Schumer Warns Americans of GOP’s ‘Sustained Effort to Pack the Courts With Very Conservative Judges’

By CNSNews.com Staff | April 4, 2019 | 5:12 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) took to the Senate floor on Wednesday and delivered a speech warning Americans that Republicans are in the midst of a “sustained effort to pack the courts with very conservative judges” in which they are nominating “to the federal courts most unqualified and radical nominees in modern times.”

“So Republicans, pressured by the hard right and by wealthy, special interest donors, launched a sustained effort to pack the courts with very conservative judges, preferably young ones, who would sit on the bench for decades,” said Schumer.

 

“This is an alarming strategy because, over the last 2 years, President Trump has nominated and Senate Republicans have advanced the most unqualified and radical nominees in modern times,” Schumer said.

Schumer pointed out, for example, that President George W. Bush “had nominated a judge who called Roe ‘the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.’”

Here is an excerpt from Schumer’s speech:

Senator McConnell and Republicans in Washington understand that they will never persuade enough Americans to support backward goals like ending women's reproductive freedom, taking away healthcare, rolling back civil rights, making it more difficult to vote, or abolishing safeguards for clean air and clean water.

Instead, they decided there was another route to achieving their policy goals, one that requires neither public support nor legislation: the courts. So Republicans, pressured by the hard right and by wealthy, special interest donors, launched a sustained effort to pack the courts with very conservative judges, preferably young ones, who would sit on the bench for decades. These prospective judges were identified as early as law school, having signaled their hard-right leanings through their writings or membership in conservative groups like the Federalist Society.

Nominees like these started to appear during the George W. Bush administration. Take Miguel Estrada, a Bush nominee with no judicial experience, who held membership in the Federalist Society but had no writings and claimed he had never even thought about Roe v. Wade.

Or take William Pryor, another Bush nominee, who called Roe ‘the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law’ and who argued that States should have the right to criminalize homosexuality.

Or take Charles Pickering, who advocated a reduced sentence for a man convicted of burning a cross in the front yard of an interracial couple.

Before the Republicans launched their campaign to remake the courts, neither party would have dared put forward such radical nominees.

Starting with his campaign and into his Presidency, President Donald Trump has been captive--totally captive--to the conservative campaign to take over the courts. Before he was a Presidential candidate, Mr. Trump had been a Democrat and a person with no fixed judicial philosophy, so conservatives didn't trust him. He and his advisers came up with a solution: Ask the Federalist Society to produce a list of far-right Supreme Court nominees, and then have candidate Trump pledge to only nominate people on that list. And not just the Supreme Court--the Federalist Society is and continues to be a huge influence on nominees to the circuit courts.

No other presidential candidate had so willingly and openly outsourced judicial nominations this way, but it mollified the hard right, and the President has dutifully nominated people from the list to the Supreme Court. He has made similarly ideological choices for the circuit and district courts.

This is an alarming strategy because, over the last 2 years, President Trump has nominated and Senate Republicans have advanced the most unqualified and radical nominees in modern times.

Sponsored Links