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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


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NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the confirmation of Stephen S. Schwartz to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (09/14/17)
"During his short legal career, Mr. Schwartz has consistently pursued an anti-civil rights agenda across a variety of issues, including immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, and voting rights. In addition, Mr. Schwartz lacks sufficient experience to serve as a federal judge, and has adopted extreme positions that are contrary to well-established law. Overall, Mr. Schwartz’s nomination continues President Trump’s disturbing trend of nominating judicial candidates who will undermine or effectively eliminate civil rights protections."

People for the American Way letter to Senate Judiciary Committee opposing confirmation of Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid to Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. (09/14/17)
"[T]his seat does not need to be filled at all. In fact, the Judicial Conference of the United States took the highly unusual step of announcing that the Tenth Circuit’s caseload is so light that Judge Gorsuch ought not be replaced. As the official entity charged by Congress to measure judicial caseloads and make recommendations for adding or subtracting judgeships, the nonpartisan Judicial Conference knows better than anyone when filling a judgeship would be an expensive waste of limited resources. But even were that not the case, it’s clear that Allison Eid is not qualified to serve on the Tenth Circuit. Last year, she was on then-candidate Trump’s list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees, a list created in secret by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation....Justice Eid’s record confirms her unsuitability for the circuit court."

Sens. Wyden & Merkley letter to White House Counsel (09/07/17)
“As you are aware, in May we wrote you to explain Oregon’s long bipartisan tradition of working together to identify the most qualified candidates for judicial vacancies, ... “You have demonstrated that you were only interested in our input if we were willing to preapprove your preferred nominee... The judicial selection process is not a rubber stamp, and the insinuation that our offices were purposefully delaying the process is an indication of the partisanship with which you are pursing this nomination.”

People For the American Way letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in strong opposition to the nomination of Stephen S. Schwartz to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (09/07/17)
"Confirming Schwartz would reward a dangerous politicization of the American judicial system. ... Five highly qualified, fully vetted jurists with enormous bipartisan support needlessly had their nominations languish for the entirety of the 114th Congress.... Schwartz only graduated from law school nine years ago. When the American Bar Association evaluates judicial candidates, it generally requires at least ten years of legal practice in order to be considered even minimally qualified. ... He has never litigated before the court to which he has been nominated and has not even been admitted to practice before the court. It appears that this nomination is based on an expectation by his supporters that Schwartz would let his conservative political ideology shape his judicial opinions. He has chosen a career in litigation advancing high-profile right wing causes."

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee: 28 LGBT Groups Oppose Confirmation of Stephen S. Schwartz (09/06/17)
"The combination of Mr. Schwartz’s approach to important legal issues affecting the LGBT community, his history of seeking out opportunities to oppose the civil rights of LGBT and other marginalized people, and his relative inexperience in areas of the law within the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, render him unqualified for this position. ... Schwartz’s career is notable for his exceptional dedication to defending extreme positions that target members of the LGBT community, and especially transgender Americans. ... Just like his fellow nominee to the Court of Federal Claims, Damien Schiff, Mr. Schwartz’s record demonstrates that his appointment to the bench would cause grave harm to the LGBT community, as well as many other communities that rely on the federal judiciary to administer fair and impartial justice."

People For the American Way Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to the nomination of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (09/01/17)
"Her writings, statements, and brief judicial experience suggest a jurist who would not fulfill her responsibility to recognize and protect the promises made by the Constitution and congressional enactments. This record, when combined with the repeated breaches of procedure and protocol to rush her confirmation without adequate vetting, compel us to oppose."

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee from 14 national organizations in strong opposition to the nomination of Justice David Stras to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (08/31/17)
"Our deep concerns begin with the White House’s lack of meaningful consultation with the home-state Senators regarding this nomination. Indeed, especially because both Senators Klobuchar and Franken serve on the Judiciary Committee, this disrespect should trouble each of you as well, as the traditional practice has been to grant Judiciary Committee Members even greater input and participation in the process—especially with respect to circuit court vacancies. ... During the Obama administration, some Senators opposed—and outright blocked—judicial nominations solely over their objections regarding the process, despite a record that suggests months or even years of consultation.... Judges should be fair-minded and respect the values of equality and justice for all. They should understand how the law impacts real people and works to protect all Americans— not just the wealthy and the powerful. Justice Stras’ record lacks this understanding, and his decisions can be narrow-minded.... Finally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is the least diverse circuit court in the nation, with only one female and one minority judge."

