President Trump’s judicial nominees are front and center in the Senate this week, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority — unable to advance their conservative agenda with legislation — move to reshape the judiciary with far-right and highly partisan judges. The Senate is scheduled to confirm five judges this week, including four to the circuit courts of appeals. Tomorrow, the Judiciary Committee will also hold a confirmation hearing for an additional four nominees — including one to the Eighth Circuit, Steve Grasz, to whom the American Bar Association (ABA) gave the rare rating of unanimously “not qualified.”
If all goes according to McConnell’s plan, by week’s end the Senate will have confirmed 13 Trump judges, including a Supreme Court Justice and eight judges to the courts of appeals. At this same point in his presidency, President Obama had appointed just one court of appeals judge, and his eighth appointment to the circuit courts didn’t come for another six months — placing Trump well ahead of pace and debunking the absurd Republican talking point that Senate Democrats are “obstructing” judges.
The nominees before the Senate this week demonstrate a breathtaking hostility toward civil rights and equal justice, and their records are rife with animus toward minority communities — especially LGBTQ people — who depend most on the courts to vindicate and protect their rights. These nominees’ collective records reveal the disturbing truth that this Administration does not just tolerate radical anti-equality views among its judicial nominees, but requires them.
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