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judicial nominations Archives – Concerned Women for America

Payback: Abortion Radicals to the Court

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President Joe Biden is doing everything in his power to pay back his pro-abortion supporters who are enraged following the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, which finally overturned Roe v. Wade, sending the issue back to the states.

 

He recently signed an executive order to allow Medicaid funds to be used to facilitate travel for women who want to have an abortion, in clear violation of the spirit, if not the letter of federal law, as expressed through the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money being used to cover the cost of abortions.

 

But the Left long ago figured out that taking such illegal actions requires judges willing to manipulate the law to make sure the policy choices they cannot get through the legislative process are imposed by judicial fiat, exactly what they did through Roe for so many years.

 

Enter Julie Rikelman, President Biden’s nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit based in Massachusetts. Rikelman is none other than the abortion rights activist who represented the abortion clinic in Dobbs. It doesn’t get more brazen than that.

 

Rikelman has dedicated her life to promoting abortion. She is the senior director of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the nation’s most active pro-abortion organization challenging pro-life laws in the states. She was appointed to that position after returning to the organization where she first served as a “Blackmun Fellow.” Justice Blackmun was the author of the Roe v. Wade decision.

 

Needless to say, Rikelman is not an impartial jurist. She is an abortion activist and has been tapped for this position for that very reason. This White House has shown complete contempt for law and justice and the proper role of a judge.

 

President Biden nominated Rikelman after word got out that he might have a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that would have allowed, Chad Meredith, a nominee some considered conservative to be nominated. Radical groups immediately jumped on the White House to get in line. And so they did, nominating Rikelman to appease the mob and showing little regard for the proper role of a judge.

 

This fits with the increasing abortion radicalism of this White House. Recently, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Justices took “an unconstitutional action” in Dobbs. That was right on the heels of calling Justice Clarence Thomas “Justice Thompson,” showing complete disdain for Justice Thomas simply because of his judicial philosophy.

 

Senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee must stand against the Rikelman nomination while raising awareness of the dangers of the continued political weaponization of the processes of justice.

 

We have seen it, not only in the nominations process, but in the Department of Justices’ targeting of parents, in the FBI’s mishandling of critical information about those they favor politically, and more.

 

Senators should use every tool at their disposal to protect the ideas that guard our liberties. The corruption and politicization of justice should be right at the top that list.

Penny Nance statement on Justice Breyer’s retirement

By | Judicial Nominations, News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS | No Comments

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the country, had this to say on the retirement announcement of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Stephen Breyer:

“Justice Breyer’s announcement comes as no surprise to those of us engaged in the policy, political arena. The Democrats are facing a potentially disastrous midterm election, and the left has been aggressively, and very publicly, pushing for his retirement—to their shame honestly.

“We are thankful for Justice Breyer’s service and have shown respect for him, even when we vehemently disagree with his judicial philosophy.

“But the radical left does not care. And it is that same boorish crowd we hope President Joe Biden can resist in making his nomination.

“He needs a win; we can all see that. But I hope he has learned from his recent defeats in the Senate that the radical lefts’ insistence on alienating half the country to get their way is a losing strategy.

“The president has a chance to finally unify the country with a consensus nominee, breaking away from the shameful and vile tactics we have experienced in recent Supreme Court nominations.

“No matter what, CWA’s army of happy warrior women is ready and eager to speak up for truth and justice to prevail on this nomination, against any and all odds.”

 

For media inquiries, please contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary 571-420-2488

Breyer Retires

By | Breyer, LBB, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

I was done writing my newsletter piece to you when the news broke. Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. That changes things a bit.

No official word from the Supreme Court, though, which is interesting and suggests someone talked without authorization. It immediately brought memories of these radical groups in Washington, D.C., driving trucks saying “Breyer Retire” all over town, trying to bully him into submission. The Left is so eager to see him gone that they even messed up his announcement. Usually, the justice who is retiring gets to announce it himself. He must not be happy.

