Protecting Integrity of Federal Courts Requires Halting Consideration of Trump Nominees Amid Deepening Concerns for Legitimacy of Administration

Senators Swore Oath to Uphold U.S. Constitution, Not Aid and Abet Destruction of Democratic Institutions

MADISON, Wis. — To protect the integrity of the federal judiciary, the U.S. Senate should delay action on Donald Trump’s nominees until mounting questions about his administration are resolved. According to One Wisconsin Institute, a member of the national Why Courts Matter Coalition, the U.S. Senate ought not consider lifetime appointments to federal courts being made by an executive whose campaign is under investigation for collusion with a foreign nation, who fired the director of the FBI investigating these claims and who reportedly disclosed top secret information to Russian diplomats.

“There are grave, unresolved questions about Donald Trump’s election, the legitimacy of his administration and legality of his actions while in office,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Research Director Jenni Dye. “Firing the FBI Director heading an investigation of his campaign and compromising U.S. intelligence sources only builds the case against acting on his nominees to the federal courts,”

Trump recently submitted an number of nominations to fill the nearly 200 vacancies on the federal courts. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee brought confirmation hearings to a halt on Wednesday, after the news of FBI Director James Comey’s firing last week. New revelations that Donald Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to Russian diplomats only adds to the growing crisis and threat to democratic institutions he poses.

Dye noted that years of unprecedented obstructionism by the Republicans in the Senate, including Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have resulted in numerous judicial vacancies, including the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals that includes Wisconsin. Among the Senate GOP’s dilatory tactics was a nearly year long refusal to give a hearing or a vote to President Obama’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

She concluded, “U.S. Senators like Ron Johnson swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, not aide and abet the destruction of our democratic institutions by Donald Trump. Approving Trump’s lifetime nominations to the federal bench at this time could undermine the integrity of the courts and our system of checks and balances. It’s time Sen. Johnson and his colleagues put the integrity of the judiciary before partisan political loyalty.”

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