Committee Approval of Far-Right Brennan Also Undermines Checks and Balances

Courts News 02.15,18

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee today voted, on a party-line basis, to advance Michael Brennan’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit:

“Today Chairman Grassley eroded the role each senator plays in their constitutionally assigned role in judicial nominations. Under Chairman Grassley’s own practice in the previous administration, Michael Brennan would never have received a hearing, let alone a committee vote, because one of his home-state senators objected to his nomination.

“The committee vote to report Michael Brennan to the full Senate is doubly offensive. First, Brennan is an ideologue who would not rule fairly. And second, he represents Chairman Grassley’s disregard for the role the Senate plays as a check on the president’s judicial appointment power. Brennan personally defended the right of a single home-state senator to object to a judicial nomination, and then he himself benefited from that position by becoming the nominee once Chairman Grassley decided to suddenly disregard a home state senator’s objections.

“As chair of Governor Scott Walker’s judicial selection commission, Brennan recommended judicial appointments for individuals who had made extreme and hateful anti-LGBT comments. The full Senate should reject this nominee both because of his record and because his confirmation will diminish their fundamental role with this and future presidents.”

Last month, The Leadership Conference wrote to the U.S. Senate urging opposition to Brennan. That letter is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit