Senate Republicans Went Back to Stacking the Courts After Acquitting Trump on Impeachment Charges

Senate Republicans claimed that the impeachment trial blocked them from addressing their legislative agenda. Let’s not forget that the House of Representatives has passed plenty of bills to advance civil and human rights, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to bury them in his legislative graveyard. 

Instead, immediately after most Senate Republicans voted to cover up for a president who was impeached for demanding interference in our elections, Leader McConnell shamelessly picked up right where they left off and turned to filling the courts.

(Hillel Steinberg / Creative Commons)

McConnell could have just as easily pushed forward on legislation like H.R. 1, which would do more to protect our elections and the right to vote, but he chose instead to schedule a vote on the lifetime nomination of Andrew Brasher to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Brasher was just confirmed, on a party-line vote, to his district court seat in May 2019.

Why the rush to elevate Andrew Brasher? He, like many other anti-civil rights nominees waiting to be considered—including Stephen Vaden for the U.S. Court of International Trade and Cory Wilson for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi—is a conservative ideologue who has dedicated his career to defending some of the most reprehensible laws aimed at restricting the fundamental right to vote. In addition, Brasher has attempted to restrict LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, environmental protections and other crucial civil and human rights.

The connection could not be clearer: A president who has been impeached for demanding interference in our elections will continue to select the federal judges who are entrusted with protecting our elections and the right to vote. And that is deeply troubling, because far too many of Trump’s judicial nominees have vigorously opposed our civil rights, especially voting rights.

A Senate that demonstrated no respect for what a full and fair trial should look like has no business proceeding with biased nominees who will serve a lifetime in courts that exist to protect people and their rights, and justice for all.

The very least this Senate can do to hold the president accountable is to reject lifetime judges with anti-civil rights records.


Rafael Medina is the communications manager at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.