TRANSCRIPT: Schumer Remarks Urging Senate Judiciary Committee To Vote Down Steven Menashi, President Trump’s Radical Nominee To The Second Circuit Court Of Appeals In New York

October 30, 2019
Washington, D.C.Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made the following remarks on a press call today with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Alliance for Justice, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and American Federation Of Teachers  ahead of the Judiciary Committee’s Thursday vote on the nomination of Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Schumer highlighted Menashi’s well-documented hostility to commonsense gun safety and civil rights legislation, as well as his central role in executing Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s crusade to hinder sexual assault victims seeking justice, fund schools brazenly discriminatory to LGBTQ students, and weaken critical protections for defrauded student borrowers. Below are his remarks:
Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the nomination of Steven Menashi to the 2nd circuit court of appeals in the state of New York. In the long list of radical nominees to the federal bench put forward by President Trump, Steven Menashi stands out as one of the most objectionable, and that’s saying a lot. His record is horrifying. There’s no question that he’s the wrong person to sit on the court with jurisdiction over all federal judges in New York. There’s no question he’s wrong for the country. To think that this man will have a lifetime appointment after his sordid career is just appalling to me and it turns my stomach. Menashi doesn’t belong anywhere near the bench let alone in the seat formerly occupied by Thurgood Marshall.
His record of extreme views is well documented. One of the lawyers behind Betsy DeVos’s anti-student agenda. He supported her efforts to bilk student borrowers. He worked hand in hand with Steven Miller at the White House on policies that harm immigrants. His past writings shows scorn for LGBTQ Americans and women. And he even called Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, that’s one of the most important civil rights law in our nation, “a system of racial preference.” Imagine this guy on the bench! The list goes on! On gun control, he said gun control legislation is pointless and self-defeating because guns reduce crimes. It’s appalling. Every day Americans lose neighbors and friends and families to senseless gun violence and he says that.
When Menashi came before the Senate Judiciary Committee he refused to be forthcoming. He refused to answer straight forward questions about his own record from both Republicans and Democrats. And this alone, the stonewalling and brazen obstruction, should be disqualifying. Even Republican members of the judiciary committee, Senator Graham, the Chair, and Senator Kennedy, noted his refusal to answer questions was troubling.
Mr. Menashi is like so many of President Trump’s judicial nominees: extreme, unqualified, and totally lacking in the qualities that make a good jurist. The judge should have to walk in the shoes of both plaintiffs and defendants, both sides of the case, and this man shows no ability to do that at all. It would be an ultimate slap in the face to African Americans, the LGBTQ community, immigrants if Steven Menashi were on the federal bench. One of my Republican colleagues has said that they will already oppose Menashi’s nomination. I believe every Democrat is against the nomination. So it means we have a chance if we can convince just a few more and beat his nomination and that’s what we’re trying to do because if there was ever someone who didn’t belong on the federal bench it’s Mr. Menashi.