Approval of Extreme Nominees by Senate Committee Signals Court Packing, Erosion of Norms

Courts News 06.7,18

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to bring to the Senate floor nominees Ryan Bounds for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and J. Campbell Barker for the Eastern District Court of Texas:

“Ryan Bounds hid his offensive and intemperate comments about racial diversity, sexual assault victims, and LGBTQ rights from the nominating commission that considered his fitness to serve as a federal judge. His extreme record explains why both Oregon senators oppose his nomination. Historically, that would have been enough to stop his confirmation. But Chairman Grassley and his Republican Senate colleagues have spent the past year dismantling Senate rules and traditions to rubber stamp President Trump’s extreme nominees. If Ryan Bounds is ultimately confirmed over the objection of both home-state senators, it will be a first and will signal an erosion of the Senate’s role in the judicial nominations process.

“Meanwhile, Mr. Barker is a young, conservative ideologue who has devoted the last several years to attempting to restrict voting rights, LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, and fairness for criminal defendants. Mr. Barker does not possess the neutrality and fair-mindedness necessary to serve in a lifetime position as a federal judge.

“For the sake of protecting civil and human rights for all, these nominees should not be given lifetime judicial appointments, and we urge the full Senate to oppose their confirmations.”

The Leadership Conference has sent letters to the Senate in opposition to Ryan Bounds and J. Campbell Barker.

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