June 4, 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,

I am writing to express my opposition to the nomination of Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. As an integral member of Independent Women’s Forum’s Storytelling program and co-producer of the mini-documentary series “Cruel & Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Women’s Prisons,” I am disappointed by President Biden’s decision to nominate someone well-known for her casual disregard of the suffering of women and children.

Judge Netburn’s decision to house a child rapist in a women’s facility aligns with California’s Senate Bill 132, which has stripped incarcerated women of their basic right to a safe, female-only environment. The reality of what is going on within California’s Department of Corrections is nothing short of chilling. Incarcerated women, defenseless and without a voice, are being emotionally and sexually manipulated, harassed, and abused by transgender-identifying male inmates who have been allowed access to their previously single-sex facility. 

This is not a women’s issue. In fact, one of our featured storytellers in the “Cruel & Unusual Punishment” series, veteran Hector Bravo, left his lucrative career as a correctional lieutenant within CDCR because he was so appalled by the consequence-free abuse of women within the prison system. He told IWF that male inmates “were like kids in a candy store” when they were told that they would now be allowed to self-identify as women and transfer to women’s facilities.

Far from being compassionate or progressive, Judge Netburn threatens untold numbers of incarcerated women with sexual, physical, and emotional abuse at the hands of male criminals. Therefore, I strongly urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject President Biden’s nomination of Judge Netburn. 


Andrea Mew

Storytelling Manager

Independent Women’s Forum