July 14, 2022

Join Us in Speaking Out on Judicial Nominations

Russ Feingold President

Now more than ever, judges matter. We are already witnessing the devastating impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health, which wiped out the federal constitutional right to abortion and sent the fate of reproductive rights to the states, which ultimately means state courts.

We are already seeing dozens of lawsuits filed as practitioners struggle to determine the legal landscape in their states when it comes to abortion laws. So much is riding on the commitment of individual judges to vindicate fundamental rights.

This is why ACS is working harder than ever to identify and recruit judicial candidates who are diverse, qualified, and who are committed to our fundamental rights. This is also why we are deeply alarmed by reports that the White House has made a deal with Senator Mitch McConnell to nominate a staunchly anti-abortion lawyer in Kentucky, Chad Meredith, for a federal judgeship.

Meredith has a long track record of not only opposing but actively working to undermine abortion rights, trans rights, and labor rights. This is exactly what we do not need on our federal bench. Meredith would compound the problem we are already facing of a federal judiciary – and Supreme Court – packed by the previous administration with judges who are more than willing to use their position of power to erode and ignore our fundamental rights.

We are speaking out publicly about our opposition to this reported deal and will continue to do so. As we do, we are also encouraging our members to use their own voices and platforms to publicly speak out against the White House nominating Meredith. We are grateful to the Senators who are already speaking out about this. It is not too early to call your Senator and express your opinion about this potential nomination.

We need the White House and the Senate fully committed to filling as many judicial vacancies as they can between now and the end of the year with diverse, qualified judges who are committed to the rule of law, to safeguarding democracy, and to vindicating our fundamental rights. That is not Chad Meredith.

We are calling on the Senate to cancel its August recess and stay in session to hold more judicial confirmation hearings and votes. Nobody knows what the mid-term elections will bring. But in the event that Republicans retake the Senate in November, it’s quite possible that McConnell will refuse to confirm a single judicial nominee by President Biden. This would leave dozens if not hundreds of federal court vacancies empty for up to two years, as McConnell bets on having a Republican win the White House in 2024 so he can further pack our federal courts to advance a right-wing agenda.

The White House announced 16 new judicial nominees this week. This is a great step towards filling as many vacancies as possible before the end of the year, and is even more reason for the Senate to stay in session during August.