News Releases

In the midst of Trumpcare failure, Senate GOP has pushed to confirm Trump nominee who has likened abortion to slavery, used homophobic slurs, called women’s health programs “wasteful”, & opposes marriage equality 

ICYMI—“Bush will become both the most appalling extremist on the federal bench, and a judge who lied to Congress”—LINK 

Sen. Murray: “This is someone who lacks the qualifications and character and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SEN. MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today delivered the following floor speech calling on Senate Republicans to reject President Trump’s nomination of John K. Bush to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. As has been reported, John K. Bush is an extreme right-wing blogger who has regularly attacked women’s health and constitutionally protected rights, the LGBTQ community, minorities, and much more.

Senator Murray urged Republicans to reject this dangerous nomination and further efforts by President Trump to use federal court nominations to push his extreme agenda.

Key Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“It is unconscionable that my Republican colleagues are moving to confirm a Circuit Court nominee that is so clearly anti-women, anti-choice, and so clearly unqualified and unfit to serve on the bench…There are so many troubling aspects of Bush’s record, previous statements, writings, and legal views—they should alarm every American. From his views on LGBTQ rights and about race and campaign finance reform, to his vision for the environment and of our election laws.”

“For nearly a decade, Bush has made countless inflammatory, offensive, and troubling comments on a number of issues important to women…Bush has likened a women’s constitutionally protected right to choose to that of slavery, calling it one of the “greatest tragedies” in the history of our country. This harmful view is a pattern with Bush. In fact, he consistently uses anti-choice rhetoric—whether he is writing about the right to privacy or other case law.

“And any of these alone would be enough for me to oppose this nomination—but unfortunately there is much more. Because along with his views about women, we’ve learned of a disturbing pattern of hostility toward the LGBTQ community. In several articles, Bush has praised court decisions that attack LGBTQ rights. He’s used anti-LGBTQ slurs in his personal speeches. And he’s publicly applauded statements made by candidates for office and government officials that oppose marriage equality.”   

“M. President, I don’t think I should need to go any further, but I hope it is becoming clear that this not a normal nominee, and that this is someone who lacks the qualifications and character and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench…it is time for President Trump to stop trying to divide our country and use federal court nominations to push his extreme agenda to undo progress for women and the LGBTQ community.”

Full video of Senator Murray’s floor speech here.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

M. President, at a time when millions of people nationwide are speaking out and making absolutely clear: no to more attacks on women’s health and rights and no to the kind of hate and division President Trump sowed on the campaign trail…

It is unconscionable that my Republican colleagues are moving to confirm a Circuit Court nominee that is so clearly anti-women, anti-choice, and so clearly unqualified and unfit to serve on the bench.

Now my Republican colleagues may think that no one is paying close attention to this nomination, that they’ll be able to slip this one through. M. President, they are wrong.

I am here, along with many of my colleagues, to take a stand, make sure families know just who President Trump is trying to fill our nation’s court system with, and call on Republicans to reject the nomination of John Bush to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

M. President, I consider my decisions about whether or not to support judicial nominees to be among the most important and consequential choices I make as a United States Senator.

And like Supreme Court justices, circuit court judges have lifetime appointments. They set legal precedent, decide on the majority of federal cases, they can change and shape the lives of generations to come. And so it is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

M. President, there are so many troubling aspects of Bush’s record, previous statements, writings, and legal views—they should alarm every American. From his views on LGBTQ rights and about race and campaign finance reform, to his vision for the environment and of our election laws.

But I’d like to start with one aspect of his record that is especially important to me as a woman, mother, grandmother, and a U.S. Senator. And that is what his nomination would mean for women.

For nearly a decade, Bush has made countless inflammatory, offensive, and troubling comments on a number of issues important to women. Now it’s not possible to go through them all, and most shouldn’t be repeated on the Senate floor, but I do want to make clear just what kind of nominee this is.

Bush has likened a women’s constitutionally protected right to choose to that of slavery, calling it one of the “greatest tragedies” in the history of our country. This harmful view is a pattern with Bush. In fact, he consistently uses anti-choice rhetoric—whether he is writing about the right to privacy or other case law. On top of that, Bush has attacked essential health programs for women and children.

For example, he’s called the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program—which helps provide at-risk pregnant women the resources they need to raise healthy children—wasteful.

Bush has authored an amicus brief advocating for the Virginia Military Institute to continue excluding women from admission, where he stated that there are quote “different developmental needs of women and men.”

And most recently, on his Judiciary Committee questionnaire, Bush failed to disclose memberships with various organizations that do not admit women, as well as people of color. I mean I could go on and on and on.

And any of these alone would be enough for me to oppose this nomination—but unfortunately there is much more. Because along with his views about women, we’ve learned of a disturbing pattern of hostility toward the LGBTQ community.

In several articles, Bush has praised court decisions that attack LGBTQ rights. He’s used anti-LGBTQ slurs in his personal speeches. And he’s publicly applauded statements made by candidates for office and government officials that oppose marriage equality.   

Now when given an opportunity to explain any one of these comments or previous writings during his committee testimony—Bush was evasive and dodged questions—and he certainly didn’t apologize or clarify any of these comments.  

So, M. President, I don’t think I should need to go any further, but I hope it is becoming clear that this not a normal nominee, and that this is someone who lacks the qualifications and character and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench.

M. President, it is time for President Trump to stop trying to divide our country and use federal court nominations to push his extreme agenda to undo progress for women and the LGBTQ community.

And I’ll just remind my Republican colleagues, we have joined together to reject extreme nominees like this before—with Andrew Puzder and Mark Green. And those were for temporary cabinet positions, let alone a lifetime appointment! 

So let’s again do the right thing here, and reject this dangerous nomination, I urge my Republican colleagues to make the right choice.  Thank you, M. President, and I yield the floor.