Washington, DC, May 09, 2018– Today, Sharon McGowan, Director of Strategy at Lambda Legal, issued the following statement on Leader McConnell’s legacy of judicial nominations after the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of Michael Brennan, Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit:

Judges protect what we value most in society. No matter who you are or where you come from, judges hold immense power to affect the rights and freedoms of all Americans. But over the years, we have watched Leader McConnell ignore the will of the people and tamper with the Senate’s constitutional authority to oversee the judicial nomination process. In moving ahead with the confirmation of Michael Brennan over the objection of Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, the Senate Majority Leader has crossed the Rubicon and allowed Trump to effectively purchase 10 percent of the real estate in our federal appellate court system.

Once Mr. Brennan is confirmed, one in 10 judges sitting on the U.S. Courts of Appeals will have been hand-selected by the Trump/Pence Administration. Each of these judges will have decades to undermine – and possibly overturn – landmark decisions like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges.  Moreover, the courts’ essential role as a safeguard against a president’s most dangerous and unconstitutional impulses will be in jeopardy. By ignoring the democratically-elected officials who oppose these nominees, President Trump and Leader McConnell reveal just how desperate they are to “win” the court before they lose at the ballot box.

Leader McConnell has made clear that he is willing to say or do anything to pack the courts with Trump’s judges, many of whom had records replete with explicit anti-LGBT bias. Giving this president carte blanche to transform the makeup of the federal courts will only hurt the American people and destroy the credibility of the Senate in the process.  Leader McConnell’s willingness to rig the system for President Trump and his total disdain for the principle of “liberty and justice for all” will define his legacy as Senate Majority Leader.”

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. www.lambdalegal.org