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May 31, 2024

Chairman Dick Durbin

711 Hart Senate Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Ranking Member Lindsey Graham

211 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Graham, and Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

We are writing in vehement opposition to the nomination of Judge Sarah Netburn for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Independent Women’s Voice is the leading national women’s organization dedicated to expanding support for common sense public policies among women, independents, millennials, and Gen Z. As such, we understand the danger that incarcerated women face when biological males are placed in their prisons.

Sadly, Judge Netburn acts like a cavalier misogynist and refuses to protect these women. Not only that, she recommended that a biological male convicted of rape and child molestation be transferred to a women’s federal prison, subjecting many women who have been victims of sexual abuse and assault to risk further. 

Increasingly, states have adopted policies that allow biological men who identify as women to enter women’s prisons. As told in our latest mini-documentaries series, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, women in prisons live in close quarters with little to no privacy. The multipart documentary series shines a light on incarcerated women who have been abandoned by a prison system that forces them to share their female-only prison spaces with biological men. Placing biological males, often convicted of violence against women, in such a situation is wrong, a violation of those women’s rights, and a direct threat to their health and wellbeing

Incarcerated women need and deserve female-only spaces. Democrats used to understand that and should still. We call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to protect female inmates and reject President Biden’s nomination of Judge Netburn.


Heather R. Higgins


Independent Women’s Voice