Grassley Calls Out Extremist Judicial Nominees

In Thursday's hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on multiple Biden nominees for the federal judiciary. Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) commented on three nominees in particular, stating, "with their activist records, I don’t believe these nominees will respect the rule of law and follow the law as written, so I’m going to oppose them."

These three nominees were Nancy G. Abudu for the Eleventh Circuit; Nusurat Jahan Choudhury for the Eastern District of New York; and Natasha C. Merle for the Eastern District of New York. 

Sen. Grassley first addressed concerns about Nancy Abudu, citing her prior work for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The district courts of Alabama are looking into whether the [Southern Poverty Law] Center engaged in what’s called ‘judge shopping.  I don’t know of another nominee that we voted on when we knew a court was investigating possible misconduct.

But this is just the start of Abudu's troubling association with SPLC. In prior hearings, she stated that she oversaw cases for the SPLC, but claimed to have no involvement in the group's notorious "hate group" designations of various conservative organizations, even though she often litigated against these exact same groups. Grassley noted:

Conveniently, the nominee says she has no involvement in, ‘the filing of complaints, the briefings, or any oral arguments.' That’s the entire case, so it’s not clear what she means when she oversees cases

As RNLA detailed in its opposition letter, there are other reasons to oppose Abudu. Abudu is only the second nominee that RNLA has formerly opposed. Because the committee deadlocked on her vote, she was not discharged to the floor without a recommendation.  While she can still be nominated by a majority vote of the full Senate, Majority Leader Schumer will have to use additional procedures, which take time and force the Vice President to chair the Senate. We hope at least one Democrat will join Republicans in opposing this extreme nominee or that President Biden himself withdraws this nominee before the vote.  

Abudu has not been Biden's only troubling nominee.  Grassley also called out Nusurat Jahan Choudhury for her previous statements. In a prior hearing, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) noted Choudhury stated police killings of unarmed black men "happen everyday in America," which is patently false. Choudhury repeatedly refused to answer whether or not she believed this statement to be true. Police groups came forward to oppose Choudhury's nomination; Sen. Grassley and many others joined them in opposition.

Sen Grassley concluded his remarks by opposing Natasha C. Merle's nomination as well, citing her comments claiming that voter ID laws and the border wall are "grounded in white supremacy." Outraged by these statements, Sen. Grassley noted, "voter ID is supported by eighty-percent of the Americans."

The Senator also argued against Merle's nomination because she stated that police intervention against rioters attempting to target federal agents through arson was "completely unprovoked and unnecessary."

Sen. Grassley concluded, "[these] three are some of the most activist judicial nominees we've seen," and he opposed each of their nominations.  

The extremes of these nominees prove the importance of Republicans taking back the Senate this November.