In President Trump’s first two years in office, the US Senate confirmed 85 judges to lifetime seats on our federal courts, compared to just 62 in President Obama’s first two years. Yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to claim that Senate Democrats are obstructing the judicial nominations process and has taken drastic measures to confirm district court nominees to lifetime judgeships at an even more rapid clip. Just as the Senate is expected to consider the extreme and unqualified district court nominees listed below, McConnell invoked the “nuclear option” to shorten the debate period for these nominees from 30 hours to just 2. That’s more than a ninety percent reduction. It was during these crucial debate hours – often at the very end – that several of President Trump’s nominees were revealed to be unfit. This time was among the last remaining safeguards to protect our judiciary, and it will now be even harder to for Senators to exercise their constitutional duty to adequately vet judicial nominees. Federal courts are the last line of defense for our constitutional rights, and the judges who sit on them must be fair and independent. Federal judges will continue to interpret and control constitutional rights long after the Trump administration ends.
For the sake of our courts, urge your senators to use all of their remaining power to oppose the dangerous nominees below:
- Brian Buescher, nominated to the US District Court for the District of Nebraska, called abortion “just immoral” and described himself as “avidly pro-life,” and has spent his career advancing partisan interests.
- Matthew Kacsmaryk, nominated to the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, has repeatedly cited “religious freedom” as an excuse for discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and has attacked Roe v. Wade and laws requiring access to birth control.
- Wendy Vitter, nominated to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, praised Texas’ unconstitutional TRAP law struck down by the US Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, failed to disclose most of her speaking engagements to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which she spread false information about contraceptives and abortion, and refused to say at her hearing whether she agreed with Brown v. Board of Education.
- Howard Nielson, nominated to the US District Court for the District of Utah, defended the use of torture, is one of the NRA’s go-to attorneys, and once argued that a gay judge should recuse himself in a marriage equality case, simply because of his sexual orientation.
- Campbell Barker, nominated to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, supported the Trump Administration’s decisions to end the DACA program and implement the Muslim ban. He has also defended discriminatory photo ID laws and unconstitutional and anti-women TRAP laws.
- Michael J. Truncale, nominated to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, is a conservative ideologue who has been hostile to immigrants and once called the contraception benefit of the Affordable Care Act “an assault on the Catholic Church.”
NCJW strongly opposes these nominees. At a time when our communities are under attack, it’s more important than ever to have federal judges that will stand as a backstop for our fundamental constitutional rights, the first and last line of defense when it comes to truly protect every woman’s right to choose. Use the script below to call your senators and insist they reject these biased and bigoted nominees.
Tell your senators that courts matter TODAY!