Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham kicked off 2020 right where he left off: by advancing to the Senate floor more extreme nominees who have egregious civil rights records for lifetime federal judgeships.
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will stop at nothing to achieve through the courts what their party cannot accomplish legislatively: erasing the progress our nation has made to recognize and protect hard-fought civil rights. Indeed, instead of passing crucial legislation that would restore and safeguard our voting rights, for example, McConnell is actively installing nominees with demonstrated records of creating and defending the most egregious efforts to block access to the ballot box. Senate Republicans have confirmed lifetime nominees who defended Ohio’s notorious voter purge law and argued for some of the nation’s most restrictive laws that would deny voting rights to millions of people.
Trump promised to remake the federal judiciary in his image at a reckless rate by confirming more than 180 judges by the end of this year. With 164 judicial confirmations, Trump, enabled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are taking over our courts by installing unqualified and biased judicial nominees who jeopardize our civil rights. To date, Trump has filled nearly one-fifth of the entire federal judiciary, and one-quarter of all circuit court judgeships. Stymied by Congress, Trump and McConnell are trying to transform our courts in order to implement the party’s failing agenda. And the harm caused by this deliberate attempt to roll back our civil and human rights by filling the courts with anti-civil rights nominees will be felt for decades to come.
Trump and Senate Republicans continue to shamelessly stack our federal courts with more ideological extremists. The total number of confirmations to lifetime appointments on the federal bench under Trump is now 161— nearly one-fifth of the entire federal judiciary, and a terrifying one-quarter of all circuit court judgeships in less than three years.
Trump and Senate Republicans continue to shamelessly stack our federal courts with more ideological extremists. The total number of confirmations to lifetime appointments on the federal bench under Trump is now 157—nearly one-fifth of the entire federal judiciary, and one-quarter of all circuit court judgeships.
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.
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.