November 2, 2017 / Press Releases

NARAL Statement on Latest Anti-Choice Judicial Nominees Steve Grasz and Mark Norris


November 2, 2017

NARAL Pro-Choice America Senior Vice President Sasha Bruce issued the following statement after the Senate Judiciary committee’s hearing on anti-choice judicial nominees Steve Grasz and Mark Norris:

“Grasz and Norris’ clear and consistent anti-choice records should concern anyone who believes in an independent judiciary and constitutional rights for all Americans. They are exactly the kind of nominees the anti-choice movement hopes will shape our country for generations, and the latest examples of Donald Trump’s effort to stack federal courts with zealots who will rule against women and families for decades to come.

“Allowing Trump to stack the courts with lifetime appointments while his associates are under federal indictment by the Justice Department for conspiring against our nation defies common sense. Until the federal investigation is over the Senate must stop being complicit, reject Norris and Grasz, and halt all action on Trump’s judicial nominees.”

Grasz and Norris’ long, anti-choice record should concern all Americans. Read more about their alarming records below:

Steve Grasz:

  • The American Bar Association rated Grasz as ‘not qualified’ to be a federal judge, largely due to his biased, extremist views.
  • He once argued that abortion “borders on infanticide.”1
  • Throughout his career, Grasz has also both personally and professionally advocated on behalf of people seeking to block patients’ access to abortion facilities and harass abortion providers.23
  • Grasz once argued before a court that abortion providers must prove they have “a constitutional right to kill a partially born human being.”4
  • As Nebraska’s deputy attorney general, Grasz advised state legislators on how to place restrictions on funding to healthcare organizations that provide abortion services.5

Mark Norris:

  • Norris has repeatedly voted for attacks on reproductive freedom, including a medically unnecessary abortion ban, burdensome restrictions on providers, and personhood bills.6
  • Mark Norris has been endorsed by the Tennessee Right to Life, and during his time in Tennessee’s state legislature, Norris co-sponsored a resolution to amend Tennessee’s constitution to ensure that nothing protects the right to abortion.7
  • Norris voted for a resolution urging Congress to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage policy, which made healthcare available to 62.4 million women. The resolution called the birth control coverage a “direct assault on people of faith and the very Constitution itself.”8
1 Don Walton, Abortion procedure criticized, State’s witness says method unsafe to mom, Lincoln Journal Star (July 19, 1997).
Office of the Attorney General, Opinion No. 93015: LB790, A proposal to restrict public issue picketing and prohibit “interference” with medical facilities, personnel, and patients (Mar. 15, 1993), 1993 WL 143406.
3 Steve Grasz, Protecting freedom of speech, LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR (Oct. 1, 1998).
4 Don Walton, Abortion procedure criticized, State’s witness says method unsafe to mom, Lincoln Journal Star (July 19, 1997).
5 Office of the Attorney General, Opinion No. 98021: Constitutionality of Amendment Prohibiting Use of Public Trust Funds to Award Grants to Entities Providing Abortion-Related Services (Mar. 30, 1998), 1998 WL 141399.
6 S.B.1180, 110th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 2017); H.B.3808, 107th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 2012); S.B.1280, 109th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 2015); S.B. 2568, 109th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 2015); H.B.3517, 107th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 2012); S.633, 107thGen. Assem. (Tn. 2011)
7 S.J.R. 127, 107th Leg., (Tn. 2011)
8 H.J.R.667, 107th Gen. Assem. (Tn. 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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