WASHINGTON, DC, April 3, 2020 – President Trump announced this morning that he is nominating U.S. District Judge Justin Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Walker’s investiture took place just three weeks ago, where he was fist-bumping Mitch McConnell and Justice Brett Kavanaugh as much of the country was already beginning to engage in social distancing to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Walker is fiercely opposed to the Affordable Care Act, having praised Kavanaugh, his former boss, for having written the “roadmap” for judges to overturn it. Trump, who promised an anti-ACA litmus test for his judges, similarly nominated another anti-health care judge, Cory Wilson, to the Fifth Circuit earlier this week.
Walker also has an extreme record on executive power, and on the DC Circuit, he would be poised alongside Neomi Rao and other Trump appointees to protect the Trump administration from congressional oversight. That is particularly alarming considering Trump’s signing statement indicating he does not intend to comply with congressional oversight of the distribution of funding allocated by the coronavirus stimulus.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“A massive pandemic is testing the limits of our health care system, and the president is tripling down on dismantling health care for millions of people. He’s still supporting a lawsuit to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for people with preexisting conditions, and now he wants to elevate Cory Wilson and Justin Walker, two stalwart advocates of that deadly agenda. Shame on those who have given the president a lick of credit for his handling of this crisis while he’s been focusing on protecting the wealthy and powerful at the expense of those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”