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Breakthrough 1976-01
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Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 12. January 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/298.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(January 1976). Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 12. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/298

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Breakthrough 1976-01 - Page 12, January 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/303/show/298.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Breakthrough 1976-01
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date January 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 1
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 16 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 12
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_513l.jpg
Transcript STEVENS continued from page 1 discrimination against women. In our judicial system, this could be partially accomplished by appointing a woman to the Supreme Court. He failed us. Now it has been predicted that the Senate will ignore our plea for justice and confirm yet another man to rule on cases concerning the nation's majority—women. I urge the Committee to exercise great caution in reviewing this nomination. The Committee's responsibility is all the greater in these unique circumstances. The entire process by which Judge Stevens was selected was dominated by men. The President's policy advisors were all men—only after extensive public outrage did the President even bother to add the names of two women to the list referred to the American Bar Association for evaluation. The ABA committee which reviewed the President's list of candidates, does not have one woman among its eleven members, although in 1974 women made up seven percent of all lawyers and judges in the nation and almost 20 percent of law school enrollees. Just as in Title VII cases the courts have increasingly recognized the potential for bias in evaluations of minorities by whites and of women by men, so too the ABA committee, dominated by white men, cannot be inferred to be without sex or race bias. Thus, it is not surprising that the exceedingly few women who were submitted by the President for evaluation were not given a top score as was Judge Stevens. Nor is it surprising that the man chosen by them has a record of consistent opposition to women's rights. In case after case, he expressly opposed women's interests. These cases are important. They warrant review. In Rose v. Bridgeport Brass Co., Judge Stevens erroneously construed the law and revealed his lack of understanding of sex discrimination. In Rose, the plaintiff alleged that she had been the victim of discrimination when a job reclassification by the defendant employerresulted in reducing the percentage of women in the job from 55 to 10 percent. In Rose, the plaintiffs statistical showing should have shifted the burden of proof to the defendant employer. However, the federal district court erroneously dismissed the plaintiff without shifting this burden. The majority of the Court of Appeals for Lilith needs pad In Hebrew legend, Lilith was the first woman. Like Adam, she was made out of dust. Lilith refused to be subservient to Adam on the grounds that since both had been made from the same dust, they were equal. Does she sound like a feminist? A new city-wide women's center, one which will be a meeting place for many women's organizations and businesses, was incorporated in mid-December as "Lilith, Unlimited, Womansplace in Houston." It appears its founders have named the woman-child before finding the woman-space. "We are looking for a commercial property in Houston," says Lynne Mutchler, one of the founders. "We hope the community can assist us. 1 'We'd like to find a huge barn of a building, with a variety of room sizes so that we may have an auditorium for large meetings, smaller rooms for business offices and suites, an area for child-care facilities, spaces for a feminist library, press, and a media suite, and perhaps even a gymnasium for sporting events as well as self- defense classes," she said. In addition to space requirements, Kay Why bum, another founder, spelled out other' 'absolutes.'' "It must be located on a bus line, it must have off-street parking, and it must be fairly and reasonably priced." Lilith will be financed in part by the rental of space to feminist professionals, businesses, and organizations. ' 'We hope Lilith will serve the total needs of Houston women. That is our hope," Mutchler said. But first a building must be found and the proposals written to buy or lease it. If anyone has or knows of a suitable space, they should contact either Lynne Mutchler (3303 Elm- ridge, Houston 77025, 667-6932) or Kay Whyburn (2234 Goldsmith, Houston 77005, 667-8556). Need it be said, donations of money or property will be gratefully appreciated by Lilith's founders. LYNN MUTCHLER the Seventh Circuit reversed, stating that the statistical information surely raises the possibility that the job reclassification has a discriminatory effect. Judge Stevens stated in his dissent from the majority that he would have affirmed the district court's decision even though he, himself, acknowledged that the lower court had applied the wrong procedural standard in granting summary judgment for the defendant. Judge Stevens based his dissent on what he perceived to be the failure of the plaintiff to include any evidence of discriminatory intent on the part of the employer. Significantly, the Supreme Court, two years earlier, had stated that the existence of discriminatory intent is not a prerequisite to making out aTitle VII violation. In 1973, the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade held that a woman has an absolute right to choose whether to have an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy and a qualified right thereafter. The guarantee of this Constitutional right has not been forthcoming, however, to hundreds of thousands of women who live in areas where the only available medical facilities close their doors to women and their doctors seeking to exercise this right. Judge Stevens is partly responsible for this tragic development. Some six months after the Supreme Court's landmark decision, Judge Stevens ruled that a woman two months pregnant, trapped by a severe snowstorm in her own county—which contained only private hospitals which refused to allow her doctor to terminate her pregnancy—was not entitled to relief. Bellin Memorial Hospital was regulated by the State of Wisconsin and had received extensive Federal funding under the Hill Burton Act as well as other Federal programs. In a case challenging race discrimination by a private hospital with Hill Burton funds, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found, in 1963, that there was sufficient state government involvement to extend the constitutional prohibitions against race discrimination to the hospital. The Fourth Circuit has applied this rule to the question of a woman's right to choose. