Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor urging his Senate colleagues to reject the nomination of Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the Senate will vote on the confirmation, and in all likelihood vote to confirm, Steven Menashi to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Menashi is one of the most contemptible nominees to come before the Senate in all my time in this body. He would be a disgrace—a disgrace—to the seat once held by the great Thurgood Marshall.
Sitting before the Judiciary Committee, Menashi refused to answer simple questions. He showed a breathtaking contempt for Senators on both sides of the aisle. His record on race, women’s equality, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of immigrants, should be disqualifying. At the Department of Education, he helped cook up an illegal scheme to use the social security data of students swindled by for-profit colleges in order to deny them debt relief. A judge ruled this scheme violated federal privacy laws.
At the very least, a candidate for a judgeship should show respect for the law. That is the lowest possible bar. A judge is supposed to revere the law, uphold it and apply it with an even hand. How can anyone trust Mr. Menashi to come even close to doing that?
Mr. Menashi is a textbook example of someone who does not deserve to sit on the federal bench, particularly with a lifetime appointment. My Republican colleagues, in my view, rubber-stamped too many of these extreme, unqualified nominees—nominees, in Mr. Menashi’s case, who are almost craven. But on a few occasions, a small group has stood up and said enough, this is too far. Well my colleagues, if there was ever anyone who was too far, it’s Menashi. There is no reason President Trump couldn’t find a more suitable nominee for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. I urge my Republican colleagues to do the right thing today and reject the Menashi nomination.