National Council of Jewish Women
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Contact: Amanda Lang
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Vote to Confirm Michael Brennan to the 7th Circuit Another Blow to Fair Courts
May 10, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has strongly criticized the Senate’s vote to confirm Michael Brennan to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) opposes the confirmation of Michael Brennan to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Brennan’s views are undergirded by one principle: that conservative judges should not follow precedents they disagree with. He has presented himself as opposed to ‘judicial activism,’ yet is quite willing to overturn longstanding rulings with which he disagrees, regardless of how much disruption and chaos they may cause.
“The laws Brennan doesn’t like are tilted to civil rights protections. He has been dismissive of the existence of sex discrimination, writing critically of the idea “that a certain group was denied an opportunity to advance by a ‘glass ceiling,’ He supported virulently anti-LGBTQ candidates for the state bench as head of Governor Scott Walker’s advisory committee for state judges, among a litany of troubling items on his resume.
“Aside from Michael Brennan’s disturbing and extreme views, the process by which he became a judge was flawed from day one. He was nominated by the White House before Wisconsin’s judicial nominating commission started interviewing candidates, ignoring almost 40 years of precedent. His own home state senator, Tammy Baldwin, wasn’t consulted on the nomination before it was made. Brennan was then found lacking by the commission. No doubt fearing another rejection, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) held the committee vote and sent the nomination to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a floor vote, all without waiting for a Senator Baldwin to weigh in on the nomination via the traditional ‘blue slip’ containing her opinion.
“However, no exception to the blue slip tradition was made during the last administration, when eighteen of President Obama’s nominees were blocked, including the one that would have filled the very seat now obtained by Brennan. In fact, this seat on the bench would not be vacant if Chairman Grassley had not honored GOP Senator Ron Johnson’s refusal to turn in his blue slip two years ago. The hypocrisy of this partisan-driven policy reversal demonstrates a shameful lack of respect for a balanced, independent, and fair-minded judiciary.”
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.