On July 6, U.S. senators will vote on the federal district court nomination of J. Leon Holmes, a passionate opponent of women's equality and women's rights. Holmes co-wrote an article stating that "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "to the extent we adopt the feminist principle that the distinction between the sexes is of no consequence...we are contributing to the culture of death." Whether or not one accepts this particular excerpt from one translation of the Bible as the ultimate authority on gender relations, this blending of religious and secular politics in someone nominated to a position requiring that he uphold the separation of church and state is quite disturbing.
Holmes has also insisted that there should be no exemptions for rape in the absolute ban that he favors on the termination of pregnancy, because "conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami." (MSNBC cites a figure of 25,000 women becoming pregnant in the U.S. after rape each year; lest anyone should believe this to be a politically biased number, click here for a BBC study which disproves the notion that women do not become pregnant after rape, or here for an Australian site on the topic.) No matter how you feel about a woman's right to choose, it should be disturbing that a judge would use an outright falsehood to argue a legal point.
Several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have refused to endorse Holmes' confirmation. Please consider e-mailing your senators asking them to vote against the confirmation of Holmes. People For the American Way has a one-click page to help you do so quickly and easily.
Holmes' stated beliefs on a woman's right to choose and on women's roles in society call into grave question his understanding of and commitment to principles of constitutional law. Indeed, Holmes' record on these subjects would make it impossible for many to believe that they will receive a fair hearing in his court.
Holmes' record of anti-choice, anti-equality activism includes:
Served as president of Arkansas Right to Life and in leadership positions of other anti-choice groups that openly call for a complete reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Acted as legal counsel for anti-choice groups in several cases and defended an anti-choice activist accused of trespassing at a physician's clinic, arguing that his client was justified because he was trying to inform clinic visitors of the alleged harmful effects of abortion.
Co-authored an article claiming that "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "to the extent we adopt the feminist principle that the distinction between the sexes is of no consequence...we are contributing to the culture of death."
Compared pro-choice advocates to Nazis.