FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2017
NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Daily Kos, End Citizens United, Every Voice, MoveOn, Stand Up America, UltraViolet, and the Working Families Party today released a letter urging Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to prioritize and reject President Donald Trump’s nomination of John Bush, a shady blogger and lawyer in Kentucky, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
The Trump administration chose Bush because his anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-progressive values will appeal to the most extreme part of their base. Bush has made his stance on a number of issues clear thanks to his extensive (and pseudonymous) blogging for a right-wing website and his work for a right-wing group with a long record of pushing anti-choice policies.
From the letter: “Bush lacks the temperament and judgement that are basic qualifications for a federal judge. He expressed offensive and hateful remarks on a blog while hiding behind a pseudonym. This is hardly the approach of someone who sincerely wants to contribute to policy discussions.”
This letter kicks off a campaign led by NARAL Pro-Choice America to defeat the Trump administration’s nomination of John Bush and its continued attacks on our court system. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Daily Kos, End Citizens United, Every Voice, MoveOn, Stand Up America, UltraViolet, and the Working Families Party are mobilizing and organizing their member-activists to call on Democratic and Republican Senators to reject John Bush.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit hears cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, states in which reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and progressive values are already under attack. In fact, a case challenging an Ohio law that defunds Planned Parenthood is currently being heard by the Sixth Circuit. Additionally, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee have enacted anti-choice TRAP laws and a mandatory-ultrasound law, which are being challenged and could be appealed to the Sixth Circuit.
The full text of the letter is below (download the PDF to read the fully annotated letter):
Dear Ranking Member Feinstein and Senators:
We, the undersigned organizations, write to urge you to reject the nomination of John Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
President Trump has vowed to use federal-court appointments to elevate and cement in place his extreme agenda, and we see him doing just that—once again—with this nomination. Bush has a clear record that demonstrates he is biased and lacks the independence and temperament that are basic qualifications for this position.
Bush has expressed biased and offensive positions on wide-ranging issues. He has shown hostility towards reproductive freedom; he likened abortion to slavery, calling these issues “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” He applauded Mike Huckabee for saying he “strongly disagree[s]” with “the idea of same-sex marriage.” Writing about the 2016 election, Bush claimed that Democrats were just trying to “substitute woman for Black.” He has criticized campaign-finance reform efforts, writing “shouldn’t more money, not less, be spent on political speech, given how much is spent by advertising and commercial speech?” Regarding the Affordable Care Act, Bush celebrated that “the witch is dead” when he thought it might not be enacted. He has also indicated that he does not believe in climate change. In a blog post titled “Oink!,” Bush characterized essential programs that make it easier for women and children to afford groceries and protect themselves from violence as wasteful.
Moreover, Bush has shown that he would lack judicial independence. He weighed in on the recent presidential election, writing that Sen. Ted Cruz “exercise[d] remarkably poor judgement” when he did not endorse Trump. Bush applauded Sen. Mitch McConnell’s obstruction of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland because “the decision of who will replace Justice Scalia … is the top reason why the choice between Trump and Hillary is a no brainer.”
Finally, Bush lacks the temperament and judgement that are basic qualifications for a federal judge. He expressed offensive and hateful remarks on a blog while hiding behind a pseudonym. This is hardly the approach of someone who sincerely wants to contribute to policy discussions.
In sum, John Bush is an extreme and biased nominee who also lacks the independence and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench. President Trump is trying to use federal court nominations to elevate his extreme agenda; Bush’s record makes it clear that he will be nothing more than a rubber stamp.
Now, more than ever, we urge you stand up for our rights and for the bedrock principles of our democracy and reject this dangerous nomination.
American Federation of Teachers
Center for American Progress Action Fund
End Citizens United
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Stand Up America
Working Families Party
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”