Chairman Charles Grassley
Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Washington D.C. 20510-6050
Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein:
The AFL-CIO urges you to oppose the nomination of Stephen Vaden to serve on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Mr. Vaden’s inexperience alone should disqualify him from a seat on this court. Mr. Vaden is not even admitted to practice before this specialized Court. He has never handled any matters involving international trade, or practiced international law. In fact, he has never litigated a trial from start to finish.
Members of the Court of International Trade are Article II judges who can sit by designation on federal circuit and district courts. If the Senate approves this nomination, Mr. Vaden potentially would be asked to rule on a wide range of cases, and his record on issues beyond the jurisdiction of the Court of International Trade is quite troubling. While a political appointee in the Department of Agriculture, his actions and behavior demoralized career employees; when he became the Department’s General Counsel, he terminated the labor contract between the office and its staff of lawyers. Prior to his time at the Agriculture Department, Mr. Vaden was a consistent advocate of restrictive voting laws and was known only as a partisan activist.
We urge you to oppose this nomination.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department