TWT 3/5 - Stop Destruction of Judicial Confirmation Process!

Senator Pat Toomey

We urge Senator Toomey to stop the destruction of the judicial confirmation process!

To: Senator Pat Toomey
From: Jodi Hirsh

Under the "leadership" of Senator McConnell, the Senate has gradually destroyed the process of confirming judicial nominees. It began with the lowering of the threshold of required votes from 60 to a simple majority. It continued with the confirmation of Eric Miller to the 9th Circuit over the objection of both home state senators marking the first time in over 100 years that the Senate broke with the blue slip tradition and ignored objections of both home-state senators. What's worse is that the confirmation hearing was purposefully scheduled at a time during a recess period when just two senators — both Republicans — were able to attend and the hearing included less than five minutes of questioning.” And now, Republican senators have introduced a resolution to make the judicial confirmation process even more of a mockery by reducing the post-cloture debate time on district court appointees and some administrative judges within the administration from 30 hours to only 2 hours. These are lifetime appointments on some of the most important courts in the country and Republican senators are treating it with less gravity than the decision of which tie to put on in the morning. It is time for the Senate to stop politicizing the confirmation of judicial nominees and treat the process with the seriousness it requires.

Courts play a vital role in the effective operation of our democracy. Judicial decisions touch on every aspect of our lives from civil rights and and voting rights to health care and immigration. We need the courts to be manned by judges who will protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans, rather than winning confirmation on the basis of their political ideology. As the website for Why Courts Matter says, "Because they serve for life, federal judges can impact the law for decades. And the courts must be independent from the political branches. Our Senators must confirm diverse judges with a commitment to our constitutional rights and justice and opportunity for all." (

We must protect the confirmation process for judicial nominees. We deserve solemn, thoughtful and genuine deliberation and consideration of judges who will be serving lifetime appointments in the judicial branch, especially during this time when you and your Republican colleagues have decided to abdicate your duty to oversee the executive branch as a co-equal branch of government. We urge you to oppose further efforts to denigrate the confirmation process, vote against the resolution to reduce the hearing time on juridical nominees and return to the 100-year-old blue slip tradition.