NCJW Opposes Nomination of Judge Carolyn Kuhl to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

February 26, 2003, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has announced its opposition to the nomination of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. NCJW President Marsha Atkind has released the following statement:

"Judge Carolyn Kuhl has a troubling record on fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to choose abortion. She is a committed opponent of the right to privacy, reproductive rights, and right to choose, and she has advocated in favor of federal tax exemptions for nonprofit institutions that openly discriminate against minorities. NCJW opposes her nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

"From 1981 to 1986, Judge Kuhl was a vigorous advocate within the US Department of Justice of attempting to persuade the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade – “the most aggressive,” according to her superior, Solicitor General Charles Fried. Her elevation to the 9th Circuit would surely mean further erosion of the ability of women to exercise their constitutional right to reproductive freedom. Poor women and those living in areas without local abortion providers are already burdened by waiting periods and so-called informed consent requirements necessitating overnight travel, added expense, and extra days away from school, work, and family.

"Judge Kuhl’s position on civil rights compliance while she served in the Justice Department would take us back to the days when the federal government not only tolerated but often promoted discrimination and segregation in jobs, education, and housing. Her support of the right of Bob Jones University to a federal tax exemption as a nonprofit institution while it banned interracial dating is unconscionable and was rejected by the Solicitor General, the General Counsel of the Department of the Treasury, 200 Justice Department staff lawyers, and the Supreme Court, in an 8-1 vote.

"A commitment to basic constitutional rights as they have evolved since the days when gender and racial inequality was enforced by law ought to be the minimum requirement of any federal judge. Judge Kuhl’s dedication to turning back the clock on civil and constitutional rights, in our minds, disqualifies her from consideration for this important lifetime post."

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.