On Wednesday, three of those nominees will appear before the Senate. Together, they evince a deep hostility toward civil rights.
Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for three of POTUS’ judicial nominees may lack the intrigue of James Comey’s blockbuster testimony, but for anyone who cares about the integrity and independence of America’s courts, the stakes could hardly be higher. The hearing will illustrate how Trump is advancing an anti-civil rights agenda—not just through executive orders and agency actions, but by attempting to alter the makeup of the judiciary.
Trump’s initial nominees to fill more than 120 lower court vacancies—many of which exist only because the Republican Senate refused to act on the qualified nominations put forth by President Barack Obama—foretell a Trump-stacked judiciary that would clear the way for constitutionally suspect executive actions, shield corporate wrongdoers from accountability, and imperil the civil rights of all Americans.
If this sounds like hyperbole, witness Trump’s record thus far. There’s the unconstitutional, anti-Muslim “travel ban.” There’s the sham “election-integrity” commission rooted in Trump’s ludicrous claims of epidemic-level voter fraud. There are the deep budget cuts to civil rights offices. There’s the roster of appointed officials, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who do not support the very civil-rights laws they are obligated to enforce—and under whose leadership the administration withdrew guidance that protected transgender students, curtailed the use of consent decrees to end discriminatory policing, revived the failed and racist “war on drugs” and dropped a legal challenge to Texas’s discriminatory voter ID law.