Hearing on Collins and Lee Should Not Have Happened

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2019 – After today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on two Ninth Circuit nominees from California, which was held over the objections of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, AFJ Legal Director Daniel Goldberg released the following statement:

“This hearing should not have happened. Ranking Member Feinstein and Senator Harris have strongly objected to the nominations of both Kenneth Lee and Daniel Collins. Lee’s writings denigrating the struggle for racial justice, espousing harmful stereotypes about sexual violence, and expressing offensive views about the LGBTQ community should be disqualifying on their own. But Lee has also repeatedly failed to disclose his inflammatory writings, including to his home-state senators’ judicial selection committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is disappointing Republicans have so debased the Senate’s advice and consent process that they ignored Senator Feinstein’s and Senator Harris’s calls for Lee’s nomination to be withdrawn. Lee’s fellow Ninth Circuit nominee, Daniel Collins, has fought to undermine civil liberties, weaken women’s rights, and criticized important Supreme Court decisions necessary for a just criminal justice system. He has carved out a name for himself as a go-to lawyer for a host of entities accused of discrimination, egregious human rights violations, and endangering the health and safety of persons in the U.S. and abroad. The Ninth Circuit has continually challenged President Trump’s most egregious acts of overreach, and it is clear that Lee and Collins were nominated as part of his quest to reshape the Ninth Circuit to erode that court’s historic commitment to our Constitution and proper enforcement of our most critical legal protections.”