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Letter to the Senate in opposition to the confirmation of Amy C. Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (08/29/17)
"Her record demonstrates a dangerous lack of deference to long-standing precedent and judicial restraint.... Finally, this nomination represents another disturbing example of President Trump taking advantage of Republican obstruction. The Seventh Circuit vacancy to which Professor Barrett was nominated became vacant on February 18, 2015, two and a half years ago. President Obama nominated a well-respected former Indiana supreme court justice, Myra Selby, to this vacancy on January 12, 2016, but Senator Coats blocked the nomination by refusing to return his blue slip, thereby denying Justice Selby a hearing and vote. She would have been the first African American and the first woman from Indiana to serve on the Seventh Circuit."

Main Street Alliance of Oregon and Washington (08/23/17)
“Our Main Street businesses see no compelling reason to undermine the current court legal system. It is troubling that Congress would consider creating unnecessary uncertainly for litigants when Ninth Circuit judges, appointed by both Democratic and Republican Presidents, have testified that splitting the Ninth Circuit would be costly, inefficient and would harm the administration of justice in the West. It is particularly disconcerting that many of the advocates for splitting the Ninth Circuit are driven by opposition to specific decisions of the Ninth Circuit, a desire to change particular holdings, and an attempt to manipulate the makeup of judges hearing cases.”

California Women Lawyers letter to Senators: OPPOSITION to Division of the Ninth Circuit (08/22/17)
"The changes would be expensive, inefficient, and negatively impact access to justice in the state of California (and beyond).”

Letter from more than 150 organizations to Senate Judiciary Committee in strong opposition to legislative proposals to divide the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/22/17)
" Allowing this ideological campaign to overhaul the judicial branch threatens the integrity and independence of the judicial system. Further, if legislation to divide the Ninth Circuit is enacted, it will enable ideologically driven forum shopping aimed at eroding critical constitutional rights and legal protections that affect workers, civil rights, consumers, and the environment. Not only does such an obvious ideological driven campaign threaten the integrity of the judicial system, but there is no compelling reason to split the jurisdiction and to incur the substantial costs that such a split would generate. Indeed, on July 27, 2017, 34 Ninth Circuit judges, including Alex Kozinski, nominated by President Ronald Reagan, and Jay Bybee, Consuelo Callahan, Carlos Bea, and Milan Smith, all nominated by President George W. Bush, wrote to the Committee opposing efforts to split the court."

194 district, magistrate, and bankruptcy judges in the Ninth Circuit letter to Senators, opposing proposals to divide the Ninth Circuit (08/21/17)
“In our view, division of the Ninth Circuit would be costly, inefficient, and would harm the administration of justice in the West.”

Inland Empire Economic Partnership letter to Senators, opposing proposal to divide the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (08/21/17)
“We believe that the Ninth Circuit provides a unified body of law for the vital Pacific Rim economic area, which is something that would be difficult to achieve were it to be split.”

San Diego County Bar Association letter to Senators, supporting the current constitution of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and strongly opposing any effort to split the circuit (08/18/17)
“Pending legislative proposals would divide the Ninth Circuit and create a new Twelfth Circuit. Such a division would be costly, inefficient and harm the administration of justice. A division of the Ninth Circuit would undermine the consistent body of law that has developed in the West.”

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce letter to Senators, opposing bills that would divide the Ninth Circuit (08/18/17)
“There is a significant advantage to the court’s current structure from a business perspective. A ruling from the current Ninth Circuit creates one standard of federal law for the western states. A single federal appellate court for the West Coast minimizes the risk that the laws of intellectual property, maritime trade, labor relations, banking or other business matters will be different in major business hubs like Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and Phoenix.”

