Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s continued work to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the Senate will continue fulfilling its constitutional duty to confirm more judges to sit on our federal judiciary.
It’s really been a productive week here on the floor when it comes to judges. Yesterday, we confirmed John Lee to serve a lifetime appointment as Circuit Judge on the Seventh Circuit, the first Asian American to ever sit on that court. Today, we will confirm another Circuit Judge—Andre Mathis—to sit on the Sixth Circuit.
When confirmed, Mathis would be the seventy-eighth judge that we have confirmed under President Biden, more than President Trump, more than President Obama, more than President Bush had confirmed up to this point. It’s a great record, we’re proud of it.
And we aren’t done. Later this afternoon we will begin working on our third—our third—circuit court judge of the week: Salvador Mendoza, to sit on the Ninth Circuit. After we vote on cloture today, members should expect to vote on his confirmation as early as the beginning of next week.
Moving forward, it will be one of our top priorities to confirm as many judges as possible. It’s one of the best things we can do with our time here on the floor, especially given how many MAGA-type judges President Trump and the Republican majority appointed.
The lion’s share of legal disputes never make it to the Supreme Court, giving those who preside in the lower courts immense power to affect the lives of the American people.
And, of course, when they get it wrong, as they have all too frequently recently, the results can be disastrous.
Just yesterday, a hard right judge in Texas, as I mentioned, stripped away Americans’ rights to access preventative care. Over 150 million Americans could now be at risk of losing everything from breast cancer screenings, to cholesterol screenings, free vaccinations, mental health assessments, and so much more. You can see that judges are out of control. Far away from what most Americans want, foisted upon us by the Republican Senate majority, President Trump, and a small band of right-wing MAGA billionaires.
In the long run, this decision could mean more people get sick or die needlessly simply because they can’t afford the preventative care necessary to stay healthy.
That is the kind of thing that is at stake when it comes to judges. It’s a frightening reminder of the difference between our side and the hard right, the MAGA hard right, the extreme MAGA hard right: whether through judges or legislation, the hard right remains obsessed—obsessed—with stripping away people’s rights to affordable health care. It’s dangerous, it’s malicious, its wildly out of step with the American people.
Democrats want something different. We want to protect people’s health care, not destroy it. We want judges who will preserve long-established precedent, not obliterate it. We want judges who will move us forward on our fight to equality, not take steps backward. And in the coming weeks and months, we will maintain a laser like focus on confirming judges who will do the kinds of things that we believe must be done in America.