Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the nomination of Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against him. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
In a few minutes, maybe as of now, the Judiciary will be holding a vote on a nominee who is dangerously unfit to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Steven Menashi of New York.
His nomination should not be allowed to continue. Mr. Menashi has a very troubling record on race, women’s equality, LGTBQ rights, and the rights of immigrants. His conduct before the Judiciary Committee was insulting, his contempt for the Senate reprehensible, his refusal to be forthcoming about his record is outright disqualifying.
But if members of the Committee needed any more evidence to vote against Menashi’s nomination, they should read this morning’s New York Times. Here’s the headline: Appeals Court Nominee Shaped Devos’s Illegal Loan Forgiveness Effort. The Times reports that during Mr. Menashi’s tenure working with Secretary DeVos at the Department of Education, he played a leading role in designing an illegal—an illegal—effort to deny debt relief to thousands of students swindled by for-profit colleges.
Let me repeat: Mr. Menashi concocted a plan to illegally use the private Social Security data of defrauded student borrowers to deny them debt forgiveness after they were preyed upon by for-profit schools.
A federal judge ruled that these efforts violated privacy laws. And this is someone the president wants us to make an appellate court judge? A judge, is supposed to uphold the law, interpret the law, have a reverence for the law – not be someone who schemes to break the law, as Mr. Menashi did.
Mr. Menashi’s nomination is an embarrassment to this country. It’s an insult to millions of hardworking young Americans saddled by student debt, an insult to women and LGTBQ Americans, to African Americans and immigrants and to everyone who believes in the rule of law.
If anyone has not earned the privilege of a lifelong appointment to the bench, it’s Mr. Menashi. I urge every member of the Judiciary Committee to vote against his nomination.