Donald Trump is setting a record pace of nominating young, extreme right-wing judges for lifetime appointments to the bench, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is the only group that can stop him.1
Letting Trump stack the courts while he and his administration are under investigation for possible collusion with the Russian government was bad enough. Now that Trump, a public racist for much of his adult life, has stood with the violent white supremacists and Nazis who terrorized Charlottesville and pardoned racist civil rights abuser Joe Arpaio, it is even more appalling.
Trump’s actions make it clear that he has no respect for our courts and the rule of law. We cannot allow Trump to use lifetime judicial appointments to institutionalize his hateful agenda for generations.
We depend on the federal courts to protect civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights and the environment. Thanks to Republican obstruction of Obama’s federal nominees, Trump has a staggering 143 vacancies to fill.2 Now, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are moving his nominees through as fast as they can with some of the Democrats on the committee refusing to use their power to slow them down. It has to stop, now.
The statistics on Trump’s nominations are chilling:3
- He has nominated 27 federal judges in his first six months, three times more than Obama “and more than double the totals of Reagan, Bush 41 and Clinton – combined.”
- Before Trump, no president had had more than three judges confirmed in his first six months. Trump has had nine.
- The average age of Trump’s nominees is 48, compared to 55 for President Obama’s early nominees. “That means, on average, Trump’s appellate court nominees will sit through nearly two more presidential terms than Obama’s.”
- Given the number of judicial vacancies, and the pace of nominations and confirmations, “in just one more year, one-eighth of all cases filed in federal court [could] be heard by a judge [Trump] appointed.”
Those numbers are only part of the picture. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s nominees have a history of championing the causes of right-wing extremists:
- Damien Schiff once called Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy a judicial prostitute, resisted efforts to prevent anti-LGBTQ bullying in schools and opposed affirmative action.4
- John K. Bush had a long side career blogging under a pseudonym. In his posts, he called abortion a “national tragedy” and repeated the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States.5
- Kevin Newsom equated Roe v. Wade with the Dred Scott decision upholding slavery and stated his regret that the Supreme Court made it unconstitutional to execute juveniles.6
Any Democrat or Republican who claimed they were horrified or concerned by the President’s response to Charlottesville, pardon of known-bigot Sheriff Joe Arpaio, or dismantling of DACA, has a moral obligation to step up to block and resist these extremists who come from the fringes of the right wing, not ensure that Trump’s right-wing hate lives for decades after his presidency. That’s why we are joining with our friends at CredoAction, Daily Kos, UltraViolet Action, Presente, and Democracy for America to bring massive pressure on them to do the right thing.
We cannot afford to pretend that this is business as usual.Donald Trump is not going to start acting presidential or begin respecting our democratic institutions. It’s up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to stand up to Trump’s abuses of power and prevent judges with his mindset from taking over our judicial system.
Until justice is real,
— Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Evan, Jade, Anika, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team.
1. “The one area where Trump has been wildly successful,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017. https://act.colorofchange.org/
2. “Judicial Vacancies,” United States Courts, updated Sept. 07, 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/
3. “The one area where Trump has been wildly successful,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017. https://act.colorofchange.org/
4. “The Strange Civil Rights Views of Trump’s Latest Court Nominees,” Politico, June 14, 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/
5. “Polemicists in Robes,” Slate, June 15, 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/
6. “The Strange Civil Rights Views of Trump’s Latest Court Nominees,” Politico, June 14, 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/