Oregon State Bar letter to Senators re: Proposal to Restructure the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/18/17)
"[T]he Oregon State Bar has concerns about the various proposals to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that are currently under consideration. First, any proposal to split the circuit should be carefully and thoroughly vetted by all stakeholders. Further, while we recognize that the Ninth Circuit carries a significantly larger workload than some of the smaller circuits, this fact has not undermined the court’s ability to serve the needs of the people in the circuit."

The Bar Association of San Francisco letter to Senators, opposing proposals to divide the Ninth Circuit (08/16/17)
“The proposed circuit split is unnecessary and inappropriate, as is demonstrated by the fact that it is still not wanted by those who would be most directly affected.... Splitting the circuit, an extreme measure, would be unnecessary, costly, and unjustified."

American Bar Association approved Resolution reaffirming opposition to restructuring the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/15/17)
“The ABA has found no compelling evidence to support claims that the Ninth Circuit is failing to deliver quality justice. The perceived problems identified by supporters of the legislation do not justify restructuring and would not be remedied by any of the various proposed circuit divisions.”

Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (PALSD) letter to Senators, opposing proposals to restructure the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/08/17)
“PALSD opposes the various proposals to restructure the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”

Letter from all five Hawaii Supreme Court Justices to Senators, opposing proposals to split the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/07/17)
"We agree with Chief Judge Thomas that a split would not be in the public interest and would undermine the administration of justice.... [W]e believe that a split would not be in the interest of the administration of justice in Hawaii. The Ninth Circuit’s administrative capacity allows it to develop and sustain programs that significantly improve access to justice for communities.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights letter to the Senate: OPPOSE THE CONFIRMATION OF DAMIEN M. SCHIFF TO THE U.S. COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS (08/04/17)
"It is difficult to imagine a judicial nominee less deserving of confirmation than Damien Schiff, whose prolific blog posts reflect a strong hostility to civil rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights, environmental protection, campaign finance reform, and judicial precedent."

Bay Area Council letter opposing any action to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (08/04/17)
"Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion, worldwide. Some 30 plus law firms are actively engaged with the Council, at all levels. Among those involved as Board or Executive Committee members, they are 100% opposed to any division of the Ninth Circuit. Any potential split of the Ninth Circuit is unnecessary and will cause unneeded confusion during any transition, implementation process.”

Hawaii State Bar Association letter to Senators, opposing restructuring the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (08/01/17)
“After seeking comment[s] from members of our chapter, there were no comments in favor of restructuring [the Ninth Circuit].”

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce letter to Senators, opposing proposals to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (08/01/17)
“The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, representing over 2,500 local businesses, with over 200,000 employees, is writing in opposition to various legislative proposals to split the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. . . . As was pointed out by Judge Bea, the White Commission, which recommended against splitting the Ninth Circuit in 1998, stated that the uniformity of business law in the West is a strength for our commercial sectors, as compared to the conflicts found within the six circuits along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce agrees with Judge Bea’s conclusion that a geographically larger district ‘allows our law to be predictable, a critical element which supports innovation and economic strength in our business communities.’”

Silicon Valley Leadership Group letter opposing any division of the Ninth Circuit (07/31/17)
“We oppose any potential division of the Ninth Circuit because doing so will negatively impact intellectual property law and global trade, both of which are fundamental to the innovation economy. . . . Trade would also suffer under a divided Ninth Circuit. In Silicon Valley alone, exports account for $30 billion annually in economic activity. The current legal arrangement provides foreign nations with the certainty that any legal issues which may arise will be addressed by a single, uniform judiciary. A divided judiciary would only present uncertainty and potential delay to any trade-related legal matters on the West Coast.”

AFL-CIO letter urging Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose nomination of Stephen S. Schwartz to U.S. Court of Federal Claims (07/31/17)
"Mr. Schwartz’s record makes clear that he is an ideologue who opposes the rights of workers, African Americans, and immigrants.... Mr. Schwartz has demonstrated clear hostility toward worker protections."