Progressive groups urge senators to reject Biden district court pick

More than 20 progressive groups are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject a Biden district court nominee.

The groups sent a letter, obtained exclusively by The Hill, urging Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other Judiciary Committee members to oppose Jennifer Rearden’s nomination to be a district judge for the Southern District of New York.

“Rearden’s record litigating cases defending housing discrimination, seeking to overturn worker protections, and challenging improved access to transportation for wheelchair users makes her unsuitable for this appointment,” the groups wrote in the letter.

“Jennifer Rearden should not be confirmed to a lifetime office within our federal judiciary. We strongly urge you to reject this nomination,” they wrote.

The organizations added that while President Biden has pledged to pick judicial nominees who represent the “best of America,” they believe confirming Rearden would “accomplish the opposite of the president’s laudable aspiration.”

“Rearden has worked against the interests of historically oppressed members of our communities, exacerbating social inequalities,” they added. 

Twenty-one organizations signed the letter, including the Bold Alliance, the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace USA and the Revolving Door Project. 

Rearden was first nominated by then-President Trump.

The outside groups, in their letter, also criticized her over her time at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and urged the Judiciary Committee to “determine whether Rearden worked on cases in which her firm defended corporations from efforts to hold them accountable” for environmental policies or human rights violations. The groups also pointed to Gibson Dunn’s work representing corporations including Uber, Walmart and tobacco companies, and representing Chevron its lawsuit against former environmental lawyer Steven Donziger.

“At a minimum, the Committee should ask her to detail the extent of her involvement in and support for the firm’s most controversial anti-environmental, labor, and human rights work,” they added.