News Brief

The National Council of Jewish Women opposed a judicial nominee with an anti-abortion record. Richard Honaker, nominated by President Bush to a federal bench position in Wyoming, underwent a tough confirmation hearing Tuesday before the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee. “We are deeply troubled by Richard Honaker’s record of hostility to reproductive rights and his assertion of the primacy of Christianity, as he interprets it, as the correct basis for interpreting the law and making public policy in the United States,” NCJW said in a statement Tuesday. The council cited Honaker’s advocacy, as a state legislator in the 1990s, of a sweeping law that would ban abortion in all cases except rape, incest and if a woman’s life was in danger. He opposed allowing abortion for health reasons as too vague, and his legislation required that crimes of rape and incest must be reported within five days in order to validate the abortion. The bill failed. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has worked in the past with NCJW, grilled Honaker on his abortion statements. He told her he would rule based on precedent, but later she said she was not satisfied with his answers.

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