOW!
Also: Celebrate Social Security's 75th anniversary this month by attending a birthday party in your community. Events are being organized by NOW and many other organizations working to protect this vital program from threatened benefit cuts. Learn more.

NOW Celebrates Senate Confirmation of Elena Kagan to U.S. Supreme Court

On Aug. 5 the Senate voted to confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. For the first time in history the court will have three sitting female justices -- a critical mass that will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the struggle for women's equality. Read more.

NOW Applauds Ruling on Proposition 8

"Discriminatory legislation such as Proposition 8 has no place in a nation dedicated to equal rights for all people. Same-sex couples in California and all over the United States can celebrate this ruling that recognizes their civil rights and human dignity," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. Read more.

Feminist Women Are Winning!

In the Aug. 10 Democratic primary, Minnesota voters cast their ballots for Shelley Madore in an upset victory over the favored candidate. NOW/PAC is working to help Madore and other strong candidates make it all the way to Capitol Hill! Read more.

Family Law Newsletter

Because the crisis in the family courts is such a serious issue for mothers and children, the newsletter of the NOW Family Law Committee is now available online. Please share the link with those who may need this important news and information. Read the Summer 2010 issue.
Grassroot Spotlight
Florida Action for Bastien

NOW Activists in Florida Help Get Out the Vote
Miami-Dade and Broward members of NOW, including former NOW President Patricia Ireland, hit the streets to educate voters about endorsed candidate Marleine Bastien. Watch the video.

Join or Give
We have so much work to do! NOW is dedicated to taking action to eliminate sexism and end all oppression. Your support is absolutely vital to our ability to take on the right wing and push ahead on all of our important issues.

Find more on NOW's Media Hall of Shame and Say It, Sister! NOW's Blog for Equality

Twitter Follow NOW on Twitter
Facebook Like NOW on Facebook

Read more on NOW Read This

NOW News & Action Summary: Defend Choice, Confirm Kagan, Repeal DOMA


NOW News and Action Summary
National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary
JULY 21, 2010

NOW Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Vote On Elena Kagan

"The Senate Judiciary Committee did the right thing today by giving its approval to Elena Kagan," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "NOW calls for a swift confirmation of Elena Kagan by the full Senate. Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens leaves behind big shoes to fill, but after listening to Kagan's testimony during the Senate hearings, NOW is confident that she will prove herself a champion of equality and justice for all." Read more.

NOW Concludes National Conference with Votes for Equality and Justice, Including Call for Senate to Expel David Vitter

Group at the 2010 National NOW Conference
From left to right: NOW President Terry O'Neill, Stephanie Poggi, NOW Vice President-Action Erin Matson, Kierra Johnson, and Dr. LeRoy Carhart
On July 4, the National Organization for Women concluded its 2010 National Conference in Boston, Mass., with a display of feminist solidarity and determination that reflected the true spirit of Independence Day. Read more.
Conference Wrap-Up: Watch videos of the conference speakers, read the resolutions that passed, view pictures, and check out some of our blog posts on our conference wrap-up page.

Congress Must Repeal DOMA -- Contact Your Representative

NOW is the time to pressure Congress for immediate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 3567), which would fully repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). A federal district court judge recently ruled DOMA unconstitutional, and the case may well get to the Supreme Court -- but we want Congress to act now. Take action!

Speak Out Against Anti-Abortion Terrorism -- Sign the Petition

Groups like Operation Save America and Operation Rescue use intimidation tactics to scare away women from exercising their right to obtain abortion care. By signing this petition, you will send a message that these actions are an organized form of terrorism that must stop. Take action NOW!
Show support online! Use the hashtag #savechoice on Twitter to let your voice be heard!

Defend Abortion Rights with Charlotte NOW at the Family Reproductive Health Clinic July 24

Get to the streets!
Join Charlotte NOW and other NOW members to defend the clinic on July 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We are planning a peaceful demonstration in support of women's fundamental right to the full range of reproductive health services. Join us!
Can't make it? Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #savechoice and watch Action Vice President Erin Matson tweet live from the event.

