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Confirmation of David Stras Further Undermines our Independent Judiciary

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Confirmation of David Stras Further Undermines our Independent Judiciary

January 31, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed extreme disappointment in the confirmation of David Stras to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Stras’ confirmation to that court is yet another step toward ensuring our federal courts are simply pawns in a right-wing agenda. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm David Stras of Minnesota to a lifetime appointment on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the first time in decades (and only the second time in our history) that the Senate has confirmed a federal appeals court judge who did not have two positive blue slips from home-state senators. Unfortunately, this is one of many examples of Sen. Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) rushing and manipulating the judicial confirmation process to suit an ultraconservative ideological agenda.

Stras has called critical rulings in school integration, LGBTQ rights and abortion rights “ventures into contentious areas of social policy” and disagreed with judges who allowed expert testimony on sexual assault. As a judge on the Minnesota state supreme court, Stras allowed Republicans in the Minnesota legislature to put on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would have made it harder for Minnesotans to exercise the right to vote. He also ruled to limit state assistance to a severely autistic nine-year-old boy who suffered from epilepsy and chronic seizures, and attempted to prevent a police officer from suing the City of Minneapolis for age discrimination.

Stras is also on President Trump’s short list to fill a future US Supreme Court vacancy, meaning he passed then-candidate Trump’s anti-choice litmus test. Once again, the Senate has done Americans a disservice by confirming a judge that will now spend his life rolling back hard-won freedoms and rights, especially for women.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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