WASHINGTON — A Georgetown law professor and former Department of Justice employee that was nominated to what is considered the second most powerful circuit court in America is stirring controversy over her past articles and speeches, which some perceive as presenting radical abortion and feminist views.
Nina Pillard, 52, (pictured left of Obama) was placed under strict scrutiny on Wednesday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has alleged that Barack Obama might be trying to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberal judges.
“I have concerns about your nomination,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told the nominee. “The primary source we have are your academic writings, and those writings to me suggest that your views may well be considerably out of the mainstream.”
“Do you believe pro-life protesters… are fairly analogous to Ku Klux Klan members who lynched African-Americans simply because of their race?” grilled Senator Mike Lee of Utah, pointing to Pillard’s arguments in a past abortion case. “Is this a fair comparison?”
“Not at all, not at all,” she replied.
“Any personal views I might have would be irrelevant to my serving as a judge,” she told Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa.
However, other Christian organizations are also expressing concern with Pillard’s writings, in which she stated that abortion is needed to “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” She also took aim at those who oppose contraception insurance coverage, noting that they “reinforce broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”
“A mother of two, Nina wrote a 2011 paper, ‘Against the New Maternalism,’ which [by quoting Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist] argues that by celebrating motherhood, society is creating a ‘self-fulfilling cycle of discrimination,'” explained Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in a recent article about the nominee. “Those ideas bleed into Pillard’s extreme pro-abortion views, which suggest that technology is somehow manipulating Americans to consider the personhood of the unborn.”
“In one of her most jaw-dropping statements, the president’s nominee even criticizes the ultrasound,” he continued. “She believes it manufactures ‘deceptive images of fetus-as-autonomous-being that the anti-choice movement has popularized since the advent of amniocentesis.'”
Concerns have also been expressed over Pillard’s opposition to abstinence education.
“Egalitarian sex education… should reaffirm the value of sexual pleasure for females as well as males,” she wrote. “Girls and women disproportionately are taught to be in denial about their own sexual urges, and yet rely inappropriately on their sex appeal. The denial occurs both ways: Women are expected to deny the presence of their sexual desire (to guard chastity), and to deny its absence (to be sexually responsive to men). In a world in which such denial is the norm, women will lack the kind of agency and responsibility needed to meet their own desires for pleasure, well-being, support and meaning in their lives.”
Therefore, some speculate that a filibuster might be on the horizon, especially in regard to Pillard’s nomination. Some Republican senators question whether Pillard is even needed.
“An objective review of the caseloads reveals that the D.C. circuit is very low,” Grassley stated, according to reports. “And it raises serious doubts regarding whether we need more than eight active judges on that court. There is no question in my mind that the statistics make clear that the D.C. circuit does not need any additional judges.”
Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins were also nominated to the court last by Obama last month.