Durbin: Stop Moving Trump Nominees Through the Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called out the Republican majority’s handling of nominations in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Since 1984, the Committee has only twice ever held a nomination hearing during a lame duck session of a presidential election year and both of those hearings followed the re-election of a sitting president.   

“Over the past four years, the Republican side has moved at break-neck speed to consider and confirm President Trump’s judicial nominees.  Even when there were questions of qualifications, they have kept the nominations assembly line rolling,” Durbin said.  “And now, with President Trump, a lame duck – even though many of my colleagues on the other side refuse to acknowledge it – and a new Administration starting next month, my Republican colleagues are still moving forward with Trump nominees, including a circuit court nominee today… Yesterday this Committee scheduled a hearing next week on another circuit court nominee.  It appears my colleagues are planning to push through a circuit court nominee in January in the few days before the new president takes office.  This kind of confirmation game, during a presidential lame duck period, is beneath the dignity of this Committee.  The American people chose President-elect Biden in a free and fair election.  And the fact that many will not acknowledge that is troubling.  It’s time to stop moving Trump nominees through this Committee.  Donald Trump has lost his mandate to fill these vacancies.”

At today’s Committee markup, Durbin also pledged to do everything in his power to ensure that the Senate Judiciary Committee gives President-elect Joe Biden’s judicial and executive branch nominees prompt and fair consideration. 

“Let me also say that I expect, and I will do everything in my power to ensure, that this Committee will give President Biden’s judicial and executive branch nominees prompt and fair consideration.  That means timely hearings and timely votes, just like this Committee has done for President Trump.  We’re not going to play by one set of rules for nominees under a Republican president and another set under a Democratic president,” Durbin said.  “The American people chose President-elect Biden, and his nominees deserve fair treatment.  I will do everything I can to make sure that happens.”   

Footage of Durbin’s remarks at today’s hearing is available here. 

Video of Durbin’s remarks at today’s hearing is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks at today’s hearing is available here.