Durbin Urges No Vote On John Bush Nomination To 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of John Bush, who has been nominated to serve a lifetime appointment on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Bush has made dozens of provocative comments, which cast serious doubt upon his temperament, his judgment, and his ability to serve as a fair and impartial judge.  These statements include comparing abortion to slavery, using an anti-gay slur, posting articles from right-wing websites speculating that former President Obama is from Kenya, supporting the nomination of a voter suppression advocate, writing that someone should “gag” then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and many others.  When asked by a Republican Senator at his hearing whether he thinks impartiality is an aspiration or an absolute expectation for a judge, Bush answered “it is an aspiration.” 

“The Federal Courts of Appeal have a significant impact on the lives of all Americans.  Because the Supreme Court only reviews a limited number of cases each year, decisions by the Circuit Courts represent the final word on thousands of legal matters that involve a host of important issues.   The Senate must take seriously its obligation to vet candidates for the Circuit Courts.  The Senate has to take very seriously its obligation to consider candidates for this important court. We have to make sure they have the qualifications, the temperament, and the judgement to serve for the rest of their lives.  Based upon Mr. Bush’s record and his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, I believe he falls short of this standard,” said Durbin.  “This vote, when it comes to his nomination, is not a close call.  It is clear that Mr. Bush has friends in high places, but he’s demonstrated a temperament and a judgment which we should not put in a lifetime position on the federal Courts of Appeal.  I urge my colleagues to oppose his nomination.”

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.

John Bush is a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in Louisville, KY, where he has worked since 1996.  He previously worked at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1990-1996.  He is the co-founder and president of the Louisville Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.