NOW Congratulates Terri Sewell on Definitive Victory in Alabama

Sewell is now the Democratic nominee for an open seat in the House of Representatives from Alabama's 7th Congressional District, and she will go on to challenge GOP candidate Don Chamberlain in the general election. NOW/PAC proudly endorsed Sewell, a first-time candidate for public office, early in her campaign and highlighted Sewell's race at the recent National NOW Conference. Read more.

Job Opening at National NOW Action Center in DC: Internet Communications Coordinator

The Internet Communications Coordinator is responsible for NOW's online communications, including all web sites, emails, social media and online fundraising. The position reports to the Director of Communications and also works in conjunction with fundraising, membership, government relations and field/chapter development. Learn more.
Action Spotlight
On The Streets! Defend Abortion Rights in Charlotte, N.C.
Anti-abortion rights group Operation Save America is planning a national event in Charlotte. We anticipate them staging a wide-scale demonstration outside the Family Reproductive Health Clinic on Saturday morning, July 24.
Join Charlotte NOW, Action Vice President Erin Matson and other NOW members in Charlotte to defend the clinic, or speak out against anti-abortion terrorism by signing our online petition.

Grassroot Spotlight
NOW At West Michigan Pride Fest 2010
The NOW Greater Grand Rapids Chapter (NOWGR) recently tabled all day during the West Michigan Pride Festival held at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. Read more.

We have so much work to do! NOW is dedicated to taking action to eliminate sexism and end all oppression. Your support is absolutely vital to our ability to take on the right wing and push ahead on all of our important issues.

Find more on NOW's Media Hall of Shame and Say It, Sister! NOW's Blog for Equality

Twitter Follow NOW on Twitter
Facebook Like NOW on Facebook

Read more on NOW Read This

NOW Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Vote On Elena Kagan


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NOW Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Bennett, c. 301-537-7429, w. 202-628-8669, ext. 123
NOW Applauds Senate Judiciary Committee Vote On Elena Kagan
July 20, 2010
The National Organization for Women applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee's affirmative vote today on Supreme Court nominee Solicitor General Elena Kagan. NOW's National Board voted earlier this month to endorse Kagan to become the next U.S. Supreme Court justice.
"The Senate Judiciary Committee did the right thing today by giving its approval to Elena Kagan," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "NOW calls for a swift confirmation of Elena Kagan by the full Senate. Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens leaves behind big shoes to fill, but after listening to Kagan's testimony during the Senate hearings, NOW is confident that she will prove herself a champion of equality and justice for all."
O'Neill continued: "If confirmed, Kagan will be the fourth woman to serve on the court, and she will make history by being part of the first-ever trio of women to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court at the same time, yet another first for this accomplished woman. But this will be more than a symbolic, inspiring achievement for women -- it will be a genuine victory for every woman and girl who benefits from her years of service on the high court."

As Fourth at Supreme Court, Kagan Goes Gender Lite


Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Thursday, July 1, 2010

As Fourth at Supreme Court, Kagan Goes Gender Lite

By Sharon Johnson
WeNews senior correspondent
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The three women who came before Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court carried a bright torch for women's rights. In this news analysis, Sharon Johnson sees Kagan as more of a mainstream power broker, with no gender strings attached.
Elena Kagan(WOMENSENEWS)--Democrats and some female law faculty are flagging the historic nature of Solicitor General Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which began June 28.
If confirmed to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, Kagan would bring the number of women on the bench to three, a high water mark that Paula A. Monopoli, professor at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, hails.
"Last year Obama named Sonia Sotomayor the first Hispanic on the court and this year he tapped Kagan, who brings real world experience," said Monopoli, the founding director of the law school's women, leadership and equality program. "Like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, these women provide an important dimension to the court because they recognize how decisions affect the lives of ordinary people and their presence encourages their male colleagues to look at factors that are often overlooked by all-male courts."
But Kagan does not win universal kudos from women's advocacy groups.
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In a June 21 analysis of her legal record, the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization of pro-choice attorneys and advocates, called Kagan's record on abortion "troubling." A 1988 memo Kagan wrote as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, urging the court to reject for review an appeal on prisoner access to abortion, was one of the reasons for this assessment.
Kagan said she was "skeptical about whether incarcerated women seeking abortions had serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment" and called the notion that they should receive government assistance to address those needs "ludicrous."
Kagan stirs worries among conservative senators who assume that any woman nominated by the Democrats must be an arch liberal, says Lawrence Baum, professor of political science at Ohio State University in Columbus and author of the 1997 book "The Puzzle of Judicial Behavior."

