Second Round: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates on Judges

Today, the RNLA's Judicial Affairs Committee released a second round of summaries on "2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates on Judges." The Judicial Affairs Committee has been reviewing and assessing top tier Democrat candidates and Democratic U.S. Senators contending to become the Democratic nominee for President and their positions on judges and the courts during the Trump Administration.

Last week, the committee released summaries on: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren

Today, summaries were released on Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. A link to all the published summaries can be found on our home page here or via our blog article search here.

Below are a few of the extreme comments that Senators Klobuchar and Gillibrand have made regarding judges and the courts:

Senator Klobuchar on Supreme Court Nominees:

  • On Justice Gorsuch's nomination: "[Judge Gorsuch] was out of the mainstream...there were some real concerns about his philosophy."
  • On Justice Kavanaugh's nomination, she summarized it as: "[Judge Kavanaugh] was basically politicizing the whole judiciary with how he acted [during his confirmation hearings]."

As for the current role of the courts, Senator Klobuchar declared:

And the last branch, the third branch of government – our courts and individual judges – have been under assault, not just by a solitary disappointed litigant, but by the President of the United States...Our democracy is on trial. And for the pillars of our democracy and our Constitution to weather this storm, our nation’s highest Court must serve as a ballast in these turbulent times.


Meanwhile, Senator Gillibrand is the first Presidential candidate to have litmus test for all her potential judicial nominations. She declared in a recent authored piece:   

I'm announcing that as president, I will only nominate judges—including Supreme Court justices — who will commit to upholding Roe v. Wade as settled law and protect women's reproductive rights.

Senator Gillibrand also expressed skepticism and even ulterior motives of those who are willing to serve as jurists in our federal courts. She said:

“I do believe we need a full transparency agenda put in place for [the justices] because they are no longer public servants in the way that we have always imagined them to be[.]”


These are just a small tidbit of their stances and statements on judges. Each report is footnoted and cited and will be updated as needed to reflect changes in their political positions. A third round of summaries is expected in the near future and will feature Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana and Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado. If you are interested in joining the RNLA Judicial Affairs Committee, please feel free to email [email protected] to be considered.