Washington, D.C.—In response to media reports that Patrick Wyrick lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his ties to his wife’s health care company, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Patrick Wyrick is a narrow-minded elitist who we now know lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his business connections. The fact that these lies only came to light late in the process shows the danger posed by Mitch McConnell’s drastic action to shorten debate time on these nominees. Senators need more time to find the facts and to share those facts with colleagues before these nominees are rushed to a final confirmation vote.
“When asked directly about his role in his wife’s healthcare company, Wyrick told the committee that he had ‘no role in that business.’ This was a flagrant lie. Wyrick is the registered agent of that business. That means not only did he lie under oath to the Senate, but also failed to recuse himself from Pruitt v. Burwell, a case in which his old boss, former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, tried to argue that a key part of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
“Beyond this disqualifying lie, Wyrick’s background and beliefs about the law pose serious questions of fitness that the Senate should have the full opportunity to consider before voting on his nomination. Wyrick has stated that he believes that ‘the entire administrative state is unlawful,’ meaning he cannot be relied upon to uphold commonsense environmental or consumer protections. He has also shown that women and LGBTQ+ Americans cannot expect fairness in his courtroom.
“This nomination is the product of a disgraceful power grab by Senate Republicans in service of a right-wing, corporate agenda to stack the courts with narrow-minded elitists. Their goal is nothing less than the dismantling of the New Deal and the prevention of any such effort to protect the American people from the abuses of the rich and the powerful. No American should expect fair-minded constitutionalists to emerge from a process like this.”
President Trump nominated Wyrick for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his nomination on February 7, 2019, and a cloture motion was filed in the full Senate on April 4, 2019, after which a number of news stories were published indicating he lied to the committee. Due to a recent rules change in the Senate pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, senators will only have two hours to debate Wyrick’s nomination, instead of the customary 30 hours of debate.
People or 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: https://www.pfaw.org.