Durbin: Judicial Nominations Process Is Breaking Down Under Republican Majority

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called out his Senate Republican colleagues for the breakdown in the judicial nominations process under the their majority.  This week, the Senate is considering three more highly controversial judicial nominees, including Chad Readler, who filed the Trump Administration’s brief in the Texas. v. U.S. case where he opposed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) pre-existing coverage requirement.   Mr. Readler’s brief argued that this requirement, which benefits tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, had to be stricken from the books.

“What message is the Trump Administration sending with this nomination?  They’re doubling down on their attack on coverage of people with pre-existing conditions,” Durbin said.

Durbin continued, “It pains me to watch my Republican colleagues systematically dismantling guardrail after guardrail in the judicial nomination process—all for the sake of stuffing the court with their ideologues.  The nominations process in the Senate is breaking down before our eyes.  Our ability to fulfill our responsibility of advice and consent is at risk of being diminished.  And that is a shameful chapter in the Senate.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Durbin also spoke out against Allison Jones Rushing, President Trump’s nominee to fill a North Carolina seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.  She is only 36 years old, has only practiced law for nine years, and has only tried four cases to verdict or judgment, none of them as lead counsel.  She is not even a member of the North Carolina bar, the state in which she would sit if confirmed.

Finally, Durbin spoke out against Eric Murphy, a 39-year old nominee to another Ohio-based seat on the 6th Circuit.  Mr. Murphy is particularly well-known for his advocacy against LGBTQ rights, including in the landmark Obergefell case in which he argued against the right of same-sex couples to marry.  He also has a lengthy record of defending restrictive voting laws.  He has fought for laws that made it more difficult for Ohioans to exercise their fundamental right to vote, including voter purge laws and laws limiting the ability of poll workers to assist voters.