The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Courthouse, home of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans, Louisiana.

With Senate confirmation of Cory Wilson to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit earlier this week, Trump officially filled the last remaining open appellate court seat and appointed his 200th federal judge. This is the first time in four decades that there have been no vacancies in our federal appellate courts.

Everything is bad.

Wilson, a state court judge in Mississippi and former Republican legislator, is known for supporting policies that attack women, people of color, and poor people. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 52-48 party-line vote.


Wilson is an anti-woman extremist who has called for a "complete and immediate" reversal of Roe v. Wade. Wilson is an extremist, even compared to your usual anti-woman extremist: he thinks that women whose lives are in danger should just die, rather than have access to abortion care. "Pro-life," indeed.

Although this type of subjugation of women and people who can get pregnant may be common among anti-choicers and pro-birthers, most know better than to actually say it out loud. Because if you're going to cling to the label "pro-life," it's probably not the best idea to say that women with, for example, tubal pregnancies should just die rather than receive the healthcare they need.

Also, can someone please tell this asshole that when the baby incubator or "woman" dies, the fetus dies, too?

It's almost like this has never been about abortion at all and is in fact is actually about controlling women! But I digress.

And that's not all! In the midst of a national conversation on systemic and institutional racism, the Senate chose to confirm this particular nominee, who is an outspoken proponent of laws that disenfranchise people of color.

All evidence to the contrary, Wilson has said the idea that voter identification laws discriminate against and disenfranchise minority communities is "Poppycock. Unless you count the dead vote, in which case they may be right." Seemingly forgetting that voting is, you know, a constitutional right, he wrote that "People who show an ID to rent a movie could not understand why we should not also show one to vote." He has also complained about "the ACLU and other rent-a-mobs" opposing his racist voter ID efforts and mocked people who oppose making it more difficult for Americans to exercise their right to vote:

Florida's voter law reduces the number of days for early voting from 14 to eight, restricts the ability of voters to change their addresses at the polls, and imposes tough new guidelines for voter-registration drives and penalties for those who violate them. Oh, the outrage.

Wilson was nominated to this seat after potential Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz killed the nomination of Halil Suleyman Ozerden, probably because his name wasn't white enough. (Their official reasoning was that he "wasn't conservative enough" because he accidentally followed the Constitution as a judge one time.) But it looks like this time they found themselves a nice, hateful bootlicker to do their bidding.

Naturally, Wilson's nomination was roundly opposed by civil rights organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Urban league.

As Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP said,

Cory Wilson belongs nowhere near the Mississippi seat on the Fifth Circuit, where voting rights are always on the docket. His nomination is patently offensive to Black Mississippians who have struggled long and hard for the right to vote. Wilson crafted and defended voter ID laws, denied voter suppression exists, and criticized those who enforce the Voting Rights Act. Wilson is utterly incapable of dispensing equal justice to millions of Black and Brown residents of the Fifth Circuit. Even Mitch McConnell's Senate should reject this nomination.

So yeah, this is definitely someone we want just a step away from the Supreme Court.

Although SCOTUS gets all the attention, the vast majority of appellate decisions come from US Circuit Courts of Appeal like the Fifth Circuit. The Supreme Court gets more than 7,000 requests to review appellate decisions every year and only hears 100 to 150 of them.

The Fifth Circuit itself has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, a population of nearly 38 million people and one of the largest percentages of Black people of any circuit court.

Trump and Mitch McConnell have been very good getting right-wing Republicans lifetime seats on our federal courts. Even if (knock on wood, spin around three times, go outside, and spit) Joe Biden wins in November, we are going to need radical action to try to repair the damage that has already been done to our federal court system.

We need to win the presidency and the Senate and then get to work. Simply confirming judges who aren't racist, anti-woman extremists is not enough.

[ CBS News / LCCHR / Madison County Journal / Madison County Journal Again ]

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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.
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