Thursday, March 16, 2017

CONYERS & NADLER Call Out Trump's Misstatements On The Judiciary At Hearing On 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals

Washington, D.C. – At a hearing to reexamine the structure of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,  House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and senior Judiciary Member and Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today called out President Donald Trump’s dangerous misstatements about the Judiciary in response to court rulings that blocked his Muslim/Refugee ban.

In his opposition to restructuring the 9th Circuit, Ranking Member Conyers said, “The hearing takes on added importance in the wake of a series of decisions in the 9th Circuit and elsewhere overturning President Trump’s Muslim/Refugee ban.  Instead of coming to terms with the legal flaws with his own executive order, President Trump has chosen to attack the 9th Circuit, which has said is “in chaos” and “frankly in turmoil.”   Last night, after learning of the Hawaii court’s decision again rejecting his ban he said “people are screaming to break up the Ninth Circuit … You have to see how many times they have been overturned with their terrible decisions.”

“Of course, none of what the President has charged about the 9th Circuit is true.  The Ninth circuit is as well organized as any in the country.  Of the very few Ninth Circuit cases the Supreme Court takes up, a significant portion are overturned, but that’s true for every circuit, several of which are overturned at a higher rate than the Ninth Circuit.  And overall less than 1/10 of 1% of Ninth Circuit decisions are overturned by the Supreme Court.

“The reality is, this is not a new debate President Trump has brought us to.  It is one that we have had for decades.  Although I will not speculate about why there continues to be such interest by some of my Republican colleagues to divide the Ninth Circuit, there are several points we should keep in mind.”

Read Conyers' full Committee statement here.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler called conservatives’ calls to restructure the federal courts a dangerous attempt at judicial gerrymandering. In his opening statement he said, “What this debate is really all about is that conservatives do not like the more liberal rulings that occasionally emerge from the 9th Circuit, and they believe they can manufacture a new circuit that will produce more conservative results.  That is a very different—and a more dangerous—matter.

“Like clockwork, we see proposals to split up the 9th Circuit whenever it delivers a controversial decision with which conservatives disagree.  Whether it is ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance should not include the words “under God”; overturning restrictions on abortion or gay rights, or, most recently its unanimous decision to uphold the temporary stay on President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim and refugee ban, the 9thCircuit has long been in the sights of Republican politicians.  Just last night, President Trump said at his campaign rally, “[p]eople are screaming, break up the 9th Circuit. And I’ll tell you what, that 9th Circuit – you have to see. Take a look at how many times they have been overturned with their terrible decisions.

“But to manipulate the federal courts in order to achieve the political ends you seek is highly inappropriate.  Just as there is a nation-wide movement to end legislative gerrymandering, we should resist this form of judicial gerrymandering as well.”

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