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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


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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."

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]

League of Conservation Voters letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member strongly urging them to oppose the judicial nomination of Damien Schiff to the US Court of Federal Claims. (06/13/17)
"[H]is track record reveals that he is an extreme nominee with bias and disdain for environmental safeguards that protect the air, water, and public health. Schiff’s strong criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his extreme view that the EPA should compensate property owners for losses in value resulting from the need to comply with new regulations, reveal that he lacks the proper temperament to serve in the judiciary.... Schiff statements are not only egregious but demonstrate prejudice against the EPA.... LCV strongly urges you to oppose the judicial nomination of Damien Schiff to the US Court of Federal Claims. We will strongly consider including this confirmation vote in the 2017 Scorecard."

Letter from 29 Environmental and Natural Resources Law Professors to Senate Judiciary Chairman and Ranking Member strongly urging them to reject Nomination of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (06/13/17)
"Mr. Schiff has demonstrated an extraordinary level of vituperative partisanship, has frequently advocated positions falling well outside long established jurisprudential norms, and has shown little regard for the role of Congress as the nation’s primary lawmaker. We therefore fear that Mr. Schiff would seek to use a federal judicial post to advance a narrow partisan agenda rather than fairly adjudicate and decide issues of law.... Mr. Schiff has consistently used extreme rhetoric to personally demonize both his opponents in court and the federal government itself."

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."

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Ranking Member in strong opposition to the confirmation of Damien M. Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. (06/09/17)
"It is difficult to fathom a nominee less deserving of a judicial confirmation than Damien Schiff.... Mr. Schiff’s writings demonstrate that he is completely lacking in an ability to serve as a neutral arbiter and to apply the law fairly and dispassionately."

People for the American Way Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee strong opposition to the confirmation of Damien Schiff to U.S. Court of Federal Claims. (06/08/17)
"Schiff has spent much of his career litigating against environmental regulations or agency actions, demonstrating an ideological agenda in an area of importance to the Court of Federal Claims. This is particularly problematic because it has taken place against a background of statements ridiculing and impugning the motives of environmentalists.... A nominee cannot malign an entire class of litigants and then expect to be confirmed to any court, .... Schiff’s blog posts are the epitome of the coarse, strident political dialogue that the Chairman stated he was worried about. His baseless and inflammatory attacks against environmentalists are just an example of that. Perhaps most notorious is Schiff’s very personal and vulgar attack on Justice Anthony Kennedy,"

Defenders of Wildlife letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman and Ranking Member urging opposition to nomination of Damien Schiff to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (06/08/17)
"His prolific published writings and public statements ... display a consistent hostility to government efforts to address environmental problems-- from the Endangered Species Act to the Clean Water Act to climate change measures-- and a shameful willingness to impugn the motives of those who support such measures. In every respect, Mr. Schiff's background reveals an intensely committed ideologue who lacks the temperament to be a fair and neutral federal judge."

16 Environmental Organizations (including Defenders of Wildlife) Call on Senate to Hold Up or Down Vote on Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland (07/15/16)
Backed by 16 environmental organizations, this letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid calls on the United States Senate to commit to doing its job by holding an up or down vote on the President's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. For the protection of our air, water, wildlife and lands, a strong and intact judicial system is as important as ever.

17 National Environmental Groups (including Defenders of Wildlife) CEOs' Letter to Sens. McConnell & Reid on Filling the Supreme Court Vacancy (03/08/16)
"President Obama has announced that he will nominate a replacement for the vacancy on the Supreme Court bench left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, and we believe the President has a clearly prescribed constitutional responsibility to do so. On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, we call on the United States Senate to commit to doing its job by conducting fair confirmation hearings and holding a timely vote on that nominee.... There is ample precedent for a nominee to be confirmed in election years, even when the Senate and White House are controlled by opposite political parties. Willful obstructionism is simply a dereliction of duty, .... For the protection of our air, water, wildlife and lands, a strong and intact judiciary system is as important as ever."

Kavanaugh, Brown, Griffith - Letter to Senator Schumer on Importance of Balance in DC Circuit (09/23/02)
Letter from Environmental Coalition to Senator Schumer on the importance of balance in the DC Circuit.