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ICYMI: Packing Courts with Trump Nominees

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture petitions on four nominees to lifetime positions on federal courts of appeal: Amy Coney Barrett (nominated to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit), Joan Larsen (nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Stephanos Bibas (nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), and Allison Eid (nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit). You may recognize some of these names: Joan Larsen and Allison Eid were on then-candidate Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. A reminder that these are individuals who, if confirmed as Justices, were guaranteed by Trump to be “in the mold” of Justice Scalia and would help ensure that Roe v. Wade would “automatically” be overturned.

Amy Coney Barrett may be less known, but her record raises serious concerns about how she would rule if confirmed: Barrett’s writings suggest that she thinks established court cases like Roe v. Wade should be open to challenge — which would encourage people to try to reverse these crucial Supreme Court decisions. She also has said that requiring insurance plans to provide birth control coverage is an infringement on religious liberty, a view directly at odds with eight appeals courts that have considered the issue.

The Republicans in the Senate are racing these nominees through even after the U.S. Judicial Conference explicitly recommended to Congress that the Tenth Circuit seat to which Allison Eid has been nominated not be filled, “based on consistently low filings” in this court. And there was no rush to fill the 7th Circuit vacancy to which Amy Coney Barrett was nominated when Myra Selby, an African-American former Indiana Supreme Court justice, was named in 2016 to fill it. Instead, this is about rubber stamping President Trump’s judicial nominees and confirming them to lifetime positions on federal courts where they will affect the lives of women and girls for generations. It’s time to put on the brakes.