On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to oppose the nomination of Kenneth Lee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. We have both procedural and substantive concerns about this nomination.
California Senators Feinstein and Harris strongly oppose this nominee. Historically, this fact alone would have prohibited even scheduling consideration of this nomination. Once again, however, this Administration deliberately has avoided meaningful consultation by circumventing the traditional process used to select consensus nominees. Senators must have an opportunity to examine the complete record of judicial nominees if they are to fulfill their Constitutional obligation to provide “advice and consent.” Nominees with controversial records deserve extra scrutiny, and Mr. Lee has a career record that raises profound concerns about his ability to be impartial.
Mr. Lee has a long history of writing incendiary articles, many of which he failed to disclose to the state judicial commissions as well as in his initial Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. Indeed, Mr. Lee had to make five supplemental submissions to the Committee before he met the disclosures required of a nominee. His repeated critiques of efforts to expand voting rights and equal opportunity have received deserved attention, but have overshadowed his troubling condemnation of wage-and-hour class action lawsuits and support for procedural restrictions on access to justice.
The AFL-CIO urges you to oppose the nominations of Mr. Lee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department