Wisconsin Civil Rights Leaders Speak Against Troubling Vote on Brennan | WisCommunity

Wisconsin Civil Rights Leaders Speak Against Troubling Vote on Brennan

May 7, 2018 - 2:24pm

WASHINGTON – Wisconsin civil rights leaders today held a telephone press briefing in opposition to President Trump’s nomination of Michael Brennan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Senate is expected to vote this week on Brennan’s nomination to be a lifetime judge.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a cloture petition two weeks ago to end debate and force a floor vote on Brennan’s nomination. Brennan was given a hearing and committee vote earlier this year when Senator Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, disregarded the objections of a home-state senator, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.). Historically, judicial nominees who lack the support of both home-state senators do not go forward. This move further and dangerously dismantles checks and balances by Republican leaders during the Trump administration.

for a recording of the call.


Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, was joined on the call by Angela Lang, executive director, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities; Matt Sinovic, executive director, Progress Iowa; Analiese Eicher, program director, One Wisconsin Now; and Wendy Strout, Wisconsin state manager, Human Rights Campaign.


“McConnell’s push to confirm the hard-right Brennan despite the opposition of Senator Baldwin represents a further, dangerous dismantling of checks and balances by Republican leaders during the Trump administration. If he’s confirmed, Brennan will be the first appeals court nominee in nearly four decades to be confirmed over the objection of a home-state senator. It is particularly disturbing that these customary procedures are unheeded to confirm a far-right judge such as Brennan, who in addition to his longstanding partisan allegiance to the Republican Party has a track record of demonstrated harsh criminal sentencing and supporting judicial extremists with anti-LGBTQ views,” said Kristine Lucius of The Leadership Conference.


“When we see an unarmed Black man murdered just for sleeping on a park bench by the police outside of a Starbucks it is incredibly dangerous to pretend racial bias doesn't exist in the criminal system. It is dangerous and irresponsible to pretend white supremacy hasn't permeated the justice system like it has in other institutions. Michael Brennan is yet another Trump nominee who is so narrow-minded that he couldn’t even acknowledge that there is implicit racial bias in our criminal justice system,” said Angela Lang of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities.


“Sen. Chuck Grassley turned the Judiciary Committee into his own personal political playground," said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa. "Grassley has ignored every tradition and process he once supported in an effort to fast track as many of President Trump's extremist nominees as he can. Americans deserve far better from the Senate and expect that they act as a check on the presidency, not merely as a rubber stamp.”


“Michael Brennan is the wrong nominee for a lifetime court appointment, and Donald Trump and his Senate Republican enablers are using the wrong process in ramming through his nomination. We count on our federal courts to treat everyone equally before the law and where we can turn to protect our rights and stop government overreaches and Brennan is the wrong nominee," said Analiese Eicher of One Wisconsin Now.


“The blue slip process is a bipartisan tradition honored for the past 100 years. Brennan, himself, wrote an editorial endorsing the blue slip process in 2011. We are opposed to this nomination because of the disrespect shown toward Sen. Baldwin as a home state senator in this process,” said Wendy Stout of the Human Rights Campaign.


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