Eric Murphy

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On June 7, 2018, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Eric E. Murphy to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals seat previously held by Judge Alice Batchelder.

Currently, Murphy is the State Solicitor of Ohio in the Office of the Attorney General. In the course of his career, Murphy has fought to make it easier for Ohio to disenfranchise voters, has argued against marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), case, has attacked reproductive rights, and has repeatedly sided with special interests over all Americans. Murphy’s record demonstrates a narrow-minded elitism that raises serious concerns that he will undermine critical rights and legal protections.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee reviews the troubling positions Murphy took as an appointee in the attorney general’s office, it’s important to note that Senate Republicans have previously articulated their belief that legal work done in an official government capacity is entirely subject to scrutiny as part of the judicial nomination process. As now-Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in opposing Caitlin Halligan, then Solicitor General of New York, to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit, “Some of my colleagues have argued that we should not consider this aspect of [Caitlin] Halligan’s record, because at the time she was working as the Solicitor General of New York. But, no one forced Ms. Halligan to approve and sign this brief.”

Likewise, as Senator Ted Cruz stated in May 2018, opposing Mark Bennett’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit based on Bennett’s work as Hawaii Attorney General, “[Bennett’s] record as Attorney General of Hawaii, I believe, represents an advocacy position that is extreme and inconsistent with fidelity to law, in particular, he was an aggressive advocate as attorney general for gay marriage, he was an aggressive advocate demonstrating hostility to the First Amendment and political speech, and most significantly, he was, he has been, an aggressive advocate for undermining the Second Amendment.”

Similarly, the record Murphy established in the attorney general’s office, in our view, “represents an advocacy position that is extreme,” in that he has sought to weaken the rights of women, persons of color, and LGBTQ Americans, as well as environmental protections.

Senator Sherrod Brown opposes Murphy‘s confirmation, explaining, “I cannot support nominees who have actively worked to strip Ohioans of their rights. Special interests already have armies of lobbyists and lawyers on their side, they don’t need judges in their pockets.”

Alliance for Justice also opposes Eric Murphy’s confirmation.