People For the American Way

PFAW Decries McConnell’s Senate Rules Power Grab


Contact: Derrick Crowe at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 512.516.5067

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move today to break the Senate’s rules yet again to expedite GOP efforts to confirm as many of Donald Trump’s judicial nominees as possible, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“The 30-hour post-cloture debate time provided in the Senate rules for consideration of district court judges has repeatedly proven its worth: given adequate time to consider judicial nominees, senators have uncovered disturbing information that has disqualified nominees for lifetime appointments to the federal bench. Mitch McConnell isn’t breaking the rules to make the process work better. He wants to protect narrow-minded elitists from scrutiny so Americans will not find out the truth about who their senators are confirming to the federal bench until it is too late.

“McConnell’s crocodile tears for the state of debate in the Senate are laughable. No one has done more to smash Senate norms to jam his own party’s nominees through the process; and no one has so proudly trumpeted their own obstruction of Democratic-sponsored nominees. The man who gloats about blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination simply has no credibility on this topic. And the simple fact is that the Senate has confirmed almost the same number of district court nominees for Donald Trump as it did for President Obama, and far more circuit court nominees. In fact, thanks to McConnell, Trump has had more judicial nominees confirmed in his first two years than did Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush did in theirs.

“If Mitch McConnell is tired of senators expressing their dismay at these embarrassingly unfit nominees, he should take it up with President Trump and demand better nominees. These nominees will serve for life if confirmed. They have well-documented histories of attacks on reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ people, voting rights, and in favor of torture. They deserve the utmost scrutiny and skepticism from senators, not special protection for their elitist agenda. McConnell’s power grab demeans the Senate and should embarrass every American.”

People For the American Way recently published a blog post taking on McConnell’s dishonest arguments for speeding up the confirmation process.

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.