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One in 10 federal judges in lifetime seats are now Trump appointees

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate voted on a resolution to limit the vetting process for judges nominated to lifetime positions, which would undermine the Senate’s constitutional obligation to give its “advice and consent.” Senate Resolution 50 will reduce post-cloture debate from 30 hours to two hours for agency and lower court nominees — making it impossible to fully evaluate and debate the complete record of a nominee. Though the resolution failed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to again change the Senate rules, known as the “nuclear option,” to allow the resolution to pass with a simple majority.  

In his first two years, President Trump has confirmed judges at a rapid pace, including two Supreme Court justices, 37 circuit court judges and 53 district court judges. In comparison, in his first two years President Obama confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 16 federal appellate judges, and 44 federal district judges. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley have rushed extreme anti-reproductive health nominees through the confirmation process at a record pace, and worked to reshape the federal judiciary for generations to come. Now Republican leadership wants to change the Senate rules to confirm judges at even more rapid pace, prioritizing expediency over quality. 

Statement from Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

In the Senate Republicans’ attempt to pack the court with activist judges who will undermine our health and rights, this resolution would allow the Senate to confirm judges before they’re fully vetted, further running the risk of confirming unqualified judges. The Senate has a constitutional obligation to give its “advice and consent,” and the Republicans’ rule change will prevent it from carrying out that duty. Our health and rights depend on the court system being fair. People across the country will suffer as a result of this resolution.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.