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has found a private hospital to reflect sufficient state action on a slightly different rationale. But Judge Stevens, seeming to bend over backwards to limit this basic right due all women, rejected the Fourth Circuit precedent, finding the amount of state involvement insufficient to require Bellin Memorial Hospital to open its doors to the plaintiff s doctor. The courts of appeals are currently divided on this issue, and the Supreme Court recently declined to review the question. Thus, the law will remain unsettled. Nevertheless, it cannot be overemphasized that the women of this nation will view a vote to approve Judge Stevens as a vote to limit the rights of many women to choose whether to have a child. The opinion of Judge Stevens in Dyer v. Blair provided yet another example of this tendency. The facts were that the Illinois Senate had voted on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) during the 77th General Assembly and, on the strength of a simple majority, entered in its journal that ERA had passed and referred ERA to the House of Representatives. The House did not act during that session. When the 78th General Assembly was convened, opponents of ERA engineered a procedural change, the "Rule 42". Rule 42 required proposed amendments to the federal Constitution to pass by a three-fifths vote rather than a simple majority. When the vote was taken in the House, ERA received more votes than required for a simple majority, but fewer than three-fifths. It was declared to have failed. As might have been expected, Judge Stevens upheld the three-fifths rule, the practical effect of which was to defeat ERA in the State of Illinois. Judge Stevens' propensity to find against female plaintiffs was again demonstrated in Cohen v. Illinois Institute of Technology, a case in which a woman, repeatedly denied tenure, alleged sex discrimination by a private higher-education institution receiving federal and state funds. In his opinion, Judge Stevens denied the plaintiff any discovery rights to establish facts supporting her state action claim on the grounds that she had failed to allege that the state had "affirmatively supported or expressly approved any discriminatory act or policy, or even had actual knowledge of any such discrimination'' Judge Stevens thus requires civil rights plaintiffs to show affirmative conduct by the state in support of discrimination. However, the Supreme Court in Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority took a position far more supportive of civil rights, when it found mere acquiescence by the state in the discrimination to be sufficient: By its inaction, the Authority, and through it the State, has not only made itself a party to the refusal of service (to blacks), but has elected to place its power, property and prestige behind the admitted discrimination. Moreover, the burden imposed by Judge Stevens on the woman in this case went far beyond that required by other courts of appeals considering similar claims by women asserting their rights to equal employment. The important thing to remember about Judge Stevens' participation in Bowe v. Colgate, is that the real decision of this case had been made by the Court of Appeals before his appointment. Therefore, his silent acquiescence in the unanimous court's opinion on the limited and secondary issues presented when Bowe v. Colgate was appealed the second time cannot be taken as evidence of sensitivity to women's issues. Judge Ste- vers has never been the author of an opinion on behalf of a woman litigating a "women's issue" although he wrote some 240 opinions during his tenure. The decisions in which he participated while sitting on the Circuit Court raise the question of whether he can fairly, judiciously and impartially review those cases which would reach him as a Justice of the Supreme Court and whether he could render fair and impartial decisions governed by laws and facts applicable to each case. His history as a Circuit Judge clearly indicates that he cannot. In many of his decisions he has been at odds with his own Circuit. More importantly, he has refused guidance from the Supreme Court decisions on these issues by which he was bound as a Circuit Judge. His decisions have flown in the face of the applicable laws duly passed by a Congress elected by the people, both men and women. Thus, NOW believes that Judge Stevens lacks impartiality—a requisite for appointment to the Supreme Court. The National Organization for Women believes that from this record an antagonism to women's rights on the part of Judge Stevens is clear. For this reason, we oppose his confirmation. POSTSCRIPT: In spite of the Stevens record of insensitivity toward issues affecting women Elaine Latourell—the only non-majority caucus member on the executive board of NOW—made a public statement saying NOW was "basically pleased" with the Stevens nomination. She added she felt Stevens had a reputation for making decisions on the basis of the best legal precedent and that "women don't have anything to fear because our issues stand up to intellectual scrutiny." The following telegram was sent 11:30 a.m., December 9, 1975 to Senator James O. Eastland, Chairman, Judiciary Committee. Copies were sent to President Gerald Ford and Senator Charles Percy. Copies were distributed to all members of the Judiciary Committee. The National Women's Political Caucus is appalled that Judge John Paul Stevens, the man currently under consideration for the second most important position in the United States government, has not, by his own admission, thought through his opinion on the Equal Rights Amendment. His reliance on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment indicates his lack of understanding of the need for an ERA. The courst have not categorically declared women, like blacks, to be a suspect classification which would mandate the cours's close scrutiny of sex based siscrimination laws. Accordingly some claims of sex based discrimination, relying on 14th Amendment protection, have been lost before the Supreme Court. These cases would most likely be turned around by the enactment of ERA. Judge Stevens' indifference to the most significant piece of legislation concerning women today is an affront to the women of this country. We urge the committee to examine him at great lenth to determine if he has sufficient sensitivity to the legal needs of the 53 percent of this country's population who are women. Audrey Rowe Colom Chairwoman, National Woman's Political Caucus 12