Senator Elizabeth Warren on Judges

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.[1]  

  • “They stole a Supreme Court seat, and they’ve installed union-buster Neil Gorsuch on the bench. And now their investment is paying off.” [2]
  • “Republicans and their billionaire buddies have pushed through judges like Justice Gorsuch to rig the system against workers. They can use a stolen Supreme Court seat to try to break the backs of unions and deliver punch after punch to working people—but we will fight back.” [3]


On Brett Kavanaugh:     Voted No. [4]

  • “He is the ‘trifecta’ for Trump, someone who will be committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, someone who will be committed to rolling back health care for millions of Americans, and someone who, it looks pretty likely, will help Donald Trump if he gets into serious criminal trouble." [5]
  • “Brett Kavanaugh's record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB & corporate accountability, thinks Presidents like Trump are above the law – and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. I'll be voting no.” [6]


Her opposition to Trump’s judicial nominees:     Voted against Trump judicial nominations 81% of the time.[7]    

  • In a Senate floor speech, she stated “President Trump has been all in, nominating extreme and partisan judges to the federal judiciary at lightning speed.  Trump judges can easily fill a who’s who of radical, right-wing, pro-corporate lawyers….” [8]
  • “Republicans know that every time they try to lock voters out of the democratic process, they will be challenged in the courts.  But they have a plan for that.  They have been working at breakneck speed to stack federal courts with a cadre of conservative federal judges whose record show they have no intention of protecting our democracy.” [9]


Position on expanding the Supreme Court

On March 18, 2019, Senator Warren informed Politico that she was open to expanding the U.S. Supreme Court.  She said, “It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court” and also mentioned bringing appellate judges onto Supreme Court cases as an option. “It’s a conversation that’s worth having,” she added. [10]   


What kind of Supreme Court justice would she appoint?

She has argued that our courts are dominated by corporate lawyers, saying, “It matters that someone has represented people other than corporate clients. That they've had real experience with people who can't afford lawyers. That they've had real experience trying to fight for the public interest.”  [11]


Her views about the role of the courts

She believes the American justice system is unjust and broken:  we need to “put judges on the federal bench who are fair, impartial, and committed to dispensing equal justice under law.  Fair and impartial judges are supposed to stand up for justice when prosecutors try to ruin someone’s life over allegedly grabbing seven bucks from the cash register.  They’re supposed to stand up for justice when consumers and workers seek a day in court against giant companies that injure them.  But the judges before the Senate this week don’t stand up for justice.  Instead they stand up for the powerful against the people who desperately need someone who will be fair even to those who don’t have money.”[12]


Last Updated: May 7, 2019


Works Cited:

[1] RCV No. 111:



[4] RCV No. 223:



[7] As of May 6, 2019, Senator Warren voted against Trump’s judicial nominees 63 out of 78 times in roll call votes for federal judge confirmations including the U.S. Supreme Court. (115th Congress, First Session RCV Nos. 111, 137, 158, 164, 182, 188, 207, 251, 253, 255, 257, 259, 261, 280, 281, 283, 313, 315, 317); (115th Congress, Second Session RCV Nos. 3, 5, 7, 9, 27, 38, 42, 46, 47, 49, 65, 82, 87, 89, 92, 93, 94, 95, 113, 115, 117, 145, 160, 174, 183, 185, 200, 204, 223, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 258); (116th Congress, First Session RCV Nos. 29, 35, 37, 39, 42, 44, 46, 52, 54, 62, 64, 66, 68, 73, 75, 85, 87, 91, 92, 93).