Save the Courts

Last week Mitch McConnell pushed through two more extremist nominees to the federal bench. The last one, inexperienced Corey Wilson, who has called the Affordable Care Act “perverse” and supported discriminatory efforts that would restrict voting rights for people of color, marked the 200th confirmation of President Trump’s judicial nominees. For comparison, President Obama had 55 Senate-confirmed circuit court judges at the end of eight years, and these 200 have been rushed through in three and a half.

For the first time in more than four decades, there are no longer any vacancies on the nation’s appellate courts, the judicial level where most of the major rulings are handed down.

What McConnell has called “remaking the judiciary” (and apparently considers his greatest achievement) has the potential to threaten civil rights and health care access for decades to come. NOTE: NC Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have voted YES on confirming this long list of young, inexperienced lawyers for lifetime appointments, most of whom have a record of being hostile to voting rights, reproductive rights, and the ACA.

We are already seeing the repercussions: One of these recent fast-track appointees, Neomi Rao, just ruled that a longtime district court judge cannot scrutinize the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, who twice pleaded guilty in federal court. Rao ordered an end to the case.

Two organizations that are dedicated to addressing this situation — Take Back the Court and Demand Justice — have partnered with the national Indivisible Project to bring us a Save the Courts virtual rally on Tuesday evening this week. Speakers include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ro Khanna, Alicia Garza, W. Kamau Bell, and Dan Pfeiffer. They will address the problems facing our courts and how and why we should reform them.

We encourage everyone to join in, listen, and learn. We’ve got a lot of work ahead to address the damage that has already been done.