Advocacy Organizations Call on Senate to Halt Judicial Confirmations Process

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Zack Ford

Trump’s impeachment, Senators must take seriously the gravity of the upcoming

Washington, D.C.— A coalition of 29 advocacy organizations today sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, calling on them to halt the confirmation process for Donald Trump’s federal judicial nominees now that the president has been impeached and faces a trial in the Senate. Organizations signing the letter include People For the American Way, National Women’s Law Center, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Alliance for Justice, NAACP, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The full letter can be seen here.

The letter follows the Senate’s return this week
and intention to resume processing judicial nominations, thereby signaling the
Senate leadership’s failure to take seriously the gravity of the
impeachment process and the upcoming Senate trial.  The letter
states:  “The Articles of Impeachment recently approved by the House
of Representatives state that the president of the United States has abused the
powers of his office by soliciting a foreign government to interfere with the
2020 elections and has obstructed Congress’ efforts to investigate the
matter…While any president is under the cloud of impeachment for such high
crimes and misdemeanors, the Senate and the Judiciary Committee must put a hold
on processing that president’s nominees for lifetime positions in the federal

“It is ludicrous, and frankly offensive, to
suggest that a president who has been impeached because of his contempt
for our elections and for the rule of law should continue to have his
nominations to the federal bench move ahead as if all were well,” said PFAW
Executive Vice President for Policy and Program Marge Baker. “Senators
McConnell and Graham need to show that they grasp this central fact.
 These are not normal times or normal circumstances, and the GOP
leadership should be hitting pause – under such grave circumstances – on
rubber-stamping this president’s lifetime appointments to the federal

“We cannot allow a president who demanded foreign interference in our
elections and obstructed Congress to pack our courts with lifetime appointees,”
said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and
Human Rights.  “Senate leaders must check the power of other branches of
government and refuse to advance any additional lifetime judicial nominations
while Trump remains under the cloud of impeachment. Doing less would amount to
a grave dereliction of Constitutional duty.” 

“Determining whether the
president committed high crimes and misdemeanors should be the only issue the
Senate addresses at this time. It’s a grave matter of national importance,”
said Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice.

“It’s unacceptable for
President Trump – or any president going through the impeachment process for
betraying the American people – to appoint federal judges. The Senate must take
its role seriously and focus on a full and fair trial. In these troubling
times, moving forward with seating judges for lifetime roles could shake the
core of our democracy,” said National Women’s Law Center President and CEO
Fatima Goss Graves.   

“Confidence in our courts is critical to a functioning and fair judicial
system. That is why the Senate must not move forward to consider nominees to
the federal bench advanced by this President, who has been impeached by the
House of Representatives for high crimes and misdemeanors, until the
completion of his Senate trial. No nominations should move forward during
this period,” said NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn

“Our nation is in the middle of a constitutional
crisis. The president of the United States has been impeached by the House of
Representatives and could be removed from office by the Senate for crimes
against the foundations of our democracy. Now is not the time to be considering
lifetime appointments to our third branch of government. Adding more judges to
the courts can and must wait,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick

A full list of signatories is below: 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
People For The American Way, Fair Courts Task Force Co-Chair
National Women’s Law Center, Fair Courts Task Force Co-Chair
African American Ministers in Action
Alliance for Justice
American Constitution Society
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Center for American Progress
Center for Popular Democracy Action
Common Cause
Demand Justice
Equality California
Human Rights Campaign
Jobs With Justice
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Action Network
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Partnership for Women & Families
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Service Employees International Union
Sierra Club
Silver State Equality – Nevada
Transformative Justice Coalition