Sally Jewell Nominated for Secretary of the Interior
Yesterday, President Obama announced his nomination of Sally Jewell as the Secretary of the Interior. Jewell is the first woman nominated for an open position on the Cabinet in President Obama's second term.
Jewell is currently the chief executive officer for Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI) which is devoted to outdoor equipment and apparel. She worked with the Administration on the "America's Great Outdoors Initiative" and assisted the National Park Service as a commissioner on the "National Parks Second Century Commission." In 2009, she was the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award for Environment Conservation presented by the Audubon Society. Environmental rights organizations such as the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club have endorsed her nomination. Prior to her position at REI, Jewell was a banking executive and spent three years with Mobil Oil immediately after college.
If confirmed, Jewell would be the second woman to hold the position of Secretary of the Interior in the history of the United States. The Department of Interior is charged with protecting the nation's public lands and managing natural resources on federal lands.
Media Resources: Businessweek 2/6/2013; The Nature Conservancy Press Release 2/6/2013; Reuters 2/6/2013; Sierra Club Press Release 2/6/2013; USA Today 2/6/2013
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8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
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