Bradley Garcia, DC Circuit nominee, press age and pro bono work


Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have questioned Bradley Garcia, the Justice Department official and nominee for the federal appeals court, about his youth and past advocacy in cases involving abortion access, gun regulations, and religious discrimination. schools.

Garcia, 36, a deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, was nominated last month by President Biden to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, an influential body that often serves as a pathway to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans led Wednesday that Garcia was too inexperienced and too political, echoing Democratic criticism of Trump nominees before the same court. Trying to distinguish himself, Garcia noted that he had worked as a clerk for a Republican appellate judge and had extensive experience in both state and federal appeals.

“I can’t speak to anyone else’s nomination,” Garcia said. “My career has focused on the kind of work that would prepare one to be an effective appellate judge.”

Judge Justin Walker, confirmed under President Donald Trump, was a year older when Democratic senators criticized him for having no experience as Walker was looking for a place on the same job. The two men were both clerks on the DC Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the difference was in court experience.

Walker had served as a district court judge for six months before being appointed to the DC Circuit; before that he was a law professor and commentator. He was briefly in appellate practice, but was not the principal counsel in cases submitted for review.

Before joining the Justice Department, Garcia spent eight years in professional practice, arguing 13 arguments, including before the Supreme Court, and litigating more than 50 appeals.

“To suggest that this nominee isn’t better qualified, I saw it differently,” Durbin said.

If confirmed, Garcia will be the first Latino jury on the DC circuit.

Republicans also pressured Garcia for pro bono work he did at the O’Melveny & Myers firm, including for an abortion clinic that challenged regulations; teachers who claim discrimination at work in a Catholic school; and New York City in defending a gun-carrying limit.

Garcia said he agreed whenever he was asked by the company to take on pro bono work and that his past advocacy had no bearing on his personal views or his future court rulings.

“The roles of lawyer and judge … are very different,” he said.

Asked about the recent Supreme Court decision quashing the constitutional right to abortion, Garcia said he would follow the precedent “fully and faithfully, both the specific stance and methodology” to examine rights not explicitly stated in the Constitution. “Be deeply rooted in history and tradition.”

He declined to give his personal opinion on abortion, saying it “just wouldn’t play a role in my work as a judge.”

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