D. Michael Fisher
Circuit Court Nominee Profile
D. Michael Fisher opposes fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, and the separation of religion and state. Fisher has even been found guilty of violating two state employees' civil rights, and is staunchly anti-choice. NCJW opposed Fisher's confirmation to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
On December 9, the Senate voted by unanimous consent (without a roll call) to confirm D. Michael Fisher to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
On November 6, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted (12 in favor, 7 voted present) to approve Fisher's nomination. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on this nomination on October 15. NCJW opposes Fisher's confirmation.
October 15, 2003
NCJW Opposes Confirmation of D. Michael Fisher to 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
Fisher is virulently anti-choice. His views have been enunciated in various candidate questionnaires, public pronouncements, and legislative initiatives. The list of anti-choice actions he has taken while serving in various official positions in the state of Pennsylvania is very long.
As a state representative, Fisher voted for the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, which required anti-abortion counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and spousal notification for women seeking abortions, as well as reporting requirements for abortion providers.
As state Attorney General, he joined an amicus brief in Stenberg v. Carhart in favor of the Nebraska ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion." The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court because it failed to include an exception to preserve the health of the woman, imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to choose, and was so broad and vague that it could bar constitutionally protected abortion procedures performed before viability.
Fisher also supported laws that would punish those assisting minor women to cross state lines to obtain a legal abortion, testifying in favor of the Child Custody Protection Act before the US Senate Judiciary Committee and personally arguing as state Attorney General against abortion rights claims made to defend a woman who was prosecuted after she accompanied a teenaged girl across state lines to obtain an abortion.
Fisher also opposes longstanding bars against state support of religion. He defends posting the Ten Commandments in public schools, and favors publicly funded school vouchers for sectarian schools.
Of immediate concern, in February 2003, Fisher was found to have deprived two employees under his supervision of their civil rights and was ordered by a federal district court jury to pay them more than $220,000 in actual and punitive damages. The case will likely headed to the same circuit court of appeals to which Fisher has been nominated.
Alliance for Justice
Americans for Democratic Action
Americans United for Separation of Church And State
Committee for Judicial Independence
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
Now Legal Defense and Education Fund
People For the American Way
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Sexuality Information and Education Council of The United States
Voters for Choice Action Fund