Law & the Courts

Abortion-Rights Group Blasts Sinema for Backing Trump Judicial Nominee

Vice President Mike Pence officiates the ceremonial swearing in of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) in Washington, D.C., Jan 3, 2019. (Jack Gruber/USA TODAY)

Abortion-rights advocates have turned on Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) after she announced she would vote to confirm one of President Trump’s judicial nominees.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, among the largest groups of its kind, ripped Sinema’s support for pro-life judge Michael Liburdi, whom Trump nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

Sinema told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing that she has known Liburdi for years and considers him a “well-respected attorney.”

“Mike and I do not share all the same political beliefs, but I believe the role of the Senate is to evaluate every nominee based on whether he or she is professionally qualified . . . and can be trusted to faithfully interpret and uphold the law,” Sinema said.

“You can’t claim you are an advocate of women and our reproductive freedom just because you vote correctly on some legislation if, at the same time, you help elevate right-wing judges who will inflict long-term damage to our cause,” read a statement from NARAL president Ilyse Hogue.

NARAL complained about Liburdi’s stint chairing the Arizona Right to Life PAC as well as his support of a state law requiring women to fill out a checklist defending their reason for having an abortion, which information abortion providers must then turn over to the state.

“Senator Sinema, like so many Democrats, was elected last year in large part due to a wave powered by women voters who wanted to put a check on this runaway Administration. So to use one of her first acts in office to help elevate a judge with a clear anti-choice record is beyond troubling,” Hogue’s statement said.

Sinema has also said she will support Trump’s pick for attorney general, William Barr.

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