Building the Bench, an initiative sponsored by The Alliance for Justice and other liberal organizations, seeks to identify progressive judges suitable to fill potential judicial vacancies.
“It is essential to be ready on Day 1 of a new administration with names to fill every vacancy,” Nan Aron, the president of the Alliance for Justice, told the New York Times. “This is to start identifying people so the new president won’t waste a minute in addressing this need.”
But even as the groups are working to come up with a list that will aim to undo President Trump’s efforts to transform federal courts, the initiative won’t reveal the names of the judges.
Judicial Crisis Network president Carrie Severino criticized the initiative for lack of transparency, pointing out that the Trump administration has been forthcoming about their judicial candidates.
“Shocking @nytimes story reveals left wing dark money groups working with Democrat pres candidates on a secret list of nominees for SCOTUS. Why are they hiding this list? Why are they scared to show the American people the kind of judges they want?” she wrote on Monday.
"@realdonaldtrump had no problem revealing his list of potential judicial noms. He made it public, campaigned on it, & let the American people see the kind of judges he would appoint. Why are left wing dark money groups and Dems not willing to do same? What are they hiding?" Severino continued.
She added that the lack of transparency is also troubling as the same liberal groups are also aiming to expand the Supreme Court, an idea supported by multiple 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
“These left wing dark money groups and their Dem allies are trying to expand the number of justices on #SCOTUS. They want to pack the Court, and aren't even willing to tell the American people who they are going to pack the courts with. What are they hiding?” she wrote.
By various estimates, there could be around 100 judges that may need to be replaced after the 2020 election, with many appointees reaching a senior status, according to the New York Times.
The White House and U.S. Senate have been working overtime to install conservative-leaning judges, confirming nearly 100 judges, a number which continues to rise.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced the re-nomination of 51 federal judicial nominees left over from the previous Congress, with nine of the candidates angling for spots on prestigious and influential federal appellate benches, including two on the mostly liberal San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.