Schumer Floor Remarks Calling For The Withdrawal Of Circuit Court Judicial Nominee Cory Wilson Over Anti-Civil Rights Record

June 22, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor, urging the withdrawal of Circuit Court Judicial Nominee Cory Wilson over his anti-civil rights record. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Finally, today, Leader McConnell will move forward with the nomination of Mr. Cory Wilson to serve a lifetime appointment on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Wilson is an avowed opponent of the nation’s health care law, calling it “illegitimate” and “perverse.” Even worse, Mr. Wilson has a record—a lengthy record—of support for policies that suppress voting rights. In the state legislature and the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, he pushed for restrictive voter ID laws, criticized the Voting Rights Act, and peddled unproven claims about voter fraud. In 2011, he said that the NAACP’s concerns about voter suppression in Mississippi were “poppycock.”

We are in the middle of a national conversation about police reform and systematic racial justice. Leader McConnell talks about it on the floor, and at the same time he has the temerity to push a judge with demonstrated hostility to voting rights. A man who criticized the greatest advance in civil rights legislation in the past century. For a seat on a circuit court in which people of color make up 55% of the population.

This nomination is so appalling, in general and at this particular moment, that several Democrats, myself included, have taken the unusual step of writing Leader McConnell today to request that he withdraw Mr. Wilson’s nomination.

I believe if there’s sincerity about the remarks here—about healing the racial wounds—then the withdrawal of Mr. Wilson would occur. Plain and simple.

It would be disgraceful for the Senate to approve a nominee who has long trivialized voter disenfranchisement and racial discrimination at the ballot box. Leader McConnell should halt any further work on Mr. Wilson and instead work with the administration and civil rights groups to find a nominee who will actually protect voting rights in the Firth Circuit. 

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