Washington, DC, August 31, 2017 —Today, more than a dozen national organizations sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in strong opposition to the nomination of Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice David Stras to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In nominating Stras, the Trump administration failed to meaningfully engage the Minnesota Senators as has been the traditional practice; which alone provides ample precedent to oppose the Stras nomination. Specifically, the Trump administration had only limited contact with Senator Klobuchar or Senator Franken prior to the nomination and even refused to discuss the process or additional potential candidates with Senator Franken. In addition to concerns about the process, Stras’s record—including his apparent lack of understanding for how the law impacts real people and works to protect all Americans as well as his willingness to abandon his judicial philosophy in deference to a partisan Republican outcome—is deeply troubling.
In the letter the organizations write, “Providing advice regarding nominations is not only a constitutional duty, it is a prerogative and precedent that each of you, especially as Members of the Judiciary Committee, must demand and defend, just as you have in prior administrations. If you do not, you surely will diminish your own future influence when it comes to nominees from your home states. Based on Justice Stras’s record, the process, and the precedent it would set, we urge you to oppose this nomination.”
The signers of the letter are: Alliance for Justice, Courage Campaign, Every Voice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Main Street Alliance, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Council of Jewish Women, National Education Association, People For the American Way, Service Employees International Union, and Voting Rights Forward.