“The Horrifying Honaker Nomination”

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Guest (re)post by Sharon Breitweiser, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wyoming:

Talk about a blast from the past… President Bush is at it again, this time in my own backyard. I swear, nothing this administration does surprises me anymore, yet somehow I was still shocked when I heard the latest news.

It turns out that earlier this week, with the blessing of anti-choice Sens. Craig Thomas (R-WY) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), President Bush nominated Rock Springs lawyer Richard Honaker for a federal judgeship in Wyoming.

And, boy, do I know Richard Honaker…

In my boxes of files from past legislative sessions, elections, and legal battles, I found example after example of Honaker’s blatant anti-choice bias. Yet he seems to consider his anti-choice record to be mere youthful exuberance. The man who once led an effort to outlaw abortion in Wyoming is now trying to downplay his own radical agenda.”As a state legislator,”he now says,”I took positions on a lot of legislative issues and public policy issues, and one of them was on the abortion issue. That was my role at that time…But my role as a judge would be far different.”In other words: Don’t worry your pretty little head, I’m going to change my anti-choice ways. Riiiight.

So, when an Associated Press reporter called for a quote, I didn’t know where to start! Should I start with the list of anti-choice legislation he championed in the state legislature – such as the”Human Life Protection Act,”a bill he authored that would have outlawed almost all abortion? Maybe I should highlight the major role Americans United for Life played in developing his”Human Life Protection Act?”The group even paid for his trip to Chicago, where they advised him on how to advance this legislation! Or maybe it would be better to focus on his role with the”Unseen Hands of Prayer Circle PAC”– the group that was formed to try to push an abortion ban through the ballot process after it failed in the legislature? Honaker even represented the extreme anti-choice group before the State Supreme Court and succeeded in getting the measure on the 1994 statewide ballot – but fortunately, Wyoming voters overwhelmingly rejected the Honaker abortion ban by a 61-39 percent margin.Of all the Americans qualified to sit on the federal bench, this is whom George Bush picks?!?!?Honaker’s nomination now goes to the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee – so we’re watching closely to see what happens next. But it just goes to show: Despite the electoral gains we made last November, President Bush can still nominate whomever he wants to these crucial judgeships – and, if confirmed, they serve lifetime appointments!

Not surprisingly, the leader of Wyoming Right to Life, Steven Ertelt, is giving Bush a gold medal for the Honaker nomination, as evidenced by this statement:”Because of his pro-life views and past efforts to protect human life, it’s obvious that Richard Honaker joins with attorneys on both side of the abortion debate who understand that Roe v. Wade was an example of unadulterated judicial activism and that the role of the courts to is interpret the law — not make it up as you go.”

So, Richard Honaker receives kudos from two extreme anti-choice senators and a radical anti-choice group, and there are countless documents exposing his leadership in efforts to outlaw abortion. Nope – no anti-choice bias here!

Originally posted here at Bush v. Choice.

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