National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2017, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today announced its opposition to President Trump’s nomination of L. Steven Grasz to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“Steven Grasz has dedicated his career to thwarting the rights of women and LGBTQ individuals. He lacks experience as a judge, but he has quite a bit of experience opposing abortions rights and marriage equality, both as Nebraska’s deputy attorney general and in private practice. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) opposes his confirmation.
“As deputy attorney general, Grasz boasted that his state was the first to challenge the federal appeals court ruling against Nebraska’s ban of so-called ‘partial-birth abortions,’ correctly referred to as late-term abortions, asserting that ‘I don’t think any civilized society would allow such a barbaric procedure.’ Grasz was counsel of record for Nebraska when the case (Stenberg v. Carhart) reached the Supreme Court, where the ban was subsequently ruled unconstitutional.
“Grasz also argued to uphold the state’s law requiring parental notification or court approval before minors could obtain abortions, and he wrote a brief on behalf of the state intervening in support of Vermont’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. The Vermont Supreme Court later held that bar on such marriages violated that state’s constitution.
“Grasz has a partisan background that undermines faith that he would serve impartially as a federal appeals court judge. He was general counsel for the Nebraska Republican Party (2007-13) and is now treasurer and legal counsel for the Pete Ricketts for Governor campaign (2013-present). He serves as expert for the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, and has publicly criticized Nebraska’s nonpartisan selection of state judges, a widely respected process that produces mainstream, independent candidates.
“NCJW believes that Steve Grasz lacks the requisite commitment to basic constitutional rights, including the right to obtain an abortion, to serve as a federal judge. We call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject his nomination.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.