People For the American Way

PFAW Statement on Trump’s Judicial Renominations: GOP Should Stop Rubberstamping Extreme, Unfit Nominees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2018

Contact: Drew Courtney atPeople For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Today President Trump announced his intent to re-nominate 21 judicial nominees who were sent back to the White House at the end of the last Congress—including several nominees obviously unfit for lifetime seats on the federal bench. Notably, the list did not include three nominees from 2017 whose nominations would have been rejected had they come to a vote: Brett Talley, Jeff Mateer and Matthew Petersen. In response, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“The fact that Brett Talley, Jeff Mateer and Matthew Petersen were defeated is a big win for progressives and a big defeat for Donald Trump and Don McGahn. They show that the grassroots has the power to make sure people are aware of dangerous nominees and shame Republican senators out of rubber stamping  the narrow-minded elitists that Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are intent on cramming onto our nation’s highest courts. It’s disappointing that the White House has chosen to send back to the Senate so many unqualified nominees who simply should not be confirmed.

“Now Republicans are faced with a fundamental choice: given the glaring lack of vetting of these individuals, will they once again try to force these nominees through the judiciary committee without adequate consideration? Senator Grassley has been working double time to enable Trump and McConnell’s campaign to remake our courts, but the fact that a nominee like Brett Talley—who was rushed through committee last year—came so close to a lifetime seat on the federal bench should give even him real pause. I can’t imagine Grassley is eager to embarrass himself again by repeating that performance.

“The nomination of Thomas Farr is exhibit A. Last year Grassley and Republican senators whisked him onto the Senate floor, only to learn that he had lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his involvement in a notorious campaign designed to intimidate Black voters in North Carolina. He should not have been re-nominated in the first place. But allowing a nominee like Farr to head back to the Senate floor without a full and open hearing would be, frankly, pathetic.

“Every single one of Trump’s unqualified nominees needs a new hearing. Senator Grassley and Republicans need to start doing their jobs and stop rubber stamping Donald Trump’s extreme, unqualified, unfit nominees for lifetime seats on the federal bench.”

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.

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