Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s votes in the Senate to advance the nominations of J. Campbell Barker for the Eastern District of Texas and Andrew Brasher for the Middle District of Alabama, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:
“The American people deserve fair-minded constitutionalists on the federal bench. J. Campbell Barker and Andrew Brasher are two of the lowlights among Trump’s judicial nominations in that respect. Based on their records, neither of these narrow-minded elitists can be counted on to put aside their personal ideologies to deliver justice in federal court.
“Barker left private practice to become Texas’s deputy solicitor general and defend the state’s extreme positions on civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, immigration policy, and environmental protections. He even urged the retrial of a man who had been illegally imprisoned for 32 years—a man with an IQ of 51—after a court overturned the man’s conviction. His record clearly shows someone on the side of those with power and privilege instead of equal justice for all.
“Brasher, for his part, is an extremist with a history of standing against communities of color. He will not even state that Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided, which should be a bare minimum for a federal court nominee. He’s defended unconstitutional barriers to voting, racial gerrymanders, and attacks on marriage rights for same-sex couples. His record also shows that he would be sympathetic to attacks on reproductive freedom—a record that includes the use of dishonest expert witnesses to support his state’s Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law. Finally, he is a supporter of Trump’s Muslim ban. All of these positions add up to a nominee that, to put it mildly, lacks suitability for the federal bench.
“These nominees are blatant examples of Trump’s attempt to stack the federal courts with right-wing ideologues. The Senate should reject them.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.