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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Senator Statements


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Sen. Durbin Urges No Vote On John Bush Nomination To 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals
(Democrat - Illinois) 07/19/17
In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of John Bush, who has been nominated to serve a lifetime appointment on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. ... “The Federal Courts of Appeal have a significant impact on the lives of all Americans. Because the Supreme Court only reviews a limited number of cases each year, decisions by the Circuit Courts represent the final word on thousands of legal matters that involve a host of important issues. The Senate must take seriously its obligation to vet candidates for the Circuit Courts. The Senate has to take very seriously its obligation to consider candidates for this important court. We have to make sure they have the qualifications, the temperament, and the judgement to serve for the rest of their lives. Based upon Mr. Bush’s record and his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, I believe he falls short of this standard,” said Durbin. “This vote, when it comes to his nomination, is not a close call. It is clear that Mr. Bush has friends in high places, but he’s demonstrated a temperament and a judgment which we should not put in a lifetime position on the federal Courts of Appeal. I urge my colleagues to oppose his nomination.”

Sen. Murray: “Unconscionable” Senate GOP Pushing to Confirm Anti-Women, Anti-LGBTQ Nominee for Lifetime Circuit Court Appointment
(Democrat - Washington) 07/19/17
"There are so many troubling aspects of Bush’s record, previous statements, writings, and legal views—they should alarm every American. From his views on LGBTQ rights and about race and campaign finance reform, to his vision for the environment and of our election laws.” “For nearly a decade, Bush has made countless inflammatory, offensive, and troubling comments on a number of issues important to women .... this not a normal nominee, and that this is someone who lacks the qualifications and character and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench"

Sen. Feinstein Sets the Record Straight on Blue Slip, Speaks Against Right-Wing Nominees
(Democrat - California) 07/13/17
"I intend to support Mr. Newsom for the Eleventh Circuit, but I need to make a point about blue slips first. In February 2016, President Obama nominated U.S. District Court Judge Abdul Kallon for this very same vacancy on the Eleventh Circuit. A few years earlier, Judge Kallon had been unanimously confirmed with the support of Senators Shelby and Sessions when he was nominated to the federal district court bench. However, Judge Kallon did not receive a hearing in this committee last year because Senators Shelby and Sessions did not support his elevation to the circuit court and thus did not return their blue slips. That’s the prerogative of home state senators for judicial nominees from their states—including circuit court judges and it has existed for 100 years.... President Obama’s nominee Judge Kallon and three other circuit nominees waited nine, 10, up to 11 months for blue slips that never came .... I am not able to support Mr. Bush’s nomination to the Sixth Circuit or Mr. Schiff’s nomination to the Court of Federal Claims.... they expressed strident, provocative and in some cases deeply offensive opinions on a wide range of political and legal issues. If I were a litigant before them, I would not have the confidence that these individuals had the temperament or impartiality to serve as a federal judge.... Bush wrote blog posts where he relied on extreme right-wing sources like World Net Daily .... Schiff referred to Justice Kennedy as a ‘judicial prostitute,’ and accused Justice Kennedy of ‘selling his vote as it were to four other justices in exchange for the high that comes from aggrandizement of power and influence.’ Shocking. Mr. Schiff also criticized a California school district’s proposed anti-bullying initiative for teaching that ‘homosexual families are the moral equivalent of traditional heterosexual families.’ Lastly, Mr. Schiff has repeatedly made clear his hostility to environmental laws that protect our clean air and clean water."

[Sen. Franken tweet with three videos of his statements at Judiciary Committee opposing John Bush and Damien Schiff nominations]
(Democrat - Minnesota) 07/13/17
I believe that John Bush, a nominee to 6th Circuit, is unsuitable to serve on U.S. Court of Appeals. More from @senjudiciary hearing today: ... A man who anonymously posted inflammatory blog posts, who relied upon info from news sources that publish lies shouldn't be a federal judge.... And Damien Schiff, nom for U.S. Court of Federal Claims, does not deserve to be a federal judge or a lifetime appointment.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on John K. Bush and Damien Schiff judicial nominations
(Republican - Louisiana) 06/14/17
John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer nominated to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, said he regretted some of his 400-plus posts, all published under a fake name ... Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana seemed unpersuaded. "Mr. Bush, I've read your blogs," Kennedy said as he stared at the nominee. "I'm not impressed."... While Bush adopted an apologetic tone, a second nominee, Damien Schiff, was far more confrontational.... Kennedy, who looked disgusted at the end of the hearing, but said he had reached no conclusion about the nominees.

Sen. McConnell Comments on Nomination of John Bush from Kentucky
(Republican - Kentucky) 05/08/17
“I commend President Trump on his strong judicial nominations announced today, including John Bush, of Louisville, to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. John has built a reputation as a talented litigator, trying complex cases in both state and federal courts. Through his broad array of experiences, John has proven his legal ability and earned the respect of his peers. He will make a strong addition to the Sixth Circuit, and I look forward to the Senate confirming him.”