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November 28, 2017 / Press Releases

NARAL Statement on Confirmation of Anti-Choice Judicial Nominee Greg Katsas

November 28, 2017

After the Senate voted to confirm Greg Katsas to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, NARAL Pro-Choice America Senior Vice President Sasha Bruce issued the following statement:

“Greg Katsas is exactly the kind of far-right nominee that Donald Trump and the out-of-touch GOP want to shape our country for decades to come. Katsas has worked with the Trump administration to craft some of its most egregious policies, and this confirmation empowers him to use the federal bench as a vehicle to continue attacking our basic human rights.

“Enabling this administration to make lifetime appointments to the federal bench while it’s at the center of the Department of Justice’s investigation is wrong. The Senate should halt all action on appointments until the investigation is complete.”

Background on Greg Katsas’ record:

  • Katsas admitted to working with the White House in crafting its response to Robert Mueller’s investigation, and helped craft some of Trump’s most egregious policies such as the travel ban and ending DACA. In his confirmation hearing, Katsas also acknowledged his role working on the Trump administration’s roll back of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control rule, which allows employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees for virtually any reason.1
  • Katsas was a key litigator defending the anti-choice policies of the George W. Bush Administration before the Supreme Court and appellate courts. In 2002, Katsas defended a challenge to the “global gag” rule, which resulted in dramatic drops in funding to organizations worldwide that provide necessary and comprehensive family planning services.2
  • Katsas was part of the Bush Administration’s legal team defending the so-called “Partial-Birth” Abortion Ban, which banned a specific medical procedure for abortion. During oral arguments, Katsas argued that Congress, not physicians, could make the determination that “partial birth abortion is not safer than other forms of abortion” and that there was no need for an exception to preserve women’s health.
  • As a litigator at Jones Day, Katsas represented the plaintiffs in two of the major cases challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and NFIB v. Sebelius.34
  • At a panel sponsored by the Federalist Society at the Georgetown University Law Center, Katsas spoke in opposition to the ACA, noting that the birth-control refusal challenges were “really strong” and said that the failed origination-clause challenge “had constitutional merit.”5
  • The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List endorsed Katsas’ nomination when it was first announced, specifically noting his work arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also listed as an “expert” by the conservative Federalist Society.

1 Nominations Before the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Con. (2017) (statements of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and nominee Gregory Katsas).

2 Center for Reproductive Law and Policy v. Bush, 304 F.3d 183 (2nd Cir. 2002).

3 648 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 2011).

4 567 U.S. 519 (2012).

5 Jane Norman, “Fight Over the Health Care Law Spawns a Second Generation of Lawsuits,” CQ HealthBeat (Nov. 30, 2012).

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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