WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 12-10 vote, a coalition of leaders from reproductive rights and civil rights groups called today for the withdrawal of Sarah Pitlyk’s nomination for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The groups note that Pitlyk is one of the most extreme opponents of reproductive freedom ever nominated to be a federal judge. Even the nonpartisan American Bar Association has determined she is not qualified for a lifetime seat on the federal bench.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported out two Circuit Court nominees, Danielle Hunsaker (9th Circuit, Oregon) and William Nardini (2nd Circuit, Connecticut, as well as two district court nominees, Karen Marston (Eastern District of Pennsylvania) and Anuraag Singhal (Southern District of Florida). We anticipated that controversial nominees, Steven Menashi (2nd Circuit, New York), Halil Ozerden (5th Circuit, Mississippi), and Sarah Pitlyk (Eastern District of Missouri) to also be reported out, but they and a few other nominees were instead held over and are on the agenda of the next Senate Judiciary Committee markup on October 31.
WASHINGTON – Lena Zwarensteyn, Fair Courts Campaign Director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on today’s Senate vote to confirm the nomination of Justin Walker to serve on the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky:
WASHINGTON – In a Morning Consult op-ed, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, reflect on the anniversary of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gupta and Goss Graves note the incredible national mobilization in opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination and urge the American people to corral that same energy to protect our democracy now.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans will continue to place party over country in their pursuit to stack our federal courts with loyalists who are ideological extremists. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a markup this week, and among the nominees expected to receive votes are Sarah Pitlyk (Eastern District of Missouri) and controversial nominee Steven Menashi (Second Circuit Court of Appeals). Halil Ozerden (Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals) is also listed on the October 24th agenda, but it remains unclear whether he will get a vote. Chairman Lindsey Graham did not bring up Ozerden last week because he did not have the votes to get him through committee (Republican Sens Cruz and Hawley oppose, and likely so do all 10 committee Democrats). No floor votes, nor hearings on judicial nominations are scheduled this week.
WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Color Of Change, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Muslim Advocates, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and 41 civil rights, public interest, labor, faith, and technology organizations are joining together to urge Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to consider the “protection of civil rights as a fundamental obligation as serious as any other goal of the company.”
WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks at Georgetown University today. The remarks follow recent policy changes announced by Facebook to exempt politicians’ speech from its Community Standards and its fact-checking program:
WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference Education Fund released its policy brief, “Gainful Employment: A Civil Rights Perspective,” today describing the exploitation of Black and Latino students by for-profit colleges and urging the Department of Education to enforce the Higher Education Act and protect students. Twenty-one civil rights, consumer lending, and education groups signed onto the brief, demanding Secretary DeVos propose a new rule to advance equity and protect students’ civil rights.