WASHINGTON—Today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance ten of President Trump’s judicial nominees, including four extremely controversial nominees along straight party line votes: Leonard Steven Grasz for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Don Willett for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, James Ho for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Mark Norris for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.
People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:
“Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley continues to make clear that he will do Trump’s bidding in the right-wing campaign to remake the judiciary, no matter the consequences to the American people.
“Grasz was unanimously rated ‘not qualified’ by the American Bar Association, which had substantial doubts about his ability to be impartial. Willett has consistently pushed a right-wing agenda from the bench, calling for a return to discredited legal theories that would wreak havoc on workers and consumers. Ho believes that ‘all restrictions on campaign finance’ should be abolished, and his record raises serious questions about whether he would be an independent check on presidential power. Norris thinks LGBTQ people are not worthy of legal protections.
“Either oblivious to the concerns—or, more likely, because of them—Republican senators continue to advance these narrow-minded elitists to rubberstamp their own extreme and harmful agendas.
“This cannot be business as usual. These are lifetime seats on our federal courts, and the judges who occupy those seats make decisions every day that affect the health and wellbeing of all Americans. Senate Democrats must continue to protect the interests of all Americans and use every tool at their disposal to prevent this transformation of the federal bench. The GOP simply cannot be allowed to continue this reckless campaign to fill our nation’s courts with biased judges pushing their own agendas.”
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.