WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement as Senate Republicans prepare to push through extremist judicial nominees this week:
“Senators have a constitutional duty to carefully inspect each judicial nominee’s record and ask important questions about each nominee’s ability to serve impartially. Unfortunately, that is not what Senate Republicans are doing with Trump’s nominees, many of whom are unqualified, unfit, or both.
This week will be one of the most consequential weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Republican senators are moving a slate of extreme, out-of-touch judicial nominees to serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench. These are people who represent the same anti-civil rights agenda that Donald Trump and his administration preaches and practices every day. But unlike President Trump, his judicial appointees will be in power for decades after he is out of office.
By repeatedly stacking multiple appellate nominees in one hearing and overturning the ‘blue slip’ tradition that gives both parties a say in who gets nominated, Senate Republicans have made it clear they will simply rubber stamp Donald Trump’s dangerous judicial agenda.
The rush to jam through unqualified nominees like Thomas Farr – who tried to suppress the African-American vote in North Carolina – and Brett Talley – a man with razor-thin legal experience and undisclosed conflicts of interest – is proof that the Trump administration does not want senators to carefully inspect their records. When new information is revealed after a nominee’s public hearing, like Talley failing to disclose provocative political blog posts, senators must demand new hearings if they are to uphold their independent role assigned to them by the Constitution.
The stakes for our democracy could not be higher. Any one of these nominees being rushed through the Senate could be the next Supreme Court nominee. Doing nothing now, while Senate Republicans reap the benefits of their unprecedented obstruction to President Obama, will not only damage the role of the Senate but will also allow unfit nominees to enjoy a lifetime appointment – and forever shape our judiciary. That is unacceptable.”
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 www.civilrights.org.