Image from People For The American Way
I read that you have recently updated your list of possible nominations to the Supreme Court. As an American who was horrified by the treatment of Antonin Scalia’s seat, from the blockading by Republicans to the nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, this news brought about a rush of complicated and angry emotions. I found myself once again angered by the grip of your fingers over the throat of the judiciary. Sure, Justices Bader-Ginsburg and Kennedy have not indicated they will be leaving any time soon, but three years is a long time and it bothers me that someone with as adversarial a relationship with the courts as you has the power to remake the courts as you see fit.
And remake the courts you certainly are trying to do. While your legislative initiatives stall and your executive orders find themselves tripped, ignored, or fought explicitly against, I hope you know that we have noticed your rapid and unfortunately successful attempts to remake the lower courts of the judicial branch. In your race to permanently force change onto the ideological makeup of the court, you have nominated and seek to confirm judges who, quite frankly, remind me a lot of you – inexperienced, unqualified, and unable to perform the basic duties of the office to which they are appointed. Though, unlike you, these are not people we can opt to not reelect.
Consider Brett Talley. At 36 years old, Talley is an incredibly young choice for a Federal judge appointment. This means that he will have decades upon decades to inflict his particular interpretation of our nation’s laws upon the federal bench. But his youth isn’t the only aspect that gives me pause – there is also the fact that he has never tried a case. With zero courtroom experience, Talley instead turned his law degree towards politics. Whether he was writing speeches for Republican officials or pledging his financial, political, and intellectual support to the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Newtown massacre on his partisan blog, Talley built up a plethora of experience to be a Republican senator, but hardly an impartial judge, which is possibly why he is one of the two nominees you’ve offered up to receive a unanimous “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.
But what are we to do? While those who reject you and what you stand for revel in our successes and the ways in which we were able to stop you, this is the one place where you seem to find your victories. And, being the type of person that you seem to be, I doubt that you would ever want to stop “winning,” no matter how detrimental it is to the country and its people. For you I can only echo Khizr Khan’s impassioned request that you brush up on your copy of the constitution. If, perhaps, this encourages you to recant your nominations, then I would ask you to reach out to the senators and let them know that the American public is watching this process, that History is watching this process, and that the makeup of our courts should not to be remade in the image of Trump.