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PFAW: Senate Republicans Advance Barr for Attorney General and Push Narrow-Minded Elitists for Federal Bench in “Monster Markup”

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Press Release
Derrick Crowe
People For the American Way
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—People For the American Way today released the following statement from PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker in response to the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee’s rubber-stamping of dozens of narrow-minded elitist judicial nominees in the so-called “Monster Markup,” while also voting to advance the nomination of William Barr for attorney general.

“William Barr should not be confirmed as the next attorney general. His troubling views and record with regard to executive power and civil and human rights, particularly in the Trump era, make him a dangerous choice to lead the department most essential to ensuring justice, equality, and the rule of law. We are also particularly concerned that he has not offered adequate assurances that he would recuse himself from the Mueller investigation, make the Mueller findings transparent, or reverse the current Justice Department’s attacks on civil rights. With President Trump determined to use the federal government as a weapon against political opponents, these deficiencies disqualify Barr for this post.

“It’s critical that we staff the federal courts with fair-minded constitutionalists—and it’s the Senate’s responsibility under the Constitution to make sure the president’s nominees are fit for that role. Judging from today’s efforts to ram a group of narrow-minded elitists through the Senate confirmation process, Republicans disagree. Today’s ‘Monster Markup’ was an outrageous attempt to stack the federal judiciary with right-wing reactionaries. The deeply troubling records of these nominees include attacks on LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, workers’ rights, and our health care system. These are issues of deep concern to the American people, and voters deserve to know their senators take them seriously.

“Overall, the entire process on display today illustrated a failure by Republicans who are putting their own ideological agenda above the constitutional principles of justice and equality under the law."

PFAW elaborated on its opposition to Barr in a January 2019 letter sent to members of the Senate Judiciary. Today’s hearing also included several nominees who were re-nominated for appointments to federal courts after the Senate failed to confirm them during the last Congress. PFAW had previously commented on the lack of fitness of several of these nominees, including:

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy. Learn more: