Harris: Senate Should Not Advance Judicial Nominees During Senate Impeachment Trial

Melanie Arter | January 16, 2020 | 2:47pm EST
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(Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The Senate Judiciary Committee should not advance judicial nominees picked by President Donald Trump while the Senate is considering removing him from office, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

Harris, who recently dropped out of the presidential race, used her speech at the committee’s executive business meeting, which was scheduled to consider 11 of Trump’s judicial nominees, to speak out specifically in opposition to the nomination of Judge Andrew Lynn Brasher of Alabama to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit.

Harris said she was against Brasher’s nomination because of his stance on civil rights protections, abortion, gay marriage, and voting rights.

“Today we are going to vote on the nomination of Andrew Lynn Brasher to the 11th Circuit. He has consistently attempted to narrow … civil rights protections, including reproductive rights, marriage equality and voting rights. Notwithstanding that record, last year the Senate confirmed Mr. Brasher to a seat on District Court over the objection of every Democrat, but Mr. Brasher’s record again should be highlighted,” she said.

“It is just as concerning and relevant today as we consider elevating him to the Circuit Court. As my colleague has said, in 2014, Mr. Brasher defended an Alabama law requiring that doctors who provide abortion services have admitting privileges at local hospitals. During that case, Mr. Brasher and his co-counsel hired a litigation consultant who is known for advancing the false theory that abortion leads to mental illness,” Harris said.

“In 2015, Mr. Brasher was counsel of record on an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, where he urged the Supreme Court to uphold laws that define marriage as between one man and one woman. While that case was pending, Mr. Brasher wrote an article, which argued that the Supreme Court ‘should at least reject the argument that these same-sex marriage bans serve no legitimate state interest’ and Mr. Brasher has repeatedly argued in opposition to voting rights,” the senator said.

“In fact, in 2013 Mr. Brasher assisted with an amicus brief in Shelby County v. Holder – the Supreme Court case that gutted the Voting Rights Act and eliminated the requirement that states with a discriminatory voting practices obtain federal approval in order to change their voting laws,” she said. 

“These are just a few examples of Mr. Brasher’s work to undermine civil rights protections. I will also oppose Mr. Brasher’s nomination, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same,” Harris said.

“Moreover, in light of the fact that the Senate is now in receipt of two articles of impeachment that charge the president of the United States with high crimes and misdemeanors, I believe it is wholly inappropriate for us to be advancing nominees to the federal judiciary,” she said.

"The Senate should not be advancing any judicial nominees at a time when this body is contemplating removing from office the man who nominates them,” the senator added. 


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