Calming Conservative Fears

But Baum says that Kagan's Harvard Law School faculty appointments should calm conservative fears. Two who stand out are Adrian Vermeule, a former clerk of Justice Antonin Scalia, the leader of the conservative wing of the court, and Jack Goldsmith, who had served under Attorney General John Ashcroft during the George W. Bush administration.
In other words, the normal assumptions about a female nominee--created by the three other women ever appointed to the court--do not apply to Kagan.
Kagan broke the glass ceiling in legal education when she became the first female dean of Harvard Law School, but kept a low women's advocacy profile after that.
Sandra Day O'Connor, elevated by President Ronald Reagan, became the first woman on the court in 1981. By that time she had founded the Arizona Women's Lawyers Association and the National Association of Women Judges and had fought to remove discrimination against women by the state bar.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993, came to Senate hearings with victories in five gender-discrimination cases under her belt. Ginsburg also co-authored the first major sex discrimination casebook, used by law students to develop their skills in litigating sex discrimination claims.
No doubt existed about Ginsburg's stand on abortion: "This is something central to a woman's life, to her dignity," she told the Judiciary Committee. "It is a decision that she must make for herself. And when government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as a less than fully adult human responsible for her own choices."

Sotomayor Was Outspoken

Sonia Sotomayor had delivered more than 90 speeches on ethnicity or gender issues before minority or women's groups between 1993 and 2009, when Obama tapped her for the court. Sotomayor used her career as an example of how Hispanics and women could succeed in legal careers. For 12 years, Sotomayor was a board member of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Kagan's record on supporting women and minorities is thin. During her six years as dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan added 29 tenured faculty, which included five white women and an Asian American woman.
"Just three percent of her hires were non-whites, a statistic that should raise eyebrows in the 21st century," said Guy-Uriel Charles, founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics in Durham, N.C.
The National Bar Association, a Washington-based organization of over 44,000 predominantly African American lawyers, judges and professors, said it would have preferred if Obama had nominated Ann Claire Williams, the first African American woman to serve on a U.S. Court of Appeals.
Kagan is the first nominee in 38 years to have no judicial experience. Moreover, Kagan had never presented a case in any court until Obama appointed her solicitor general in 2009.
When he introduced her to the nation, Obama called Kagan "my friend" and "a consensus builder." Kagan had worked with Obama at the University of Chicago Law School and had served on a committee that tried to recruit him for the full-time faculty.
Kagan has close ties to Obama's inner circle at the White House, including Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, and Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council.

No Comment on Summers Scandal

As president of Harvard University, Summers appointed Kagan dean of the law school in 2003. Unlike other members of the faculty, Kagan had no comment when Summers was forced to resign in 2006 after suggesting women were underrepresented in tenured positions in science and engineering at the top universities and research institutions because of a "different availability of aptitude at the high end."
At her confirmation hearing for solicitor general, Kagan said she didn't believe there was a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Leonard Gross, professor of law at the Southern Illinois School of Law, based in Carbondale, Ill., and co-author of the 1998 "Supreme Court Appointments: Judge Bork and the Polarization of Senate Confirmation," said Kagan has a good chance to win confirmation as the 112th justice as long as hearings are completed this summer.
If the hearings drag on longer than that, interest groups opposed to Kagan might make her nomination an issue in the mid-term elections this fall, says Gross.
To avoid a filibuster, Kagan must receive 60 votes. Last year, 54 Democrats and seven Republicans voted to confirm Kagan as solicitor general. However, the Democrats are expected to lose seats in November.
"That could be bad for Kagan, because these groups could help elect senators who would vote against her," Gross said.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey in June found that 44 percent of Americans wanted the Senate to confirm Kagan, down 10 points since May when her nomination was announced.
Thirty-nine percent opposed the confirmation, up three points. Seventeen percent said they were undecided, up 11 points.
CNN said opinion on Kagan has changed the most among women and Democrats. Initially, these groups supported the nomination because Kagan is a woman and Obama tapped her, but now they are less sure.
Sharon Johnson is a New York freelance writer.
Would you like to Comment but not sure how? Visit our help page at http://www.womensenews.org/help-making-comments-womens-enews-stories.

