Washington, D.C., September 6, 2017 – Following today’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Sixth Circuit judicial nominee Joan Larsen, Seventh Circuit judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and Eric Dreiband, nominated to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“The nominees at today’s hearing performed acrobatic contortions in their efforts to escape from their own records. Amy Coney Barrett’s denials of some of her most controversial statements, including her positions that a judge may put faith ahead of the law in carrying out her duties and may disregard legal precedent, were especially striking. But Barrett’s positions are on record, and AFJ and others have documented them. Similarly, Joan Larsen tried to downplay her remarks suggesting that presidents can ignore the law in the name of national security. And when questioned about her role at the Justice Department during George Bush’s ‘war on terror,’ she maintained that the contents of a brief she authored on detainee rights are confidential. Meanwhile, the public parts of these judicial nominees’ records speak for themselves – as does the career of Eric Dreiband, who has spent his professional life opposing the rights of people facing discrimination on the job. Unfortunately, senators who want to delve deeper into all the nominees’ troubling records had no help today from the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who scheduled so many nominees for a single hearing that comprehensive questioning of any one of them was impossible.”
AFJ notes that in today’s hearing, Senator Orrin Hatch falsely claimed that AFJ’s reports on Amy Coney Barrett and Joan Larsen mischaracterized their records. AFJ notes that our reports on Barrett’s and Larsen’s records contain numerous citations to original sources in which the nominees’ controversial statements raised at today’s hearing can be found.
AFJ opposes the confirmation of all Barrett, Larsen and Dreiband.