CBS News: A GOP-controlled Senate could grind Biden’s judicial nominations to a halt
This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on April 7, 2022.
Rakim Brooks, president of the Alliance for Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy organization, said he believes the landscape described by Coons, in which a Supreme Court nominee can only be confirmed if the Senate and White House are controlled by the same party, is “where we’re going in the future.”
“It’s a testament to where we are,” he told CBS News. “My hope would be we could get to a place where everyone recognizes there are good judges, and good judges who deserve to sit on the Supreme Court, but we’re far from that.”
Brooks predicted the partisanship that has infected Supreme Court confirmations will spill over to lower court nominations put forth by Mr. Biden, too, if Republicans take over the Senate.
“We’re facing a justice crisis,” Brooks said. “Fundamentally, we’re talking about the administration of justice in the country and whether or not people get fair hearings for their grievances. This cheap partisanship is destructive of the justice that the American people expect and deserve from what’s supposed to be the most vaunted legal system in the world.”
Mr. Biden ended his first year in office with the most judges confirmed since President Ronald Reagan, and the Judiciary Committee expects to maintain its same pace of considering the president’s judicial nominees once the Senate returns from a two-week recess at the end of April, with hearings every other week and between five and six nominees at each proceeding.
If consideration of Mr. Biden’s judicial nominations were to come to a halt or slow if Republicans take control of the Senate, Brooks said the effects would “almost certainly” be acutely felt at the district court level.
“District courts are where justice starts in this country,” he said. “This partisanship and its treatment of the process for political gain, one way or the other, leads us to a place where we’re not doing what we need to be doing just to have a fair justice system.”