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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Curtail Judge Shopping After Another Far-Right Judicial Decision Derailing Commonsense Gun Safety Reforms

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor after another far-right judge placed an injunction against the implementation of commonsense gun safety reforms. Leader Schumer reiterated the need for Congress to step in to curtail “judge shopping” that leads to decisions like this one. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today was supposed to be a significant day for gun safety in America.

Today was supposed to be the day new rules closing loopholes on background checks went into effect – rules that Democrats and Republicans worked on together when we passed the bipartisan gun safety bill two years ago. 

But surprise, surprise: MAGA radicals have put background check reforms on ice by going to their favorite judge in the entire country, in the Northern District of Texas, and getting him to rubber stamp a nationwide injunction.

Today’s ridiculous injunction is yet again another consequence of judge shopping, that deeply unfair practice where radicals virtually guarantee favorable outcomes by going in court to a sympathetic judge of their choice. And I say “judge” in this case because there is only one judge sitting in that district, they know when they go to court they’re getting him to hear the case.

Judge shopping jaundices our legal system like few other abuses do. There is no conceivable definition of justice where hard-right litigants can pull a fast one on the will of the American people by getting extremist judges they align with to rubber stamp their agenda.

Congress should fix this abuse soon with appropriate legislation. The Constitution clearly allows Congress to exercise oversight of the courts when appropriate. Even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court – hardly a liberal – has acknowledged that judge shopping is a problem that ought to be addressed.

A few weeks ago, I led a group of 40 Senators in introducing a bill that would curtail judge shopping and restore fairness to the judicial system. I hope both sides can work together on this bill, to ensure that nobody gets an unfair advantage in a court of law simply based on a judge’s personal ideological preferences.

We will continue weighing legislative options to ensure that the federal judiciary is committed to equal justice under law. Judge shopping moves us away from that noble ideal in a very big way.