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 ConyersFormer impeachment managers clash over surveillance bill VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems release first transcripts from impeachment probe witnesses 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 LofgrenCoronavirus anxiety spreads across Capitol Hill Congress tiptoes toward remote voting House passes key surveillance bill with deadline looming 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 PelosiSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Attacking the Affordable Care Act in the time of COVID-19 DC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill 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 PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Obstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch MORE (D-N.J.) and Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooBottom line Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter dismantle Russian interference campaign targeting African Americans | YouTube to allow ads on coronavirus videos | Trump signs law banning federal funds for Huawei equipment House Democrats introduce bills to penalize census misinformation 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