A group called The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights summarized the report this way:
“This compelling report provides an exhaustive analysis of the judicial nominations power play we have witnessed by President Trump and his Republican Senate enablers.
The report details exactly how President Trump has nominated extreme and biased individuals – mostly white, mostly male, and mostly in their thirties and forties – to lifetime positions where they will exert great power over our rights and freedoms.
It also describes how Senate Republicans have changed long-standing rules to rubber stamp these troubling nominees quickly and without adequate review. All those who care about justice in America should read this report and get engaged.”
This is a call to action. The reason Evangelical Christians and similar people support our disgusting president is that they know he will rubber stamp their judicial nominees who want to take away abortion rights, gay rights, and many other civil rights.
The details of this alarming study, called “Report of the Senate Judiciary Committee Minority Members Review of Republican Efforts To Stack Federal Courts” must be widely publicized and discussed. Americans who care about freedom must use this as a call to arms to activate the Resistance to Trump’s right-wing policies.
Here are more details of Key Findings from the Senate Report:
1. Senate Republicans’ obstruction of President Obama’s judicial nominees provided President Trump an opportunity to dramatically remake federal courts: Sustained efforts by Senate Republicans to block President Obama’s judicial nominees were intended to hold seats open for a Republican president. This obstruction allowed Senate Republicans to hand President Trump 112 vacancies on day one of his term, including the Supreme Court seat they held open for nearly a year.
2. To confirm President Trump’s often ideological and even unqualified nominees as quickly as possible, Senate Republicans have undermined the Senate’s advice and consent role: To further the long-standing goal of remaking the federal judiciary, Republican leadership has eroded the Senate’s ability to vet judicial nominees and ensure they are qualified and within the mainstream.
3. President Trump and Senate Republicans have undermined the independent, nonpartisan role of the American Bar Association (ABA) in ensuring judicial nominees are qualified: The Trump administration eliminated the ABA’s role in evaluating judicial nominees prior to their nominations.
4. President Trump and Senate Republicans are reshaping the nation’s circuit courts at breakneck speed: President Trump’s first 15 circuit court nominees took an average of 131 days to be confirmed. In contrast, President Obama’s first 15 circuit court 7 nominees took an average of 254 days to be confirmed.
5. President Trump’s circuit court nominees have been far more controversial than President Obama’s circuit court nominees: President Trump’s first 15 circuit court nominees were confirmed largely along party lines, reflecting nominees’ ideological records and lack of consultation with Democratic senators on nominees from their states to ensure mainstream choices.
6. Outside and dark-money political groups, including the Federalist Society, the Judicial Crisis Network, and the Heritage Foundation, have been central to the effort to fill vacancies as quickly as possible.
7. President Trump’s nominees reflect a lack of diversity, with far fewer women and people of color than President Obama’s nominees.
This report shows that Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and other Republicans have conspired to do a hostile takeover of the federal court system. They blocked Obama’s nominees for eight years, leaving hundreds of vacancies that have been filled at a very rapid rate since Trump became president.
Stacking the federal courts is not an issue that generates the kind of publicity that leads to daily television interviews or media coverage, but it should. This right-wing takeover is a profound and important event that will affect the rights of all Americans for decades to come.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.