WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaking late Friday morning at a conference hosted by the conservative Federalist Society, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) strongly suggested that, if he’s elected president, he will appoint the author of a recent opinion restricting women’s access to birth control to the Supreme Court of the United States. After lavishing praise on Judge Diane Sykes, who was in the audience during his speech, Walker said that “[i]f I ever get the chance to appoint her to something in the future, I’d be inclined to do that as well.” Walker is widely excepted to run for president in 2016.
Judge Sykes, a conservative member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, authored an opinion last week that SCOTUSBlog’s Lyle Denniston described as “the broadest ruling so far by a federal appeals court barring enforcement of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law.” Three federal appeals courts have held that religious employers may deny birth control coverage to their employees, while two others have ruled to the contrary. The judges in these cases have voted largely, although not entirely, along party lines.
Sykes is a prominent member of the Federalist Society who interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas during the Society’s black tie dinner on Thursday night.