Friday, August 22, 2014

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Senate Hearing for Professor Pillard Was Georgetown Law Reunion

GeorgetownIt was a Georgetown Law School reunion of abortion-friendly alumni at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing Wednesday on Nina Pillard’s controversial nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court.

Not only is Pillard currently a law professor at the Jesuit institution in Washington, D.C., but three of the seven Democrats on the committee deciding on her nomination are Georgetown Law graduates as well, according to Georgetown University Law School’s website.

Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy is a 1964 graduate of Georgetown Law, Senator Mazie Hirono graduated in 1978, and Senator Richard Durbin graduated in 1969. Each support abortion rights and the HHS mandate, which is relevant because much of the hearing focused on Pillard’s views on abortion, contraception and religious freedom, according to USA Today.

In a 2007 article that appeared in the Emory Law Journal titled, “Our Other Reproductive Choices: Equality in Sex Education, Contraceptive Access, and Work-Family Policy,” Pillard wrote that the right to abortion is necessary to help to “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.”

In that same piece she argued, “Antiabortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only enforce women's incubation of unwanted pregnancies, but also prescribe a ‘vision of the woman's role’ as mother and caretaker of children in a way that is at odds with equal protection.”

Concerning mandatory insurance coverage of contraception, Pillard called those opposing it to be guilty of “discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

Leahy noted his Georgetown connection to Pillard during the hearing, reportedly saying, “Professor Pillard has had a distinguished career as a practitioner, as an academic … she’s argued nine cases before the Supreme Court… spent her legal career in public service … and for the past 13 years, she’s worked as a professor at my alma mater, Georgetown University Law Center.”

In response to criticism of some of her touted views, Pillard told the panel, "Academics are paid to test boundaries. ”She said that as a judge she would be “a straight shooter.”

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