Whatever the case, the radicals got their wish. Breyer is retiring, they have the majority in the U.S. Senate, and President Joe Biden gets to appoint whomever he wants.

Except, that is not entirely true. President Biden made a pledge. During the 2020 presidential debate in South Carolina, when his campaign was struggling to get off the ground, then-presidential candidate Biden promised that, if elected, he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court. “Not a joke,” he emphasized with his usual common-man style.

As told through different reports, the story of the pledge behind the scenes is not about sincere, ordinary person concerns for the country but about raw politics, as you might have guessed.

The story goes that candidate Biden desperately needed the endorsement of one of the most influential figures in South Carolina, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who had also been the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Without his endorsement, the whole campaign could tank. Clyburn asked him not only to commit to appointing the first African American woman but also to pledge it publicly during the debate.

According to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who wrote the book “Lucky,” Clyburn was so frustrated when he didn’t hear candidate Biden say the pledge publicly that he went backstage during one of the breaks to put pressure on him. “Don’t you leave this stage without doing it,” he is reported saying.

And so, he did. Now, President Biden is locked into a very narrow pool of candidates, not based on professional qualifications and merit, but on identity politics. Sad to see the judicial nominations process reduced to these sorts of calculations.

Given that, some names are already floating around. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was recently elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is said to be the second-highest court on the land, is the first name you will hear. She is a former clerk of Justice Breyer.

California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger has also been mentioned, as well as South

Carolina U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs and NAACP attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.

For our part, we must add this nomination to our prayers as we continue to lift up the Court on the upcoming Dobbs decision. As CWA President Penny Nance said in her statement on Justice Breyer’s resignation, let us pray for President Biden that he may use this opportunity to unite the country, instead of further alienating half, to appease the most extreme elements of his party.

“The president has a chance to finally unify the country with a consensus nominee, breaking away from the shameful and vile tactics we have experienced in recent Supreme Court nominations,” Penny said.

Let us pray as one for that as we await an official announcement. And stand by, ready to lift our voices for justice.

Penny Nance with Attorney General Barr

2019, The Year of Judges

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As we continue to pray and fight against the unjust, politically motivated, unconstitutional impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, I want to take a moment and look back at the historic achievement we achieved in the area of judicial nominations. I do not want you to miss the important part you played in making this a historic year for the confirmations of federal judges.

Do not miss it. Your voice, through Concerned Women for America (CWA), is heard in Washington! When we speak on behalf or in opposition to a judge here, every senator knows that we have a mighty army of committed women standing strong for the values we represent. They take note, and they do everything to address the concerns we raise.

Recently, a high-level official sent a note of gratitude to CWA for our work on a very tough nomination calling us, “One of the best groups with which we work.” I know this is in reference to the very strategic, professional, energetic, and graceful way in which you engage at the state level and every time we send a call to action from D.C. Thank you!

Let me give you the historic numbers. I am writing to you as the U.S. Senate has adjourned for the Christmas break and has just confirmed 13 judges in a row to make the total of judges confirmed in 2019, 102. That is the second-highest number for confirmations in one year in U.S. history. All total, we have confirmed 187 under President Trump.

Some of the highlights for this year where you shined through CWA include the recently confirmed Lawrence VanDyke to the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Van Dyke is a Christian conservative with an incredible track record of support for the Constitution as written. Neomi Rao to the D.C. Circuit was also an important nomination that could not have happened without CWA’s influential voice. Let me also mention the important nomination of Attorney General William Barr, just to highlight the fact that your work has been important in the confirmation of important officials beyond judges. As you have probably seen, AG Barr’s contributions to the impeachment battle are becoming more and more important as he exposes the frightening abuse of power at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) against then-candidate Donald Trump.

But back to judicial confirmations. Fifty of the 187 confirmations for President Trump have been to the Appellate Court, which given the small percentage of cases the Supreme Court takes, end up being more influential in the day to day administration of justice. These confirmations are important.