For more information:

Legal Analysis of Kagan's Abortion Rights Record, Center for Reproductive Rights :
http://reproductiverights.org/en/press-room/crr-legal-analysis-of kagans-abortion-rights-record

NOW to Closely Monitor Kagan Hearings for Sexism


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NOW Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116
NOW to Closely Monitor Kagan Hearings for Sexism
and Signs of Nominee's Commitment to Equality and Justice for All
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill
June 28, 2010
As the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominee Solicitor General Elena Kagan open today, the National Organization for Women promises to closely monitor the proceedings. Kagan's confirmation would make history, as she would be the third woman to currently serve on the court, increasing the composition of women justices to one-third -- more than have ever served at the same time.
NOW will observe the hearings and their coverage for any hint of sexism from the committee members or the media. Already, Kagan has been unfairly and unjustifiably attacked for her appearance, lack of a husband and children, and even for playing softball in college. As none of these factors have any relevance to her ability to serve on the Supreme Court, NOW hopes that the committee and the media will focus on Kagan's opinions concerning judicial philosophy instead of speculating about her personal life.
Kagan's background and record certainly suggest that she is qualified for the position as Supreme Court justice. She worked as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In the Clinton administration, she served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy and then rose to be deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. She is a former dean of Harvard Law School. In the Obama administration, as Solicitor General, she has argued six cases before the current Supreme Court.
Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens was a tireless defender of women's rights and a champion of social justice. He consistently voted in favor of protecting women's reproductive rights, ending gender-based discrimination, promoting racial equality, and recognizing the right to privacy for all, including the LGBT community. He leaves behind a proud legacy we hope will be carried on.
NOW is eager to learn if Elena Kagan, too, will stand for equality and fairness across the board. We will listen carefully to her answers to determine if she will be a strong guardian of the rights of women, people of color, the poor and other oppressed groups.
NOW is encouraged to see that the Supreme Court bench may soon welcome the fourth woman in its 221-year history. We approach the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan with a clear understanding of the stakes for all women and look forward to hearing her responses to the committee's questions.
Read NOW's memorandum to the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivered on June 22, recommending questions to ask Elena Kagan to ascertain her commitment to upholding and advancing women's fundamental human rights.

A Legacy, Primary Winners, and Feminist Fireworks


NOW News and Action Summary
National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary
JUNE 22, 2010

The Legacy of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, The Potential of Solicitor General Elena Kagan: Suggested Questions for the Senate Judiciary Committee

In this memorandum, NOW reviews major Supreme Court decisions during Justice Stevens' tenure and draws from this history to suggest questions the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask Elena Kagan to help ascertain her commitment to women's fundamental human rights. Read more.

NOW Congratulates Primary Winners, Looks Forward to November Victories

NOW/PAC is proud to announce that 17 of its endorsed candidates won primary elections on June 8. NOW congratulates these primary winners and looks forward to working with them, both in the coming months and once they take office, in order to ensure full equality for women and girls. Read more.

June 22: Last Day To Register For NOW Conference

National NOW Conference

June 22 is the last day to register online for the 2010 National NOW Conference. The conference is from July 2-4 in Boston this year, and we hope you can join us! If you miss the deadline, you can register on site at the event. If you've already registered, check our website for information about travel and picking up your badge.
Learn more about the conference below or by visiting our website.

What Happens At a NOW Conference?

The annual National NOW Conference is a celebration of grassroots activism, feminist leadership, and above all, our members. Attendees learn about issues affecting the feminist movement through workshops and plenary sessions speeches, and to network and strategize with activists from across the nation. In issue hearings, members come together to work on resolutions to be presented on Sunday, when NOW's agenda for the coming year is developed. The NOW Conference is a one-of-a-kind, empowering experience, where every member has a voice.

