With three of President Trump’s incompetent judicial nominees withdrawing their names from consideration in recent days, Senator Dean Heller’s goal of confirming as many right-wing judges as possible should be setting off alarm bells. These unqualified nominees have come under fire for their inexperience, their out-of-touch views, and their embarrassing lack of preparation – while Senator Heller is literally making ads about confirming every judge Trump puts forward, no matter what.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Sarah Abel released the following statement on Heller’s unwavering support for Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees:
“The White House isn’t properly vetting judicial nominees because they are counting on lazy Republicans like Dean Heller to ram them through the Senate without scrutiny. From Cabinet positions running massive federal agencies to these lifetime judicial positions, Dean Heller has been rubber stamping each and every incompetent Trump nominee who came before the Senate for a vote this year. By ignoring the White House’s pattern of putting forward unqualified nominees, Senator Heller is setting a dangerous precedent and putting his political calculations for the Republican primary ahead of doing his job.”
Heller Voted To Confirm Leonard Steven Grasz To The U.S. Circuit Court. On December 12, 2017, Heller voted in favor of “the Nomination (Confirmation Leonard Steven Grasz, of Nebraska, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit). The nomination was confirmed 50-48, with two Senators not voting.” [Senate Roll Call Vote 313, 12/12/17]
The American Bar Association Rated Trump Judicial Nominee Steven Grasz Unanimously Unqualified, With One Member Abstaining. “Early in October, Charles Barnes Goodwin, a magistrate judge nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, received the ‘not qualified’ rating by a majority vote, with one member abstaining, according to a ratings chart posted by the committee. On Monday, the chart was updated to show that Leonard Steven Grasz, a Nebraska attorney with Husch Blackwell who has been nominated to the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was unanimously rated as ‘not qualified,’ with one abstention.” [American Bar Association Journal, 10/30/17]
Trump Judicial Nominee Steven Grasz Was Unanimously Deemed Unqualified By The American Bar Association. “Talley is the second federal judicial nominee tapped by Trump to be unanimously labeled not qualified by the ABA committee. The panel also deemed Leonard Steven Grasz, whom Trump nominated to a judgeship on the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, not qualified late last month, with one member abstaining. In a statement issued at the time, the standing committee questioned Grasz’s ability to apply the law fairly. ‘In sum, the evaluators and the Committee found that temperament issues, particularly bias and lack of open-mindedness, were problematic,’ the statement reads. ‘The evaluators found that the people interviewed believed that the nominee’s bias and the lens through which he viewed his role as a judge colored his ability to judge fairly.’ A majority of the panel’s members also voted to deem unqualified Charles Barnes Goodwin, a nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Holly Lou Teeter, a nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. In another letter released late Tuesday, the committee said Teeter lacked the necessary experience to serve as a federal judge, but that it was not concerned about her temperament or integrity.” [The Hill, 11/7/17]