#1 – Protest the End of the “Blue Slip” Process.
Trump is packing the courts with anti-labor, anti-women’s rights, anti-workers’ rights, anti-civil rights and anti-LGBTQ rights, right-wing judges. This week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley aim to confirm multiple federal judges as quickly as possible. They have set up a week of votes and hearings starting May 7.
To speed the process, Grassley has abandoned the “blue slip” process whereby a Senator from a nominee’s state may block an appointment. The Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, strongly opposed this move in the case of Seventh Circuit nominee Michael Brennan, which is being pushed forward over the objection of his home-state senator Tammy Baldwin. Feinstein has noted that if Brennan is confirmed it would be the first time in more than 30 years that a circuit court nominee was confirmed over a home-state senator’s objections. Brennan’s is one of six circuit court nominations that could be voted on during the week. Meanwhile, there are reports that a hearing will be held Wednesday for Ninth Circuit (which includes California) nominee Ryan Bounds of Oregon, for whom neither Oregon senator has returned a blue slip signaling approval for the process to advance. This action on Bounds is “an unprecedented affront to the advise-and-consent role of senators”; no circuit court nominee has ever been confirmed over objections of both home-state senators.
Minimum Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator Feinstein to voice my outrage that Senators Grassley and McConnell are destroying the time-honored blue slip system.
More script if you want it: This is an affront to the traditional role of Senators to provide “advice and consent.” Even in this era in which rules and norms are broken daily in the Senate and at the White House, no federal judicial nominee has ever been granted a committee hearing when both home-state senators have withheld their blue slips.
#2 – NO on Ryan Bounds for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
There are very good reasons that both his own home-state refused to give him a blue slip.
Ryan Bounds is another Federalist Society member, an right-wing group with interesting friends, which Trump has indicated he is using to find his collection of horrible nominees. While a student at Stanford, he wrote ferocious diatribes against survivors of sexual assault, the rights of workers, people of color and LGBTQ Americans.
Then, he failed to disclose these writings to the bi-partisan Senate Judiciary Committee. Only when they were exposed, did he apologize. He says he’s changed, but others suspect he may have just gotten smarter. He was asked to resign as chair of the Multnomah County Bar Association’s Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Senators Wyden and Merkley withheld their blue slips because they believe Bounds’s writings do not represent the values of Oregonians, and it is shameful that their input is not being respected in the way that home-state senators’ has been for over a hundred years.”
Minimum Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senators [___] to vote “NO” on Ryan Bounds for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, or anywhere else, ever.
#3 – NO on Any judicial nominee that refuses to comment on Brown v. Board of Education.
Hmmm…is this what MAGA really stands for? An ominous trend is growing with Trump’s extremist judicial nominees: more and more of them are refusing to answer whether or not they believe the landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided. This is shocking and frightening, and should be disqualifying for any judge.
Minimum Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senator Feinstein, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, to strongly call out any nominee that can’t bring themselves to go on record on this historic case and vote ’No” on their nomination.
#4 – NO on the following:
The Senate is moving towards final votes on another set of judicial nominees, including Michael Brennan, as soon as today. This comes despite the fact he has heavy backing from the Koch brothers and that in his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he refused to acknowledge racial bias in the justice system, a particularly disturbing comment in light of his expressed skepticism about the glass ceiling. More on him here.
Kurt D. Engelhardt
The Senate begins their Monday session by resuming consideration of the nomination of Kurt D. Engelhardt, of Louisiana, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit. In a letter to the Senate, which is a fast and infuriating read, the Leadership Conference expresses their objections to Engelhardt including a) he has dismissed several sexual harassment cases despite severe or pervasive evidence of a hostile work environment (anything less than rape appears to be merely “unwelcome”, b) he dismissed the convictions of five police officers who were prosecuted for killing unarmed African-American civilians in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and then staging a cover-up. Engelhardt is likely to be confirmed, so call, call, call.
Minimum Script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Senators [_], to vote ’No” on the nominations of Michael Brennan and Kurt D. Engelhardt.
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts: http://www.phoneyourrep.com