In response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to send the nominations of Patrick Wyrick and Allen Winsor to the full Senate, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Today’s vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is part of an unprecedented campaign by Senate Republicans to rush unqualified nominees to the bench at a record pace. Republicans have made clear that they are more interested in acting as a rubber stamp for Donald Trump than in serving as a check on ideologues who are unfit for lifetime seats on the federal judiciary.
“In his testimony before the committee, Patrick Wyrick only underscored our concerns about his ability to interpret the law independent of his personal ideological views. His extreme legal agenda would harm Americans, particularly his belief that commonsense environmental regulations are unconstitutional, that in fact “the whole administrative state is unlawful” and his belief that the state can significantly impede women’s ability to exercise their right to abortion. The fact that Senator Grassley didn’t even wait for the American Bar Association to complete its evaluation on his fitness for office makes it perfectly clear that Wyrick’s extreme ideology, as opposed to basic fitness for office, is exactly what Republican senators are looking for. Allen Winsor, meanwhile, has shown that women and LGBTQ Americans should not expect fair treatment in his courtroom. His career working against voting rights, reproductive rights, marriage equality, environmental protection, and gun safety makes clear that he would be likely to use his power as a judge to push an agenda putting the desires of powerful interests above the rights of ordinary people.
“Individually, each of these nominees is unworthy of a lifetime seat on the bench. Taken together, they represent yet another attempt by Senators McConnell and Grassley to pack our courts with narrow-minded elitists who will undermine the rights that Americans need the courts to defend.”
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.