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Latest Nominees Advanced by Judiciary Committee Threaten Civil Rights, Constitutional Principles

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Latest Nominees Advanced by Judiciary Committee Threaten Civil Rights, Constitutional Principles

May 25, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed outrage at the advancement of three Trump nominees to the federal bench who all have dismal records on women’s rights and reproductive freedom, among other critically important issues. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The three nominees confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee — Wendy Vitter, Andrew S. Oldham, and Michael Truncale, collectively assert junk-science claims that contraceptive pills cause cancer; oppose health, safety and environmental protections, as well as workers’ and consumer rights: and openly disparage the judiciary, education, the Affordable Care Act, reproductive rights, and current immigration law. Two of them won’t say if Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided.

“Wendy Vitter omitted her extensive work opposing abortion rights from her submission to the Judiciary Committee, but that omission does not erase the fact that her views on women’s reproductive rights are deeply troubling. Her refusal to support the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that ended school segregation through the nation is alarming. Her opposition to the humanitarian placement of refugee immigrants from Syria in the United States puts her objectivity on immigration law into question. Vitter is nominated to fill a vacancy on the District Court Eastern District of Louisiana.

“Andrew S. Oldham, nominated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, would replace the only Latino on that court. Oldham is the General Counsel to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and once opined that the Supreme Court’s rulings are ‘just the whim of five unelected lawyers who happen to wear black robes.’ Oldham defended the state’s extreme anti-abortion law, HB2, which was ultimately declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. He also led his state’s effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act and block the EEOC’s ‘Ban the Box’ policy meant to reduce employment discrimination. He assisted in gutting the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, advocated on behalf of Texas’s controversial voter ID law, and also fought against fair housing protections for communities of color. Like Vitter, in his Senate hearings Oldham refused to venture an opinion on the validity of Brown v. Board of Education.

“Michael Truncale, also nominated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, would bring to the bench a record of opposition to critical rights and protections for everyday people regarding health, safety, and consumer protections, as well as hostility to the federal agencies that create and enforce them. He has made a number of recklessly inflammatory statements about everything from LGBTQ rights to reproductive rights to social security, including fear-mongering statements in favor of President Trump’s travel ban. He claims we are in the midst of a culture war due to decline in religion and is an active participant in the ‘right to life’ movement.

“These three nominees — among the worst ever nominated by President Trump —  will deny equality and justice for all Americans and will roll back the clock on protections for historically disadvantaged groups. These nominees should not have been sent to the Senate floor and Senate should not confirm them.”

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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