Obama’s Judicial Nominees Represent Corporate Interests, Not Public Interest Says Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently “called on President Barack Obama to nominate more judges to the federal bench who have backgrounds serving the public interest instead of corporate America,” as reported by Mother Jones. While 71% of Obama’s judicial nominations have worked as corporate attorneys, less than 4% have worked as public interest lawyers according to a report by the Alliance for Justice. Senator Warren framed the issue as follows:

There is an intense fight going on right now about what our federal bench will look like. Will it be a neutral forum that faithfully interprets the law and dispenses fair and impartial justice or will we see corporate capture of the federal courts with the courts transformed into just one more rigged game?[P]ower is becoming more and more concentrated on one side. Well-financed corporate interests line up to fight for their own privileges and resist any changes that would limit corporate excesses.

The call for Obama to appoint attorneys with a record of serving the interests of the common man rather than a record of serving corporate interests has definitely been rendered much more practical due to the recent reform of the filibuster rule following Republican senators’ unprecedented filibustering of federal nominations. However, as explained by Mother Jones, Republicans “can still use something called the ‘blue-slip process’ as a de facto filibuster on nominations. Here's how: When the president is considering a potential judicial nomination, the senators from the state where the judge would serve are given a blue slip of paper. If both senators do not return their blue slips, the nominee is not allowed to move on to a vote in the Senate judiciary committee.”

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