by Steven Ertelt
January 30, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon hold a hearing on the confirmation of Wyoming pro-life advocate Richard Honaker to be a federal district court judge. Honaker, an attorney and former state legislator, received an appointment by President Bush to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.
Honaker is a well-respected attorney who has practiced in Wyoming for over 30 years and served as a member of the Wyoming State House.
Pro-abortion groups have fiercely opposed Honaker’s nomination because of his efforts to prohibit abortions in Wyoming.
He is known in pro-life circles for proposing the Human Life Protection Act in the state legislature in 1991 and was behind the subsequent state ballot vote in 1994. Voters defeated the ballot measure that year.
Honaker would fill the seat vacated by U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer, who is retiring and taking on senior status. A hearing on his nomination is expected on February 12.
The leaders of NARAL issued a statement LifeNews.com obtained saying they will redouble their efforts to stop Honaker from getting a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.
Sharon Breitweiser, executive director of NARAL’s Wyoming affiliate, bashed the nomination, saying "Richard Honaker has a long history of working to end legal abortion."
She said she is "counting on senators to scrutinize Honaker’s previous statements and actions carefully" and that "his deplorable record against women’s freedom and privacy speaks for itself."
Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL, had more harsh words.
"It is past time for the Senate to tell Bush, ‘Enough is enough,’" she said. "The Senate shouldn’t continue to let Bush pacify his far-right base by rewarding a long-time anti-choice activist like Honaker with lifetime employment as a federal judge."
Sens. Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi, both Republicans from Wyoming, both previously said they support Honaker’s nomination and will urge their colleagues in the Senate to support him because he would be a judge who wouldn’t legislate from the bench.
Thomas submitted Honaker’s name to the president in January 2007 and Bush appointed him after a thorough review. Thomas has since passed away and been replaced by pro-life Sen. John Barrasso, a physician from Casper.
Right to Life of Wyoming President Steven Ertelt said his group supports the Honaker nomination as well and for the same reasons.
"The nomination of Richard Honaker is consistent with the kind of judges President Bush has appointed the to federal courts in the past. He’s someone who will uphold the rule of law and not engage in political advocacy from the bench," Ertelt said.
"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," Ertelt added.
Ertelt said his group would ask its 11,000 statewide supporters to call Barrasso and Enzi and thank them for supporting the Honaker nomination.
ACTION: Contact your senator and urge support for Richard Honaker’s nomination by calling 202-224-3121 or going to https://www.senate.gov