Abortion-rights group endorses Nadler in race to replace Conyers on Judiciary

Abortion-rights group endorses Nadler in race to replace Conyers on Judiciary
© The Hill
A top abortion-rights group is throwing its weight behind Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to replace former Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersPortland activist stages ‘reparations happy hour’ Conyers III won't appear on primary ballot in race to replace his father Conyers's son in danger of missing ballot in Michigan MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) as the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
 
Conyers, after more than five decades on Capitol Hill, resigned on Tuesday in the midst of allegations that he’d sexually harassed former aides, sparking a competitive contest between Nadler and Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenHillicon Valley: House Dems release Russia-linked Facebook ads | Bill would block feds from mandating encryption 'back doors' | AT&T hired Cohen for advice on Time Warner merger | FCC hands down record robocall fine | White House launches AI panel Lawmakers move to block government from ordering digital ‘back doors’ Dems withhold support for immigration petition MORE (D-Calif.) to fill his seat as ranking member of the Judiciary panel.  
 
NARAL Pro-Choice America sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Madeleine Albright slams Trump over immigration MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday making its case that, on issues of reproductive health, Nadler’s track record makes him the best pick. The group cited his aggressive work fighting abortion restrictions, including a 20-week abortion ban that passed the House in October, and his past sponsorship of the Freedom of Choice Act, which aimed to solidify women’s access to abortions.
 
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“For the entirety of his time in Congress, Rep. Nadler has worked tirelessly on behalf of women and families and has been a true leader in protecting women’s constitutional right to reproductive freedom,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue wrote to Pelosi.
 
“In addition, Rep. Nadler has an incredible depth of knowledge, a true commitment to progressive values, and is a fearless leader—standing strong in the face of attempts to erode our constitutional rights.”
 
NARAL made no mention of Lofgren, who also has a long and consistent record of voting to protect abortion rights. Indeed, the contest is notable for pitting two popular House veterans — both from powerful states and boasting long histories championing liberal causes — against one another, foreshadowing a vote that’s likely to hinge largely on personalities and questions of seniority.
 
Nadler is the higher-ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, a powerful panel that holds jurisdiction over such consequential issues as immigration, law enforcement and impeachment. But a younger crop of up-and-coming Democrats, eager to rise through the ranks, has placed less of a premium on seniority than the longer-serving lawmakers in the caucus.
 
Pelosi, for her part, has a long history supporting the seniority system, with some notable exceptions, including the 2014 contest between Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for certain opioid, cocaine treatment This week: House GOP caught in immigration limbo Dem lawmakers make surprise visit to ICE detention center MORE (D-N.J.) and Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooHillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant Overnight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks Lawmakers raise alarm over Trump's move to help Chinese tech giant ZTE MORE (D-Calif.) for the top Democratic spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
 
Pelosi has not taken sides in the Nadler-Lofgren race, and a Democratic aide familiar with the contest said there's a sense among many within the caucus that they want to avoid the type of drag-out, public fight — complete with outside interests weighing in — that's accompanied similar votes in the past.
 
House Democrats are expected to vote on the Judiciary contest during the week of Dec. 18