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May 10, 2018 / Press Releases

NARAL Rejects the Confirmation of Anti-Choice Judicial Nominee Michael Brennan

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2018
Contact: [email protected]

After the Senate voted to confirm Donald Trump’s latest anti-choice judicial appointment Michael Brennan to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals, NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long issued the following statement:

“Michael Brennan isn’t just biased—he has advanced his backwards ideology by bolstering anti-choice elected officials, judges, and laws. Brennan will have the ability to influence our country for decades to come, and has left no doubt that he’ll be a foot soldier for the conservative movement. We should all be concerned that the anti-choice GOP, led by Donald Trump, continues to stack the courts against women and families, undermining the judiciary’s critical role in upholding our basic freedoms.”

Brennan was confirmed despite the objections of his home state Senator, Tammy Baldwin, going against the congressional blue slip rule. A close ally of anti-choice Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Brennan served on Walker’s advisory committee on state-level judicial appointees, where he recommended several extreme, right-wing individuals. During his time as the Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney, Brennan argued in favor of an anti-choice Wisconsin biased counseling and mandatory delay law in the courts.1 Brennan also served as a fundraiser for several anti-choice politicians, and founded Milwaukee’s chapter of the Federalist society.

This week, anti-choice judicial nominee Kurt Engelhardt was also confirmed. Engelhardt was a member of Louisiana Lawyers for Life, an advocacy group that misinterprets the law to promote an anti-choice agenda.2 Two additional nominees, Ryan Bounds and J. Campbell Barker, received a hearing this week, despite Barker’s anti-choice beliefs and Bounds’ concerning college writings. Breaking with congressional norms, Bounds’ hearing is unprecedented, since he is opposed by both of his home-state Senators and missing both blue slips. To learn more about the anti-choice records of any of these nominees, visit NARAL’s judicial nominees webpage.

1 Karlin v. Foust, 975 F. Supp. 1177 (W.D. Wis. 1997), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 188 F.3d 446 (7th Cir.), reh’g en banc denied 198 F.3d 620 (1999).

2 Sen. Comm. On the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Kurt Damian Engelhardt: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees, 4.

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.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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