WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on President Trump’s expected nominations today to fill critical circuit court vacancies:
“We urge senators to use extreme caution and fully vet the backgrounds of the judicial nominees announced by President Trump today. He must not be allowed to fill critical circuit court vacancies with ultra-conservative, right-wing judges in the same vein as his pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
“Like Gorsuch, several of today’s nominees were blessed by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, so they have presumably passed the same litmus tests as Gorsuch to favor corporate interests and far-right attacks on social and economic justice over the rights and interests of everyday Americans and marginalized communities.
“As with the Supreme Court vacancy, some of these nominees are being put up for seats that the Senate Republican Majority blocked during Obama’s presidency. The Senate hasn’t confirmed a circuit court judge since January 2016, enabling Trump to inherit 19 circuit court vacancies when he took office. The Republicans should not be rewarded for their bad behavior.
“Before scheduling hearings, senators must wait for the ABA rating, as has been the custom for many years. Even if these nominees for lifetime appointments are rated qualified by the American Bar Association, the ABA only screens for temperament, integrity, and experience. It does not look at judicial philosophy. Many of today’s nominees likely have a judicial philosophy that makes them too ideologically extreme for confirmation. Their records must be given the highest level of scrutiny.”
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 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.