Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill June 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Democrats Urged to 'Oppose This Takeover' as McConnell Rushes to Confirm 19 Right-Wing Judges Before Recess

"Senators must put an end to this blatant disrespect to our judicial system, traditions, and democracy."

Jake Johnson

Democrats are facing pressure to do everything in their power to fight back as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moves to ram through 19 of President Donald Trump's right-wing judicial nominees before the chamber breaks for recess at the end of the week.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday confirmed two of Trump's lifetime appointees—Michael Liburdi and Peter Welte—without much difficulty.

Welte, Trump's pick for the U.S. District Court of North Dakota, was confirmed with the support of 18 Democratic senators.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) were the only Democrats to vote yes on Liburdi, a member of the right-wing Federalist Society.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights pointed out on Twitter that both Liburdi and Welte refused to say Brown v. Board of Education—the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ruled racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional—was correctly decided.

By invoking the so-called "nuclear option" earlier this year, McConnell set the stage for rapid confirmation of Trump's judicial nominees, who are overwhelmingly young and have the potential to reshape the nation's courts for decades to come.

The "nuclear option" is a rule change that slashes debate time on lower-level judicial nominees from 30 hours to just two hours.

"McConnell confirmed only 18 Obama district judges in two years. Now, he wants to confirm 19 Trump district judges in one week," tweeted Christopher Kang, chief counsel for progressive advocacy group Demand Justice. "This is only possible because Republicans went nuclear and changed the Senate rules."

"Democrats must insist on every vote," said Kang, "and oppose this takeover."

According to Bloomberg Law, it is "unclear whether the Republican-led chamber will get through the entire batch of Donald Trump nominees before breaking on Thursday for its August recess, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to clear a significant number of them."

"The Senate has set an aggressive pace for fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to appoint conservative judges," Bloomberg Law reported Monday, "so far clearing 43 appeals court judges, 86 district court judges, and Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court."

Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy and government affairs at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement Tuesday that "McConnell's flagrant move to clear the deck before the Senate leaves for recess would bring Trump's total to 150 judicial appointments."

"The agenda is clear: transform the courts as quickly as possible to achieve through the courts what Senate Republicans cannot accomplish legislatively," Lucius said. "Senators must put an end to this blatant disrespect to our judicial system, traditions, and democracy. They must demand that each nomination receives a roll call vote, so the public knows where their senators stand."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·


'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·


To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo