Would you agree that the country has some seriously pressing issues right now? We’re dealing with a global pandemic, an economic recession, deadly issues when it comes to policing, and more. So what is the U.S. Senate doing about any of this?
Clearing its calendar to confirm unfit, ideological federal judges.
The Case of Justin Walker
Just yesterday, the Senate held a procedural vote to progress Justin Walker’s candidacy for a position on the highly influential D.C. Circuit. This is the circuit that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on before becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
And if you haven’t heard of Walker yet, you should. Because he’s an insult. He’s 37, a protege of Mitch McConnell’s, made 162 media appearances to defend Brett Kavanaugh, and was confirmed to his first judgeship … this past October. Listen to this and tell me if you think he’s going to be impartial:
Now you may be wondering, perhaps filling this seat on the D.C. Circuit is really important, perhaps having this empty seat is problematic for the cases that are sitting in this court? Nope. The Senate Judiciary Committee has argued for YEARS (as far back as 1997) that the D.C. Circuit didn’t have enough cases to warrant having a full slate of 11 judges.
Furthermore, Judge Thomas B. Griffith (who currently sits in this position), isn’t retiring until SEPTEMBER. So why the hurry to confirm Walker?
Why the hurry?
Well, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham are concerned that they will lose the majority in the Senate and/or Trump will lose the presidency. So, they want to maximize the time they have left to confirm as many young judges to lifetime appointments as they can.
The problem is, they’ve done little else in the Senate but confirm judges and now, they don’t have many vacancies left. So they’ve taken to ASKING OLDER JUDGES TO RETIRE SO THEY CAN REFILL THEIR SEATS. Sorry for the all caps, but I did intend to yell that. Graham said exactly this when he went on Hugh Hewitt’s podcast the other day.
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday urged federal judges who are in their mid-to-late 60s to step aside so that Republicans, increasingly nervous about holding the Senate majority in the November election as they eye President Trump’s poll numbers, can fill the vacancies now.” (source)
I hope you’re as alarmed as I am. If they were confirming qualified judges, I might not like their picks but at least the country would be in the hands of smart, experienced judges who value ethics. But Team McConnell isn’t doing that.
What can we do?
First, contact your Senators to let them know you expect them to vote against Justin Walker. Susan Collins (R-ME) just announced she’d be voting against him, which means we need 3 more votes. You can refer to THIS REPORT for a host of reasons why you don’t think he should be confirmed as a judge to the D.C. Circuit.
Second, let’s ensure that McConnell and Graham are no longer in the majority after the November elections. Flipping the Senate is an uphill task, but it is within our grasp if we focus our energies there. Read this for ideas on how you can help with this important goal: How to Break the GOP Stranglehold on the Senate
Thank you for taking action!