counter statistics

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Extremist Legislation Targets Judges

DFL Press Release:


ST. PAUL (5/8/06) – Today, the Minnesota Senate is considering its version of the Supplemental Finance Bill that the House passed last week. One provision of the House version sure to be offered in the Senate politicizes the judiciary and puts judges’ safety and security at risk. The provision prohibits Medicaid funding for a woman’s right to reproductive choice. It also modifies the law stating that minors can seek a waiver from parental-notification laws from a judge. The new provision would require courts to submit a public record of any such judicial authorization. The misnamed "Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life" (MCCL) has lobbied for the provision.

The public-assistance restriction has already been ruled unconstitutional by the Minnesota Supreme Court. This amendment would undoubtedly bring the matter back before the court.

"By denying women on public assistance their constitutional rights, MCCL is putting both the women and our judges at risk," Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez said. "Across the country, we've seen the lengths to which sick individuals will go to prevent women from exercising their right to privacy and reproductive freedom, or to punish judges who uphold the law.

"From murders, attempted murders, assaults, arson, vandalism, death threats, stalking and burglary, we've seen the lengths that the extremists on the anti-choice side of the debate will go to to restrict women's rights. This amendment lets them target judges as well. MCCL wants to undermine the Constitution by intimidating the judges whose job it is to protect individual rights.

"MCCL is putting a bull's eye on judges who would have the audacity to uphold the Constitution -- the very job that judges are supposed to do, the very job for which we need courts the most -- whenever the Constitution doesn't conform to MCCL's beliefs. If MCCL succeeds in trashing the constitutional rights of women on public assistance, whose rights will they try to intimidate judges into curtailing next?'

The piece of this legislation that deals with judges is appalling. MCCL alienates legislative supporters with their heavy handed tactics.