AFJ Condemns Abhorrent Questioning at Judicial Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2023 – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to advance five nominees to the federal district courts. During that hearing, however, the Republican members of the committee zeroed in on U.S. Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, with questions that were incredibly disrespectful and offensive.
Several senators, including Lindsey Graham and John Kennedy, were a bit flummoxed by guidance Kasubhai had issued for his courtroom to ensure that all parties’ pronouns and honorifics were respected. Sens. John Cornyn and Mike Lee were concerned that Kasubhai had spoken openly about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the justice system and throughout society. Kennedy, in fact, went as far as to accuse the nominee of being “obsessed with race and sexuality.”
From there it got worse, as Sen. Marsha Blackburn opened her questioning by suggesting Kasubhai has “an affinity for Marxism” and forced him to answer if he was a Marxist and to denounce Marxism. Despite his doing so, Sen. Ted Cruz nevertheless followed up by again trying to ascertain if the magistrate judge before him supported Marxism.
Jake Faleschini, Justice Program Director at Alliance for Justice, issued the following statement:
“Those who have been nominated to serve on our federal courts deserve so much better than the blatant disrespect that played out in today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Judge Kasubhai is a consummate professional who deftly deflected the attacks, defended his courtroom practices, and demonstrated exactly why he will make a fantastic judge. All that the Republican senators did today is broadcast their own disdain for diversity and any effort to ensure all people have equal access to justice. Alliance for Justice is proud to support Judge Kasubhai and hopes that the Senate will vote quickly to confirm him.”