WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2020 – The Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (AFJAC) unveiled a new Senate Accountability project today to inform voters about the records of all 30 U.S. senators running for reelection. These snapshots of the senators’ votes on President Trump’s judicial nominees provide key insights into their positions across many issues.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has turned the Senate into what many have called a “legislative graveyard,” refusing to take action on hundreds of bipartisan bills passed by the House of Representatives. In the meantime, however, Senate Republicans have been busy rubber-stamping nearly 200 of Trump’s judicial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench. Next week, McConnell is even calling back senators to expedite the confirmation of more extremist judges — judges with anti-health care records, no less — rather than focus on responding to the health and economic crisis facing the nation.
These judges have records closely aligned with Trump’s priorities. They pass his litmus tests for opposing reproductive freedom and access to health care. They have ugly records rejecting LGBTQ equality, they support overturning clean air and water protections, they want to gut voting rights, and they want to protect the wealthy and powerful at the expense of workers and consumers. In short, these judges’ egregious records – clear at the time of their Senate votes – shine a bright light on where senators stand on issues critical to their constituents.
AFJAC’s Senate Accountability project provides snapshots of how all 30 incumbent senators voted when asked to confirm 15 of the Trump appointees with the worst records on key issues. These votes are also juxtaposed with the senators’ own public positions on these issues, revealing stark dissonance between many Republicans’ stated commitments to protecting their constituents’ rights, and their support of judges who threaten to undermine them at every turn. For example, every Republican senator professes to their constituents that they care about their health and well-being. Senators like Susan Collins, Martha McSally, and Joni Ernst have nevertheless repeatedly voted for judges who, if given the opportunity, would take away access to quality health insurances for millions.
Alliance for Justice Action Campaign President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“As voters head to the polls this year, nothing paints a clearer picture of senators’ records than their judicial confirmation votes. Instead of debating important bills, Republican senators have repeatedly handed partisan nominees lifetime appointments in the hope that they will do the dirty work of advancing their unpopular agenda. Actions speak louder than words, and these confirmation votes belie many of the claims they have made about their views on issues important to all Americans. Senators must answer to their constituents for not only the policies they consider, but the judges who will determine the fate of our rights for generations.”