June 26, 2019

Democratic Debate Moderators in Miami Must Press Candidates on their Plan for the Nation’s Courts, says American Constitution Society President Caroline Fredrickson

Washington, DC — Ahead of the first debates in the 2020 Democratic Primary, ACS President Caroline Fredrickson called on debate moderators José Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow, and Chuck Todd to press the candidates on their strategies for nominating judges at all court levels. The Trump administration has appointed a record number of judges to the federal bench, aided by Senator Mitch McConnell’s corruption of the judicial nomination process. Trump’s appointees, many of whom are far out of the American mainstream, have the potential affect the lives of millions of Americans, making the courts “the most important issue in 2020.”

Below is Caroline Fredrickson’s statement:

“The far right’s vision for the courts would shock most Americans, but too few have their eye on this aspect of the 2020 race. Given the damage Trump has done to the nation’s judiciary, tilting it in favor of the wealthy and powerful, it is vital that all of his challengers be pressed on how they would address this threat. This is the most important issue in 2020 and the debate needs to start June 26 in Miami.

“The right’s efforts to reshape the courts will affect virtually every issue Americans care about. It would undo our wage and hour laws, environmental protections, the right to choose, and most federal regulations. It would also radically reinterpret the First Amendment’s ban on the establishment of a preferred religion. In short, it would wind back the clock on decades of progress, taking us back to a time when the courts protected the wealthy and powerful at the expenses of everyday Americans.

“The moderators of this week’s Democratic primary debates— José Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow, and Chuck Todd—must push the candidates on this vital issue. There will be plenty of time to focus on the President’s deplorable tweets, his Oval Office lies, and his cruel policies, but the Democratic candidates absolutely need to speak to their strategy for the nation’s courts. It’s one area where the President has seen success, one area with potentially devastating consequences across the country.”

Founded in 2001, the American Constitution Society (ACS) is a leading progressive legal organization and network of attorneys, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers, and other concerned individuals, dedicated to making the law a force to improve people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter at @acslaw. You can also follow Caroline Fredrickson on Twitter @crfredrickson.