WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement Tuesday after the Senate broke a century of tradition and confirmed a judicial nominee without having the full and complete consultation of the nominee’s home state senators. David Stras, who was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, a court which has lacked racial or gender diversity throughout its history.
“For the first time in decades, the Senate confirmed a judicial nominee without having received both blue slips from the nominee’s home-state Senators. This move defies logic and ignores the long-standing, bipartisan tradition that has guided the Senate’s work in evaluating nominees for our nation’s federal courts. We condemn this action today, which threatens the integrity of the federal judiciary. The Senate has a constitutional duty and obligation to evaluate the president’s nominees. We have seen President Trump put forth nominees who are radical, outside the mainstream, and woefully unqualified. The President’s nominees do not reflect the racial diversity of our country, and his efforts to pack the courts unravels recent progress in bringing needed diversity to our courts. Today’s action makes clear that the Senate is willing to ignore rules and traditions to merely rubber stamp President Trump’s nominees, a move that could disrupt our courts for generations to come.”