More Than 20 Feminist Speakers

This year's National NOW Conference will feature more than 20 speakers and honorees, each addressing a feminist issue affecting the movement today. Each plenary has a unique theme -- Leading the Way in Women's Health: Honoring Vision, Action and Education; State of the Women's Movement: Feminism Today and Tomorrow; Lifting Every Voice: Women of Color and Empowerment; Run, Vote, Win: Advancing Women's Rights through Electoral Politics; and Expand Abortion Access: Envisioning Reproductive Justice for All.
Learn more about the speakers and honorees: Kim Bottomly, Carol Moseley Braun, Andrea J. Cabral, Sonia Chang-Díaz, Susan Douglas, Irasema Garza, Amy Goodman, Silvia Henriquez, Lois Herr, Kierra Johnson, Dr. Paula A. Johnson, Kilolo Kijakazi, Adrienne Kimmell, Thomas Menino, Judy Neufeld, Deval Patrick, Stephanie Poggi, Priti Rao, Loretta Ross, Niki Tsongas and the Boston Women's Health Book Collective.

National Conference: A Way To Learn and Connect

Feminist activists from across the nation are coming to the conference to learn and connect with each other, through issue hearings, dynamic workshops, regional caucuses, special constituency caucuses, and time for networking. Check out the workshops descriptions to see the many issues we will be covering, as well as our working agenda to see what all is happening.

Celebrating Marriage Equality: Bring Rice to the Conference!

Equal Marriage NOW!
On July 2, celebrate with long-time activists Shirley Y. Herman and H. Joan Waitkevicz as they are wed at the 2010 National NOW Conference. We hope you will join us for this joyous occasion and show support for the state of Massachusetts -- one of the few states to recognize equal marriage. In the words of the happy couple, "After thirty-seven years, the state is beginning to catch up."
With primaries almost over, it's time to roll up our sleeves and begin working on getting feminists elected into office. Learn more about the NOW/PAC and read profiles about some of our endorsed candidates. You can also see all the endorsed federal candidates, or browse our state by state guide of all candidates.

Action Spotlight
Take action NOW! Bookmark our action alert page.

We have so much work to do! NOW is dedicated to taking action to eliminate sexism and end all oppression. NOW is completely supported by individual donors, so your financial support is absolutely vital to our ability to take on the right-wing and push ahead on all of our important issues. Thank you for considering a gift to NOW.

Find more on NOW's Media Hall of Shame and Say It, Sister! NOW's Blog for Equality

Twitter Follow NOW on Twitter
Facebook Like NOW on Facebook

Read more on NOW Read This
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Kagan's Nomination Is Sweet Smell of Progress


Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kagan's Nomination Is Sweet Smell of Progress
By Judith L. Lichtman
WeNews commentator
Friday, June 4, 2010
Elena Kagan's nomination is particularly sweet for women who personally know the milestone it represents. Judy Lichtman remembers being the token woman in her law school and having the question about rape reserved for her.
Judith L. Lichtman(WOMENSENEWS)--Earlier this month, I was invited by the White House to watch President Obama nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to serve on the Supreme Court.
The ceremony was even more moving than I expected, and that took me a little by surprise.
I had tears in my eyes for much of that morning ceremony in the East Room. If Kagan is confirmed, women will comprise one-third of the Supreme Court. That's a fraction that does not yet represent our proportion of the population--but it's a stake that was once unimaginable for me and most of my peers.
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When I graduated from college in 1962, the Supreme Court was, of course, all male ¬and had been for its history. The entire judicial and legal profession was virtually all male as well. When I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wis., later that year, I was one of only two women in my class. The class was divided in two sections, as was the pair of women. That left me as the one woman among 75 students.
For each class, I prepared to respond to rapid-fire questions about case law. I remember feeling particularly targeted because of my gender in my criminal law class.
As was tradition, I was only called on once in that class, and it was to answer the question: "What constitutes rape?" It was a particularly stinging way my professor used to call attention to my gender.

