For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee, DRobinson@LawyersCommittee.org, 202-662-8317
Reynolds Graves, Lawyers’ Committee, RGraves@LawyersCommittee.org, 202-662-8375

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Opposes Historic Senate Rule Change

WASHINGTON - In response to the U.S. Senate changing the time allowed for post-cloture debate of nominees for the federal judiciary, Erinn Martin Policy Counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement:

“Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used the “nuclear option” to drastically change the rules of the Senate to limit post-cloture consideration on lifetime judicial appointments and the majority of executive branch nominees from thirty hours to only two, removing one of the final checks left on the confirmation process.  

“Despite Sen. McConnell’s claims of obstruction and delay as the rationale for the change, the Senate has confirmed a record number of judicial appointments for the Trump administration, far surpassing confirmations from the past five administrations.  The Senate’s thirty-hour post-cloture consideration for judicial nominees was essential for vetting judicial nominees for lifetime appointments to our federal courts, especially under the Trump administration. 

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“Within the past year and a half we’ve already seen three of President Trump’s judicial nominees: Brett Talley, Thomas Farr, and Ryan Bounds, have their nominations defeated during the thirty-hour post-cloture consideration period following revelations of their respective histories defending the Ku Klux Klan, spreading fear to keep us from the ballot box and standing with those who championed white supremacy.

“Today’s change continues the unfortunate trend of the Senate shirking its constitutionally-mandated advice and consent role and reputation as the “world’s greatest deliberative body” all with the goal of rubberstamping lifetime appointments to nominees with extremist ideologies that have no place on the federal judiciary.” 

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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.

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