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Undoing the Judicial Logjam: Can These Activists Break Through Dem Blockade of Trump Picks?

Undoing the Judicial Logjam: Can These Activists Break Through Dem Blockade of Trump Picks? Read Transcript


There are more than 140 vacancies

in the federal judiciary right now.

It's not that there aren't nominees,

there's plenty of them.

It's that the Democrats are holding up

almost the entire pack, and it's sheer politics.

Candidate Donald Trump promised to pick constitutionalists

as judges and justices.

For many Americans, it was a key reason to vote for him.

And the president has followed through.

But with Democrats opposing so many of his nominees,

the group Concerned Women for America brought dozens

of ladies to Capitol Hill to lobby their senators to do

whatever it takes to break the logjam and get Trump's picks

onto the bench.

In the Senate caucus room, Carrie Severino

of the Judicial Crisis Network told these grassroots women

that Democrats are indeed stalling

some of the president's judicial choices.

Even though Trump started with about 100 nominations,

he's almost up 50%.

He's up to 144, and we have several more

that we know are coming.

And they forced even people that all the Democrats

voted for they're forcing to jump

through hoops huge procedural hurdles, which is something

that just didn't use to happen.

PAUL STRAND: Lawyer Gary Marx, who advises the Judicial Crisis

Network, said some Senate Democrats have even

gone after nominees' religion.

Senator Al Franken and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse,

some of their attacks on these nominees

that in essence said Catholics need not apply, really

persecuting these amazing judges like Amy Coney

Barrett for their Catholic faithfulness.

Severino points out Democrats even held up a former Obama

nominee, David Nye.

They made him go through a whole process.

They forced the Senate to waste 30 hours of debate time on him.

There was no debate to be had.

He had 100 votes.

So that's the kind of thing that's really frustrating.

PAUL STRAND: Marx encouraged the women

by telling them their lobbying and activism

to get all these nominees voted on makes a difference.

It echoes here in the halls of the US Senate

in rooms like this and in committee rooms.

It doesn't go for naught.

PAUL STRAND: Severino says the battle is no small deal.

Presidents serve just four or eight years,

but not their judicial picks.

CARRIE SEVERINO: All of these people

are going to be on the bench for life,

and they're the ones who are deciding

so many important cases that are coming up.

Not only into my children's lifetime,

but into my grandchildren's lifetime.

We think of the Supreme Court, but you

forget 99 plus percent of cases happen and are finally

decided at the district court and appellate court level.

So it's wonderful that we have Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme

Court.

That was a huge victory.

But boy, we need to have these other seats filled with people

who have the same high principles

and commitment to the rule of law and to the Constitution.

So where those at the top are holding things up right now,

groups like these are hoping grassroots pressure coming up

from below can get them to quit the stalling

and get on the move.

Paul Strand, CBN News, reporting from Capitol Hill.

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