Today Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted to again steamroll the rights of their Senate colleagues by advancing the judicial nominations of two people, Kenneth Lee and Daniel Collins, who are strongly opposed by their home-state senators, Sens. Feinstein and Harris.
This rules change is a power grab with just one purpose: to get more unqualified, unfit judicial nominees through the confirmation process as fast as possible before the public realizes just how bad they are.
Alliance for Justice and People For the American Way held a joint telebriefing to discuss their respective studies of the first two years of President Trump’s impact on federal courts and the federal judiciary.
In the first two years of his presidency, Donald Trump’s efforts to pack the courts realigned several circuit courts; established a pattern of judicial nominations in which partisan ideology overwhelmingly outweighs other qualifications for nominees; reversed the Obama-era push to diversify the courts; and radically reshaped the judicial confirmation process in the Senate such that decades of rules, norms and traditions have been discarded.
In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans writes that since “Congress confirmed William Barr as attorney general despite his disqualifying record of enabling presidential misconduct,” nobody should be surprised that he “has already revealed his willingness to elevate the political interests of the president over the traditions of the Department of Justice and the role of Congress.”
This latest power grab by Republicans could have a profound impact on our federal district courts, because if it succeeds it would mean that these courts could be packed virtually overnight with dozens more Trump judges who are anti-worker, anti-LGBTQ, anti-woman, and anti-racial equity.
This is a despicable strategy with the equally despicable goal of stripping millions of Americans of desperately needed health care, and it’s incredibly painful to see our courts being abused for this purpose.