These guys PASSED THROUGH COMMITTEE today!
Straight party-line vote. Next, the full floor vote.
(People for the American Way) WASHINGTON—In a party line vote today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nominations of two of Donald Trump’s most extreme judicial nominees, John Bush and Damien Schiff. In response, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:
“Given their records and their performance in their hearings, no reasonable person can think that John Bush and Damien Schiff are fit for the federal bench. Both of these nominees have made clear not just that they’re bringing an extreme agenda to the bench, but that they don’t have the temperament for the job. Damien Schiff called Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy a ‘judicial prostitute.’ John Bush used an anti-gay slur in a speech and cited fringe websites pushing racist birther conspiracy theories about President Obama. Both of these nominees have denigrated LGBT people and women’s right to reproductive freedom. Both subscribe to extreme legal theories that would give billionaires and corporations even more power in our elections. As their hearings made clear, their records are indefensible. The fact that Republicans on the Judiciary Committee were willing to lend their support is frankly embarrassing.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.
Call your Senators AGAIN!
Please have all your friends and relatives with GOP Senators call!
Schiff, whom we wrote about 7/7 and John K. Bush, on 6/15, are both deserving of another round of “GOD, NO!!!” calls to Senators Feinstein and Harris. Even if you already called on one or both, call again!
Says Dahlia Lithwick of Slate: “If the republic survives four years of Donald Trump, much of the damage he has done to civil liberties, environmental protections, health coverage, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, and police reform can theoretically be undone. What cannot be undone, regardless of what the future may hold, are his Article III federal judicial appointees. These judges will sit for life, and many of them have been selected expressly for the long, long lifespans they will bring to the bench. ”
Our current judiciary branch has been slowing Trump’s agenda down for now. But that will change if we get enough of these on the bench…
John K. Bush
(5Calls) John K. Bush has zero experience as a judge. He is a commercial litigator and the president of a chapter of The Federalist Society, a group of conservatives and libertarians that promotes “originalism” – the view that the words of the Constitution should be interpreted as intended or understood by the authors. This interpretation results in deeply conservative interpretations of a broad range of issues. For example, from this perspective, Bush criticizes a Supreme Court ruling (NYT vs Sullivan) that protects freedom of the press from libel accusations. This willingness to suppress and punish freedom of the press is especially alarming in the context of Trump’s statement last year: “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
In addition to signaling a willingness to shield Trump from media scrutiny, Bush has made a number of deeply concerning statements and actions. He opposes public financing of political campaigns, the Affordable Care Act, and said abortion was one of the “two greatest tragedies in our country” (slavery being the other). He also wrote after the 2016 Republican National Convention that “the Democrats are trying to win with the same game plan as in 2008, only substitute woman for Black”.
(5Calls) Damien Schiff, Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, is infamous for his extremist opinions both in and out of the courtroom. On his anonymous blog, Schiff called Supreme Court Justice Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” accused a California school district of “teaching ‘gayness’ in public schools,” and opposed both Lawrence v. Texas (the landmark Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized homosexual sex) and the legalization of adoptions by same-sex couples. During his time as a lawyer at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, Schiff argued for allowing unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns and argued against environmental protection laws including the Endangered Species Act. In a 2011 interview, Schiff claimed that the EPA treated American citizens “as if they were just slaves.” At the time, Schiff was representing an Idaho family that was suing the EPA for denying them a permit to build a house on a protected wetland.
Script: I’m calling today to express my concern about the nominations of John K. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals and Damien Schiff to the US Court of Federal Claims. Both of these men hold extreme views and do not deserve appointments to our courts.
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (916) 448-2787, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Senator Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com