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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On MAGA Extremists Using The Pernicious Practice Of Judge Shopping To Exploit Our Justice System And Block Commonsense Gun Safety

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need to curtail the pernicious practice of “judge shopping” following a North Texas District Court decision to block the implementation of commonsense gun safety rules, including closing dangerous loopholes in our background checks system. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Two years ago, serious-minded Democrats and serious-minded Republicans came together to pass the most significant bipartisan gun safety bill in 30 years. We passed several new, commonsense rules in our gun safety bill, including rules closing dangerous loopholes on background checks.

I salute so many of my colleagues led by Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema who helped make this happen.

Yesterday, those rules on background checks were supposed to go into effect. But sadly, MAGA extremists had other plans.

Instead, MAGA extremists exploited our justice system and put our background check reforms on ice. How did they do it? By taking their case to their favorite judge in the country, in the Northern District of Texas, to rubber stamp a nationwide injunction.

The decision out of Texas is terrible for America for two reasons.

First, the decision out of Texas is another consequence of judge shopping, a deeply unfair practice which jaundices the whole fairness and support a judicial system has, where radicals – right-wing MAGA radicals – all but guarantee a favorable outcome by going to a judge of their choice, often in jurisdictions where there is only one sitting judge in that local division, guaranteeing a favorable audience, and guaranteeing favorable outcome. No one had any doubt when these right-wing, anti-gun safety groups went to this one judge – the very same judge who knocked out mifepristone – what decision they would receive.

Judge shopping jaundices our legal system like few other abuses do. I’ve introduced a bill to rein in judge shopping, and I hope both sides can work together on this legislation to restore fairness to the judicial system. If not, we’re going to see injustice after injustice, a slanted judicial system leaning in favor of hard-right radicals, imposing its will on the rest of the nation. And the courts will have less and less respect because of it. I urge the Judicial Conference – they agree judge shopping is bad, forum shopping is bad, but they’re doing nothing to implement it. They should.

But second, maybe even worse, the decision out of Texas means MAGA radicals have temporarily succeeded in blocking commonsense gun safety measures and making our communities less safe. There were outrages in Uvalde and in Buffalo. And finally, the Congress, in a bipartisan way, acted with the strongest gun safety law in decades, ever since probably I passed the Brady Law and assault weapons ban – those were my bills – in the House in 1994. And now people are less safe – less safe because people who shouldn’t have guns, young people, are getting them.

Closing loopholes on background checks help keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people should be something both sides can agree on, but sadly MAGA Republicans and the right-wing gun lobby think the exact opposite. And now, with forum shopping, they can almost automatically get their way, at least in the district courts.