Three Circuits were totally “flipped” to have more judges appointed by Republican presidents than Democrats: the second, third, and eleventh. That is significant, but progress was made in all circuits.

Eighty were confirmed in district courts and seven more to other specialty courts. Compare that with just six confirmations to the district court in 2017 and 47 in 2018. No Supreme Court battle and an important rule change limiting the time for debate on district court nominees made that historic gain possible.

To compare President Trump’s 187 confirmations so far, consider President Barack Obama had 124, President George W. Bush had 169, President Bill Clinton 166, and President George H.W. Bush had 128 at the same time in their presidency.

But no discussion of President Trump’s legacy when it comes to judges is complete without mentioning Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. These justices are serving with honor and distinction in the highest court in the land, and your involvement through CWA was instrumental to their confirmations.

Judicial Nominations Cap the Trump Legacy

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Right at the top of the list of President Donald J. Trump’s legacy is his amazing work on judicial nominations. In just under three years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed the most circuit court judges in a president’s first term since 1980. With several confirmations this week, one out of every four circuit court judges are now a Trump nominee.

The Senate has confirmed a total of 159 judges with more ready to be confirmed at any moment. Forty-five of those are circuit court judges, 112 to the district court, and, of course, two Supreme Court justices.

This week, the President took some time to celebrate the great work their team has been doing on this front. Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Vice-President of Government Relations Doreen Denny was at the White House to mark the occasion.

CWA supporters have been crucial in the Trump Administration’s success through our support of the many judicial nominees. The two Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were most prominent, of course.

Which brings us to the most important point about the Trump legacy. It is not about the numbers. It is not about being a Republican or a Democrat. The fact is CWA’s support and the President’s success is worth celebrating because of the type of judges the president has nominated. His commitment to nominating constitutionalists who refrain from interjecting personal policy preferences into the judicial decision has been unwavering. That is why his number will have such a great impact for all Americans, regardless of political persuasion.

When judges are committed to the text of the Constitution and the laws as written, everyone wins. Remember, the danger of the “living, breathing constitution” is not that the Constitution is amended (the Founders indeed provided a way for the Constitution to be amended, since they knew this must happen—that’s what the Bill of Rights is), it is how it is done. For unelected judges to simply amend the Constitution at their pleasure breaks the most fundamental tenets of our Republic. It is “we the people” who are the “supremes” under our Constitution, not unelected judges.

Therefore, with judges who abide by the text of the Constitution and the laws as written, everyone should feel empowered. They are free to persuade their fellow citizens of their preferred policy positions and work through the legislatures to see that those changes are made. To continue to allow judges to implement one side’s preferred policy changes by judicial fiat is to live under judicial tyranny.

President Trump noted this in his remarks this week saying,

“This system was designed to protect citizens against the unjust concentration of governmental power … [but] when judges assume the role of a legislature, the rights of all citizens are threatened. … When judges write policy instead of applying the law, they impose sweeping changes on millions of Americans without the benefit of legislative debate, public rulemaking, or the consent of the governed. As a result, these highly political rulings inflict painful damage on our security, society, and economy—imposing unworkable edicts on businesses, workers, families, and law enforcement.”

That’s music to my ears.

President Trump also noted that the average age of his circuit judges is less than 50 years old—10 years younger than the average age was for President Obama. This means that this legacy will have a lasting effect on the judiciary. We simply cannot overstate how important this is for the protection of our freedoms.

This success should also highlight for us how important the next election will be. Part of the reason for the president’s success was the rule change made by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who opened the door to get rid of the filibuster of judicial nominees. That reality will benefit whoever is in office. If someone committed to judicial activists is elected President, he too would be able to confirm judges at a faster pace, especially if the same party controls the Senate, as President Trump has enjoyed.

This issue must remain at the top of our minds as we consider our choices for the next election.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.