Wyrick, Close to Pruitt and Energy Lobbyists, Is Wrong for Bench
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2018 – Alliance for Justice today released its research report on the record of Patrick Wyrick, President Trump’s nominee for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“Patrick Wyrick’s record shows that he is close to one of the most ethically compromised officials in the Trump Administration, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. In fact, Wyrick is so close to Pruitt, and so cozy with oil and gas lobbyists, that the lobbyists used him to feed industry talking points to Pruitt when Pruitt was Oklahoma’s attorney general crusading against the EPA. Wyrick also joined Pruitt in leading multiple lawsuits against the EPA. At 37, Wyrick has had a very short legal career, but is already on President Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court. He does not have either the record or the ethics we want to see in someone who aspires to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.”
Among other things, the AFJ report finds that:
- While working as the Solicitor General for the State of Oklahoma, Wyrick was part of exchanges in which Attorney General Scott Pruitt received talking points provided by oil, coal and gas lobbyists against environmental regulations, repeated those talking points nearly verbatim, and then later accepted campaign funds from those same special interests.
- Wyrick assisted Pruitt in dismantling environmental protections and advocating for restrictions on women’s reproductive health, including access to contraception.
- Wyrick defended an overhaul of Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system that, according to opponents in the state legislature, slashed injured workers’ benefits by roughly $120 million.
- Wyrick came under fire for allegedly attempting to mislead the U.S. Supreme Court during his defense of Oklahoma’s death penalty protocol.
- Wyrick defended an anti-Sharia law amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that would have had no purpose other than to entrench religious bigotry toward Muslims.
- Wyrick repeatedly argued against Indian tribal sovereignty in a series of cases.