NCJW to Oppose Timothy Tymkovich for 10th Circuit Seat

February 25, 2003, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) will oppose confirmation of Timothy Tymkovich to the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. NCJW president Marsha Atkind today released the following statement:

"Timothy Tymkovich would use his notion of federalism to deny Americans their fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to privacy and reproductive freedom. He has not only advocated these views on behalf of the state of Colorado, but justified them in testimony and scholarly writings.

"Tymkovich represented Colorado in Hern v. Beye when it was sued for denying a Medicaid-funded abortion to an eligible rape victim, in plain contradiction of federal law. When Tymkovich lost in federal district court and again in a unanimous rejection by the 10th Circuit Court Appeals, he chose to pursue the case before the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear it. Three months later, Tymkovich told the US Senate Government Affairs Committee that the federal requirement that Colorado fund abortions for poor women in cases of rape and incest was a 'federal intrusion into matters of state concern.'

"Tymkovich also sought to overturn a state court decision denying ballot status to a referendum that would have required notice to at least one parent before a minor daughter could get an abortion, and he has tried to make it harder for complainants in Title IX lawsuits alleging unequal treatment of female collegiate athletes.

"Equally disturbing, Tymkovich defended the constitutionality of a state referendum question that would have barred any "statute, regulation, ordinance or policy" preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Colorado courts ruled that the referendum harmed the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians to participate in the political process, and on appeal the U.S. Supreme Court held that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, Tymkovich continued his advocacy on behalf of the referendum in a law review article.

"The views of Mr. Tymkovich are those of a committed partisan who lacks the impartiality on controversial questions that an appeals court judge should have. His reasoning would lead to a denial of basic constitutional rights in the guise of states' rights. NCJW believes he should not be confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the 10th Circuit, and we urge the defeat of his nomination."

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms through research, education, advocacy, and community service programs initiated by its network of 90,000 volunteers, supporters and members nationwide. It has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.