WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to advance the nominations of Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth Kiyul Lee for seats on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“This is just the latest example of Senate Republicans debasing the institution to stack the courts with narrow-minded elitist judges and justices. Both of these nominees were nominated over the objections of their home state senators, and the decisions by the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham to advance them shows outright disrespect for their Senate colleagues.
“Collins’ record indicates that he holds a dangerous interpretation of the Constitution that is a threat to liberty in this country. His writings criticizing the Miranda decision show that if he had his way, government officials would have the power to imprison more individuals with impunity and in violation of constitutional protections. He also played a troubling role in the Bush-era U.S. Attorneys scandal and sought to obscure that role when asked about it by his home-state senator.
“Lee, for his part, is clearly being put forward to advance a political agenda that favors corporations and the wealthy over the rights of all people. Not only has Lee demonstrated through his writings a number of troubling views on issues like voting rights, the existence of societal racism and sexism, but he also failed to disclose these writings to the nominating commission in California and then to the Judiciary Committee. And it is breathtaking that even one senator would vote to advance a nominee who once dismissed voting rights as the ‘latest cause célèbre.’
“The Senate should refuse to rubber-stamp narrow-minded elitists put forward by the president for lifetime seats on the federal bench. Senate Republicans are failing their basic obligations to their constituents.”
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. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.