International Human Rights and the United States – Concluding Observations from the UN

Federal Judiciary Plans to Hire Staff, Public Defenders

By Todd Ruger, Legal Times

Judge Julia Gibbons

The federal courts plan to backfill many of the staff and public defender positions lost during last year’s steep budget cuts, top judiciary officials told House lawmakers today on Capitol Hill.

The spending bill that Congress passed for fiscal year 2014 will allow the courts to reverse most of the emergency measures put in place last year because of nearly $350 million in cuts to the courts as part of sequestration, said Judge Julia Gibbons, chairwoman of the budget committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference.

The courts will be able to fill some of the more than 3,200 staff lost in recent years in clerks’ offices and probation and pretrial services offices, Gibbons told members of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee. The judiciary plans to fill 400 staff positions lost in defender organizations, said Gibbons, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Continue reading here.  Photo of Judge Julia Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, courtesy of Legal Times, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Center for Reproductive Rights Issues Press Release on the Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations of the United States

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UN Human Rights Committee: U.S. Should Ensure Health Coverage for Immigrant Women

By: Center for Reproductive Rights, 3/27/14

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is urging the United States to address the critical health care coverage needs for immigrant women and families. The Committee stated that the exclusion of millions of undocumented immigrants from health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the five-year waiting period for lawfully present immigrants to access Medicaid and other public insurance programs, pose barriers to health care access—including reproductive health care—that violate the human rights of millions of immigrants and their families.

The UN committee’s action was issued today in its Concluding Observations on the United States following its periodic review of U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The Committee called on the U.S. to review its policies that violate numerous rights under the Covenant, including the right to be free from torture and ill treatment, the right to liberty and security, the rights to privacy and protection of the family, and the right to equal protection of the laws. According to the Committee, the U.S. should “facilitate access of undocumented immigrants and immigrants residing lawfully in the U.S. for less than five years and their families to adequate health care, including reproductive health care services.”

Continue reading here.