Liberal legal group Alliance for Justice is mounting new opposition to three of President Trump's judicial nominees set to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.
The Alliance for Justice and its partners are particularly targeting John K. Bush's nomination to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Damien Schiff's nomination to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Kevin Newsom's nomination to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Tuesday, the Alliance for Justice organized a call slamming these three nominees with the input of leading progressives from People for the American Way, The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Human Rights Campaign and the Sierra Club.
"If [Bush is] confirmed, you can bet that it will be to the detriment of women and families," said Sasha Bruce, NARAL Pro-Choice America senior vice president, on Tuesday. "NARAL Pro-Choice America has convened our progressive allies and our 1.2 million member activists to place hundreds of calls to the Judiciary Committee offices urging senators to oppose this shady blogger's nomination. We're doing this because we know the damage that Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to inflict on women isn't limited to the White House—it's in Congress and it's certainly into the courts."
Bruce's characterization of Bush as a "shady blogger" stems from liberals' complaints that Bush blogged political commentary under a pseudonym, which Bush acknowledged in paperwork he submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Others on the call took issue with Schiff; Kristine Lucius, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights executive vice president for policy, said she clerked on the Court of Federal Claims and said Republican obstruction prevented President Obama's nominees from joining the court that Schiff seeks to join.
"President Obama had five nominations to the court of claims in 2014 and not one of the five were confirmed because of the claims of Sen. Tom Cotton who said that the court's caseload did not justify any additional judges," Lucius said. "Now that Trump has named judges to the same court, it'll be interesting to see whether Sen. Cotton will take the same position and object to confirmation of any further judges on this court or if he will suddenly have a change of heart."
The Alliance for Justice has also developed dossiers on several of Trump's nominees. AFJ's report on Bush said he "is a deeply flawed candidate with a history of offensive writings and statements that under ordinary circumstances would quickly disqualify him for a role on the federal bench."
In the dossier on Newsom, AFJ notes the nominee's ties to 11th Circuit Judge William Pryor, who AFJ called an "extremely controversial nominee," and claimed then-Sen. Jeff Sessions helped clear the way to Newsom's nomination by blocking President Obama's selection.
"Given his record, Newsom, a member of the Federalist Society, must demonstrate at his hearing that he can be a fair and apolitical judge rather than a far-right ideologue committed to an agenda of rolling back long-cherished constitutional rights," AFJ wrote in its report.
The Federalist Society, a right-leaning legal organization, has come under fire from progressives throughout the confirmation process for several of Trump's judicial nominees.
AFJ's attack on Schiff focused on his personal character as opposed to his affiliations or resume.
AFJ's report claims that Schiff once "called Justice Anthony Kennedy a 'judicial prostitute'" and is "sorely unfit to serve as a judge."
"The fact of the matter is, on issue after issue, Damien Schiff wants to use his prospective position as a judge to roll back essential protections and prevent local officials, states and the federal government, including Congress, from addressing issues of public policy and the critical needs of the American people," AFJ wrote in its report on Schiff.
"He is temperamentally unfit to serve as a judge, and his views are dangerous—regularly rejected by even the most conservative federal judges. He simply should not serve as a federal judge."
Whether the progressives organizing in opposition to Trump's judicial nominees remains to be seen. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider the nominations of Bush, Schiff, and Newsom on Wednesday.