On June 7, 2017, President Trump nominated Stephen S. Schwartz to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Federal Claims, the same court to which Damien Schiff has been nominated. Schwartz’s brief legal career has been as an advocate for ultraconservative causes, opposing critical legal protections for women, transgender youth, immigrants, and people of color. Alliance for Justice opposes Schwartz’s nomination to the CFC.
Schwartz’s legal career has been short. He is only thirty-four years old. But that brief career can be defined as extremely ideological. In this context it is worth noting the past comments of Republicans who opposed the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which is not even a judicial position. Regarding Adegbile, Senator Chuck Grassley opined that “the President’s nominee can’t be so committed to political causes, and so devoted to political ideology, that it clouds his or her judgment.” At the same time, Senator Mitch McConnell insisted that Mr. Adegbile should not be confirmed because of his work as a lawyer, which he characterized as “marked by ideologically-driven positions.” These remarks were based largely on a single case in which the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed briefs seeking to protect the constitutional rights of a death-row inmate.
By contrast, Schwartz’s “ideologically-driven positions” are numerous and include defending discriminatory voter laws, severe restrictions on a women’s access to abortion, and discriminatory policies against transgender students. By Senator McConnell’s and Senator Grassley’s own standards, Schwartz is simply unfit for the federal bench.