We are asking Senator [name] to vote against Michael Brennan for a judgeship on the federal appeals court (7th Circuit Court of Appeals). This is an influential lifetime appointment to a court only one step below the U.S. Supreme Court. Brennan has a troubling record that indicates he would be a very conservative judge who would not respect legal precedent in his decisions.

In a break with tradition, Brennan’s nomination lacks the approval of his home-state senator and his state’s judicial nominating commission.

Trump and the Republican leadership have chosen to bypass this long-time bipartisan selection process. For this reason alone, Senators should vote against Brennan in order to preserve what little bipartisanship remains between some Republicans and Democrats.

Brennan has shown insensitivity and opposition to the rights of women and minority groups. He has made statements that a judge does not have to follow precedent that he disagrees with.

  • At his Senate hearing, Brennan refused to say that there is implied racial bias against minorities in the criminal justice system, even though there are plentiful statistics and expert analysis to support that such bias exists.
  • Brennan has downplayed employment discrimination against women and questioned whether there really is a “glass ceiling” for women.
  • Brennan has made troubling statements that a judge does not have to follow stare decisis, or legal precedent, in deciding cases–including cases that expand or protect civil rights.
  • When he was chairman of his state’s judicial selection commission, Brennan helped choose ultraconservative and inhumane judges. Some of these judges called LGBTQ persons “degenerates”; said that gay people who died of AIDS deserved no sympathy; mocked the rights of women; and compared affirmative action to slavery.

Michael Brennan’s career record and his acts against women and minorities make him unsuitable for this important federal appeals court appointment. We are asking the Senator to vote against this nomination.


[1] Roll Call, https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/grassley-moves-judicial-nominee-baldwins-objection

[2] People For the American Way, www.pfaw.org/blog-posts/trump-nominee-shows-astonishing-ignorance-of-racial-bias/

[3] Alliance For Justice, https://www.afj.org/our-work/nominees/michael-brennan

[4] The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, https://civilrights.org/oppose-confirmation-michael-brennan-u-s-court-appeals-seventh-circuit/

[5] The Vetting Room, https://vettingroom.org/2018/01/23/michael-b-brennan/