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Women's Rights Appointments Domestic Policy Rogue Nation Home

Appointments


Department of Justice
Food and Drug Administration
National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women
Department of Agriculture
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of the Interior
Council of Economic Advisors
Department of Energy
Judicial Nominees

Department of Justice

Attorney General: John Ashcroft
Ashcroft is a staunch opponent of women's rights and civil rights. Since September 11, he has moved aggressively to curtail civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. For a detailed look at Ashcroft's record, see the Ashcroft Report.
Food and Drug Administration
Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee: W. David Hager
The Bush administration has signaled it intends to appoint W. David Hager, a controversial doctor who has authored books about Christ's abilities to heal women, to the Food and Drug Administration's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee, which plays an important role in shaping women's health policy, is slated to review hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women—an issue that some suspect conservatives want to hijack in order to cast doubt on the safety of birth-control pills. Hager, who assisted the Christian Medical Association with a "citizen's petition" asking the FDA to override the ruling that approved RU-486, has written that it is "'dangerous' to compartmentalize life into 'categories of Christian truth and secular truth'." It was also reported that Hager will not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.
Source: The New York Times, "Tribulation Worketh Patience," Maureen Dowd, Oct. 9, 2002; "Jesus and the FDA," Karen Tumulty, Oct. 14, 2002
See also: NOW to Bush Administration: Don't Mix Religion and Medicine at the FDA

National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women
Committee Member: Nancy Pfotenhauer
Independent Women's Forum (IWF) President Nancy Pfotenhauer was invited to join the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, which advises the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services in implementing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Pfotenhauer and the IWF are vocal opponents of VAWA. The IWF has testified in congress against VAWA and supported a lawsuit challenging the act. Materials on IWF's site also claim, for example, that "the battered women's movement has outlived its useful beginnings."
Source: The Washington Post, "Ashcroft Appointments Assailed; Domestic Violence Law's Foes Tapped for Oversight Panel," Dana Milbank, Sept. 5, 2002
Department of Agriculture
Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development: Thomas Dorr
Bush appointed Thomas Dorr to serve as the under secretary of agriculture for rural development during the Senate recess, to avoid a confirmation battle. Some members of Congress opposed this nomination, saying that Dorr had eluded federal limits on farm subsidies and made racially insensitive remarks. Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agricultural Committee, said that Dorr "does not meet the standard set by President Bush when he signed a new law on corporate responsibility last week." He cited that Dorr, as the chief executive of a corporation, filed inaccurate information with the Agriculture Department.
Source: The New York Times, "Bush, With Senate Absent, Fills a Top Agriculture Post," Robert Pear, Aug. 7, 2002
Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tommy Thompson
This Cabinet position implements a host of legislation affecting women, including welfare, child support and domestic violence policy. As governor of Wisconsin, Thompson opposed welfare programs allowing poor parents to get a college education, saying he didn't want welfare to be a "college scholarship program" for poor people. So much for the Bush administration's promise of "compassionate conservatism."
Source: Women's Enews

Assistant Secretary for Family Support: Wade Horn
Horn directly oversees the nation's welfare programs. He is a fellow of the ultra-conservative Hudson Institute and the founder of The National Fatherhood Institute. During his confirmation hearings he backed away from prior statements that poor kids whose parents aren't married should be kept at the back of the line for Head Start and other benefits. Once in office, however, he reverted to type, pursuing marriage promotion schemes that once again make second-class citizens of poor kids—this time by offering special counseling and other services to welfare recipients who agree to get married.
Department of the Interior
Secretary of Interior: Gale Norton
Norton, a land development advocate and former lawyer at Mountain States Legal Foundation (the anti-environmental law firm founded by former Interior Secretary James Watt), was strongly opposed by environmental groups and others largely because of her support for drilling in Alaska's delicate Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a way to explore for oil and gas.
Sources: Natural Resources Defense Council, ABCNews.com and The Wilderness Society
Council of Economic Advisors

Director of the Federal Housing Finance Board: Diana Furchtgott-Roth
A former economic adviser under the Reagan administration, Furchtgott-Roth is a fellow of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. As the author and co-author of several books, Furchtgott-Roth discounts the wage gap and the glass ceiling and claims that women are no longer affected by discrimination in the workplace.
Source: Citizens for Legitimate Government
Department of Energy

Secretary of Energy: Spencer Abraham
As a senator from Michigan from 1995 to 2001, Abraham introduced legislation to abolish the Department of Energy. After Abraham lost his re-election, Bush appointed him to run the Department of Energy.
Source: PIRG
Judicial Nominees

Unlike executive branch appointees who serve only during a president's term, federal judges have life-time tenure. George W. Bush has made clear his intent to stack our courts with judges bent on undoing decades of progress for women's rights, civil rights, civil liberties, the environment and more. For details on some of the worst of the right-wing extremists Bush has nominated for lifetime judgeships, see the Judicial Nominees section of NOW's website.
See Also: White House List of All Appointees and Nominations

Updated Oct. 16, 2002

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