Brown: Judge Nominees Too Extreme for Ohio

Nominees Set for Hearing Thursday; Brown Leading Charge to Oppose their Confirmations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he continues to speak out against President Trump’s nominees to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chad Readler and Eric Murphy, ahead of a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Readler and Murphy have an extensive record of stripping Ohioans’ rights and are too extreme to sit on the federal bench. 

“I believe Ohio kids have the right to quality education, Ohio citizens have the right to vote, working families have the right to be protected from abuse by big banks, Ohioans have the right to marry the person they love, and no Ohioan should be denied healthcare because of a pre-existing condition,” Brown said. “I cannot support nominees who have actively worked to strip Ohioans of their rights. Special interests already have armies of lobbyists and lawyers on their side, they don’t need judges in their pockets.”  

Brown was joined on today’s call by civil rights hero Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the landmark 2015 marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges, in which Eric Murphy argued that marriage equality would be ‘destructive to our democracy.’ 

“Are women and LGBTQ people worthy of full participation in our society? Based on his record, Eric Murphy does not believe so. He is also clearly hostile toward the right of every American to vote. Those are not positions a circuit court judge should hold. Our court system exists to defend our rights, and Mr. Murphy has proven he will not do that,” said Mr. Obergefell.

Brown met with both Readler and Murphy in 2018 and decided to oppose both nominees as the nominees actively worked to strip Ohioans of their rights and failed to answer for their records in meetings with the Senator. Brown examined their records over the course of several weeks. 

Readler and Murphy have proven too extreme for Ohio, with combined records of working to roll back healthcare protections, to strip Ohioans’ of their voting rights, to deny Ohioans their right to marry the person they love, and to eliminate reforms to hold Ohio charter schools accountable. 

This week, the Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is outlining the harmful and radical records of the respective nominees. 

MORE ON READLER AND MURPHY’S RECORDS: 

Readler 

  • In June of last year, Chad Readler supported efforts to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage or charge sky-high rates for people with pre-existing conditions. 
    • More than 5 million Ohioans under age 65 have a pre-existing condition – which is nearly half the state.
    • More than 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are at risk because of the lawsuit Readler supported, according to reporting by the Washington Post.  
  • As a political appointee at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Readler signed a legal brief in support of a lawsuit by the state of Texas seeking to overturn pre-existing condition protections in the Affordable Care Act (Texas v Azar).  Readler signed the brief after three career attorneys with the DOJ refused. In fact, one resigned in response to the egregious action. HELP Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander called the DOJ brief that Readler submitted, “as far-fetched as any he’s ever heard.” The very next day after he signed the brief, Readler was nominated by President Trump to serve as a Judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  
  • As Chair of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Readler pushed to eliminate the provision of Ohio’s Constitution that provides students with the right to a “thorough and efficient” education. 

Murphy

  • As the State Solicitor of Ohio in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, Eric Murphy argued against marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell case. He also defended Ohio’s voter purge. As former Ohio Secretary of State, Senator Brown has always fought to protect Ohioans’ rights to vote and has spoken out strongly against the voter purge.  
  • Murphy submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in the Obergefell marriage equality case in which he said that a finding of a constitutional right to marriage equality would be “disruptive” to our constitutional democracy.  
  • Murphy defended Ohio’s voter purge, along with strict voter ID laws, and fought to uphold restrictions on early voting in Ohio. He led the legal battle to outlaw “Golden Week” in Ohio, which allowed voters the opportunity to register and vote on the same day.   

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