Profound Humiliation

Somehow the required response--"penetration no matter how deep"--stumbled out of my mouth in front of all those men. The humiliation was profound (and of course that was the intent). In keeping with the tradition experienced by the few women who came before me, I was never asked to contribute in that class again, even though I had plenty to say.
When I graduated three years later, I moved to Washington, D.C., where the local newspapers still ran job advertisements for "women's" and "men's" jobs. I joined the Supreme Court Bar so I could get a front-row seat to hear the court's oral arguments. But whenever I took my prized seat, a court marshal inevitably approached and asked me to leave. He simply assumed I didn't--couldn't--belong in that section. Over and over, I had to prove that I did.
A few years later, I became executive director of the Women's Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership for Women and Families). In that post I fought to increase the number of female judges on the federal bench. With so few female lawyers and judges at the time, the prospect of a female justice seemed remote. As a result, in the 1970s I decided to spend our precious resources advocating for more lower-level female judges.
That was then.
Now, nearly half of the nation's law students are women, although--still, today--not even one-third of the nation's appellate and district court judges are female. Progress, yes, but tremendous work remains to be done.
Still, the Kagan nomination is cause to take stock and celebrate victories. Now, when I go to hear oral arguments in the Supreme Court, I am no longer asked to leave the Supreme Court Bar seating section. Now, we are on the brink of having three female justices. That's still shy of equality, but an incalculable increase over zero.

Kagan an Inspiration

Elena KaganI've known Kagan for many decades and I am so gratified to see a woman of her caliber nominated to this important post. In all her endeavors--as a practicing attorney, a law school professor, the first female dean of Harvard Law School and as our nation's first female solicitor general--Kagan has shown herself to be a woman of towering intellect, a fair and independent thinker and a fierce defender of justice for all. She is an inspiration to me and to all of us who strive for justice.
Even though Kagan is not the first woman to take a seat on the High Court, her appointment is still an important milestone in our long journey toward equal rights. That's because Kagan's nomination is about more than just numbers.
If she is confirmed, we will be one step closer to the day when a female nominee's gender is no longer remarkable, closer to that elusive cultural tipping point when it is no longer unusual to see women on the Supreme Court or in other positions of significant power. If three women are serving on the nation's highest tribunal, perhaps the gender of the fourth female justice won't be a focal point. I'd like to believe that her qualifications may be scrutinized, but her outfit won't.
We're still a long way from that day, but we're a lot closer to it than when I started working to fight sex discrimination more than three decades ago.
It has taken much, much too long to get to this point. But at least now, as I reflect on that recent White House ceremony, I can imagine the day when there are four--or even five!--female justices and, someday soon, true equality.
It's about time.
Judith L. Lichtman is the former president of the National Partnership for Women and Families. She is currently a senior advisor at the organization.

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NOW-New York State Applauds Congresswoman Louise Slaughter for her Courageous Leadership


National Organization for Women-New York State Applauds Congresswoman Louise Slaughter for her Courageous Leadership

For Immediate Release
Contact: Marcia Pappas, President 518-452-3944
National Organization for Women-NYS Applauds Congresswoman Slaughter
Demands that Supreme Court Nominee be Fully Vetted on Abortion Rights
 ALBANY, NY (05/20/2010) According to the AP (http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_8559/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=BjaGMIVf ), US Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to be sure US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan supports abortion rights. At issue is Kagan's memo advising President Bill Clinton to support the Daschle Amendment, which would have banned a medical procedure that opponents of abortion rights call "partial birth abortion."

NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas explains: "Like Slaughter, NOW-NYS finds that memo troubling. Before NOW-NYS supports this nominee, women need answers as to how Kagan will rule on issues of reproductive rights; abortion, contraception, and all forms of medical procedures that would affect a woman's privacy in making important decisions about her body. "

We call upon other women's rights, pro-choice organizations, and like-minded US Senators to join NOW-NYS in demanding that the Senate Judiciary Committee ask the very important questions in order to clarify Kagan's position.

Join or donate to NOW-NYS   at www.nownys.org