Biden Keeps Appointing Radical Nominees to America’s Judiciary

June 14, 2024
Full Court Press | First Liberty Insider

Federal judges make critical legal decisions about religious freedom and our other constitutional rights. First Liberty continues to monitor judicial nominees and to provide you with the facts about the ones with a radical or unacceptable record.

Here’s a quick roundup on judicial nominations and what’s happening across the federal courts.

Federal Court Nominee Thinks Criminal Justice System is “Institutionally Racist”

During a recent hearing, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana grilled federal district court nominee Meredith Vacca about her views on “institutional racism” in America’s criminal justice system.

Sen. Kennedy asked the nominee about a radio interview in which she said that “institutional racism impacts all of society” and is “amplified in our criminal justice system.”

Vacca appeared to try and evade the question, but the senator insisted that she clarify what she meant. Here’s a short snippet of the exchange.

Sen. Kennedy: “Uh, you think our criminal justice system is institutionally racist? Do you?”

Vacca: “Senator, I don’t believe our criminal justice system by its nature is racist –”

Kennedy: “Why did you say that?”

Vacca: “What I meant by that is that I believe there are racial disparities in our communities–”

Kennedy: “Yeah, but we know there’s racism in all of our communities, unfortunately. But that’s not what you said. You said the criminal justice system is not just racist, it’s institutionally racist. And then you said that, and I’m gonna quote your words not mine: “The disproportionate number of black men and women incarcerated and convicted were because of race. Did you say that?”

Vacca: “What I said Senator was that I recognize that racial disparities in our community can influence rates of incarceration.”

Kennedy: “That’s not what you said, you’re a political activist aren’t you judge?”

Watch Sen. Kennedy’s full line of questioning below:

Vacca and many of the Biden administration’s judicial nominees are alarming. Many of them hold positions and views far outside the mainstream. A lot of current judicial picks offer very little to inspire confidence that they will uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, and their records suggest they could be hostile to religious liberty if confirmed to the federal bench.

Learn More:

The White House: President Biden Names Fifty-First Round of Judicial Nominees GOP Senator Grills Biden Judicial Nominee Over Past Comments on Institutional Racism

WHAM New York: Meredith Vacca, nominated for Western District of NY bench, questioned by Senate committee

Washington Free Beacon: Biden Judicial Nominee Said Child Predator Had ‘a Lot of Good in Him’

Nominee Doesn’t Share Founding Values of Our Country

The Biden administration has repeatedly nominated individuals who’ve worked for—or were endorsed by—the most radical groups in the country, which suggests they could be hostile to religious liberty and unconstitutionally advance a liberal policy agenda from the federal bench.

Sarah Netburn, nominated to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, appears to come from the same vein of radical nominees.

Writing for National Review, judicial analyst and expert Carrie Severino explains that Netburn’s nomination “is yet another attempt to put a movement leftist on the bench.” She points out several concerning affiliations in Netburn’s record:

“Early in her career, Netburn interned for the Brennan Center for Justice and the Center for Reproductive Law & Policy (now the Center for Reproductive Rights), and she worked as a program associate at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), a group that opposes border security measures.”

Severino also points out that as a magistrate judge, Netburn has “shown her willingness to issue activist rulings that flout the Constitution even when it means jeopardizing the safety of vulnerable women.” She’s referring to Netburn’s 2022 ruling that ordered a male to be housed in a women’s prison.

Netburn recommended that a male child sex abuser be transferred to a female prison after the inmate decided to identify as a woman. The inmate had been convicted of raping two children: a 17-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy. The inmate was also convicted of distributing child sex abuse material. Her decision to move the prisoner conflicted with the recommendation from the Bureau of Prisons.

“I issued a report and recommendation to the district judge recommending that the district judge transfer the petitioner to a women’s facility,” Netburn told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

Upon Netburn’s recommendation, U.S. District Judge Broderick issued an order to the Bureau of Prisons requesting the agency “transfer Ms. Shelby to a female facility as soon as possible.”

Netburn faced intense questions by members of the Judiciary Committee. Regarding her transfer decision, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Netburn to define what a woman is.

“Is it possible to determine a person’s sex by only analyzing their chromosomes?” asked Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina during Netburn’s confirmation hearing.

“I have never studied biology and therefore I am unqualified to answer this question,” Judge Netburn responded.

If judges are unable to identify what a woman is, how will they be able to make correct rulings on cases involving the rights of women, such as Title IX or domestic abuse cases? Also, what confidence does that give the American people in their ability to uphold the rule of law?

Our judges are in place to uphold the law as it is written, not to create laws that suit their needs or the agendas of any one side. If progressive judges refuse to interpret our laws as they were intended, then the Constitution and our system of justice are in serious danger.

“Netburn does not share the basic values necessary to exercise good judgment,” according to the Washington Examiner. “Every judge comes to the bench with his or her own set of values. Values are fundamental to the job, and judges must share the values of our country. As in, murder and rape are wrong, race does not determine guilt or innocence, and women should not be abused.”

“Netburn does not share our values. She rejects the idea of sex…Sarah Netburn may have a long career ahead of her as an activist. But her activism has no place in the federal judiciary.”

Learn More:

Fox News: Biden judicial nominee takes heat over recommendation for transgender inmate, answer on sex

First Liberty: Biden Judicial Nominee Can’t Define What a Woman Is

National Review: Sarah Netburn Does Not Deserve a Lifetime Appointment

Washington Examiner: The abolition of sex has no place in the federal judiciary

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