We chronicled the Democratic National Committee's efforts and alleged activity to prevent Senator Bernie Sanders from becoming the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee (here, here, and here). As the Iowa caucuses meet tonight and according to recent reports, it may happen again in 2020 as DNC insiders consider reviving superdelegates' primary role at the DNC Convention:Read more
Today, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court's decision in Chatfield v. League of Women Voters (League of Women Voters v. Benson below) and remanded for further consideration in light of Rucho v. Common Cause. There was nothing unexpected or even very newsworthy in this, but what is newsworthy is the hand-wringing among Democrats and in the mainstream media. The misleading headlines and stories that gave the impression that the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of Michigan Republicans.Read more
There is a new, troubling trend among 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates this cycle: advocating and promoting a “litmus test,” or judicial philosophy benchmark, for judicial and Supreme Court candidates if he or she happens to be elected President of the United States.
Such a trend goes against the history of judicial nominations and threatens the principle of judicial independence. Some even call the implementation of a judicial litmus test as breaking the “political taboo.”Read more
This is another installment of an ongoing series of posts summarizing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates' views on judges and the courts. All posts in this series can be viewed here.
On Neil Gorsuch: Voted no.
- On April 4, 2017, Senator Sanders addressed the floor of the Senate to oppose Neil Gorsuch. Sanders stated that he was basing his decision to vote no partly on the fact that he did not believe Gorsuch would vote to reverse Citizens United, or Shelby County v. Holder.
- Sanders argued that changing the filibuster rule for Supreme Court Justices was inappropriate because former Majority Leader Harry Reid had declined to do that when Democrats held the Senate and that Reid understood that Supreme Court Justices were of a different magnitude than other nominees.
- In a press release, Sanders stated that Gorsuch “refused to answer legitimate questions and brought the confirmation process to a new low in a thick fog of evasion.”
On Brett Kavanaugh: Voted no.
- Sanders tweeted his opposition to Brett Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018, the same day as President Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh. Sanders stated that Kavanaugh would “have a profoundly negative effect on workers’ rights, women’s rights and voting rights for decades to come.” Sanders also stated that “We must do everything we can to stop this nomination.”
- On September 6, 2018, Sanders again tweeted that “We must do everything we can to defeat Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.”
His opposition to President Trump’s judicial nominees: Sanders voted to confirm 15 of the 71 judges nominated by President Trump, or around 21% of the nominees.
- As of April 25, 2019, a total 71 Article III judges have received confirmation votes in the U.S. Senate since President Trump took office. All were confirmed. This does not include 32 judges that were confirmed by voice vote.
- Sanders voted against 55 of the judges nominated by President Trump, or over 77% of the nominees.
- Sanders missed one vote on a judge nominated by President Trump.
- Sanders received an A- grade from Demand Justice for opposing President Trump’s judicial nominees.