Civil and Human Rights Coalition Disappointed by Confirmation of Joan Larsen to U.S. Court of Appeals

Categories: Judiciary, LGBTQ Rights, Nominations, Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the Senate’s confirmation of Joan Larsen, a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit:

“For the second time this week, the Senate Republicans have rubber stamped another one of President Trump’s extreme judicial nominees. As a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and as an academic before that, Justice Larsen has established a record that is antagonistic to civil and human rights.

Justice Larsen voted against hearing an appeal by a lesbian mother who sought parental visitation from an ex-spouse with whom she lived, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality.  She has also demonstrated extreme views when it comes to executive power, which suggests she would serve as a rubber stamp for President Trump’s abusive executive actions. And, Justice Larsen displayed an alarming lack of candor at her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when asked about her past writings.

Justice Larsen’s extreme ideology helps explain why she earned a place on a list of 21 individuals recommended by the far-right Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation and put forward by Donald Trump last year as the pool of people he would consider for Supreme Court nominations. Our federal judges should be fair and independent jurists, not ideological warriors who have passed a right-wing litmus test.

President Trump is seeking to pack the federal courts with judicial extremists because his divisive agenda has been repeatedly challenged and stopped by the judiciary. Senate Republicans need to exercise their own independent judgment on the troubling records of these lifetime appointments and stop rubber stamping President Trump’s clear agenda to roll back our civil rights.”

In September, The Leadership Conference sent a letter to the Senate urging opposition to the confirmation of Justice Larsen. 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 www.civilrights.org.