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
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."
Letter to the Senate from 22 women’s organizations; reproductive health, rights and justice organizations; and civil rights organizations in strong opposition to the nomination of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (07/17/17)
"Mr. Schiff, a prolific blogger and attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, is stunningly unfit for the federal bench. As an initial matter, his record amply demonstrates his lack of judicial temperament. He has impugned advocates whose views he does not share,1 raising serious questions about whether he will treat all litigants coming before him with respect and impartiality. He has made numerous outrageous and inflammatory statements, including referring to Justice Anthony Kennedy as “a judicial prostitute,”2 which are inconsistent with the judicial role.
In addition, Mr. Schiff has demonstrated hostility to core women’s rights and civil rights, raising serious doubts as to whether he would approach these and related issues with an open mind, follow precedents with which he disagrees, and decide cases involving those issues strictly based on the law and the facts."
Letter to the Senate: 27 National LGBT Groups Oppose Confirmation of John K. Bush and Damien Schiff (07/17/17)
"We, the undersigned 27 national advocacy organizations, representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and everyone living with HIV, write to oppose the nomination of John Kenneth Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the nomination
of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. After reviewing the records of Mr. Bush and Mr. Schiff, we have concluded that their views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law. Although neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Schiff has any judicial experience, their public statements and writings have repeatedly demonstrated not only an extraordinary lack of judgment but also plain contempt for the rights of LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, women, and other vulnerable populations. Their evasive responses to straightforward questions from
your colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee only confirmed our assessment that they should never have been nominated—and should not be confirmed—for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench."
National Women’s Law Center letter to Senate Judiciary Committee urging Senators to oppose the nomination of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. (07/06/17)
"Mr. Schiff is spectacularly unfit for the federal bench. A prolific blogger, Mr. Schiff has made numerous intemperate statements, including referring to Justice Anthony Kennedy as “a judicial prostitute, ‘selling’ his vote as it were to four other Justices in exchange for the high that comes from aggrandizement of power and influence, and the blandishments of the fawning media and legal academy.”1 He has also impugned advocates whose views he does not share,2 raising serious questions about whether he will treat all litigants coming before him with respect and impartiality.
Mr. Schiff has expressed an extremely troubling view of the role of the judiciary as the driver of policy"
Letter from eleven national organizations to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member strongly urging rejection of Damien Schiff nomination to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (06/13/17)
"On behalf of our organizations and their millions of members, we strongly urge you to reject the nomination of Damien Schiff to the United States Court of Federal Claims (CFC). Mr. Schiff has devoted most of his career to advancing an extreme judicial ideology that opposes virtually all forms of environmental safeguards at the federal, state and local levels that are designed to protect the public good. A large part of his career focuses on challenging and redefining the legal precedents regarding what forms of government actions represent “takings” that must be compensated by the federal government under the Constitution. Under Mr. Schiff’s view, nearly all environmental safeguards would qualify as takings, which would make it virtually impossible to protect our nation’s water and air from pollution and would allow most endangered species to slide to extinction.... what makes him unqualified to be a federal judge, are his tactics in public to personally demonize his opponents, to repeatedly call their motives into question, and to attack them in ideologically absolutist terms.... Mr. Schiff’s characterization of the role of government, of public servants, and of the laws themselves is equally hostile." [Letter signed by Amazon Watch; Animal Welfare Institute; Center for Biological Diversity; Center for Food Safety; Earthjustice; Endangered Species Coalition; Friends of Animals; International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute; Sierra Club; Western Watersheds Project; WildEarth Guardians]
AFL-CIO letter urging Senators to oppose to the nomination of Damien Schiff to the United States Court of Federal Claims (06/13/17)
"Damien Schiff has a record that demonstrates unbridled hostility toward worker rights. He has argued that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is unconstitutional.... the Senate Judiciary Committee must thoroughly review Mr.
Schiff’s record, which includes a blog posting that characterized Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as a “judicial prostitute.” Americans deserve an open-minded and fair judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, not one whose
intemperate writing reflects a monumental lack of judgement."
Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee from 16 national advocacy organizations, representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and everyone living with HIV to oppose the nomination of John Kenneth Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the nomination of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. (06/12/17)
"After reviewing the records of Mr. Bush and Mr. Schiff, we have concluded that their views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality,
liberty, justice and dignity under the law. Although neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Schiff has any judicial experience, their public statements and writings have repeatedly demonstrated contempt for LGBT
Americans, people living with HIV, women, and other vulnerable populations."
Natural Resources Defense Council letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member on nomination of Damien Schiff to the Court of Federal Claims (06/12/17)
"Mr. Schiff’s writings frequently attack and denigrate environmental safeguards and the citizens and agencies that seek to enforce them. This perspective, combined with indications that he may bring an extremely rigid judicial philosophy to the court, raises
serious questions about whether he will fairly assess cases involving public health and environmental protections.... Schiff does not reserve his derision for government agencies and environmental groups, but extends it to laws Congress has adopted to protect the environment.... Schiff likewise has advocated for an activist judiciary to implement his views."