There’s another deplorable nominee on Mitch McConnell’s conveyor belt: Stephen Schwartz, nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and pending in the Judiciary Committee. This is impeached president Donald Trump’s second go at having Schwartz appointed to this court, which hears claims against the federal government. Trump wants Schwartz there because he’s argued that Social Security should be abolished because being elderly and disabled “is a natural aspect of the human condition” so those people shouldn’t get any assistance.
Those are recent views from the too-young Schwartz, who wrote them 15 years ago in the student newspaper at Yale. When he was an undergraduate. He also “wrote that the departments of Transportation, Agriculture, and Education lack a ‘constitutional basis,’ and that Social Security benefits were intended to prevent ‘outright starvation’ but had become a ‘standard component of most retirement programs.'” Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you lollygagging 80-year-olds.
Of course, that’s not all. Schwartz has also been in on legal efforts to disenfranchise African American voters in North Carolina and in Virginia’s public bathroom wars, trying to make transgender students’ bladders explode. As a pet attorney for the Koch network in its Cause of Action Institute, he has sued the federal government multiple times. “There are lots of circumstances today in America where agencies of the federal government exercise their discretion in ways that are terrible for personal liberty, for economic freedoms,” he said in an interview during one of those suits.
Because personal liberty and economic freedom mean having to find a job when you’re in your 70s or 80s or 90s so you can eat. “Schwartz is another example of Trump’s ideal nominee for the bench: a conservative ideologue who is determined to undermine civil rights and federal agencies,” Vanita Gupta, who headed the Obama Justice Department’s civil rights division, told The Washington Post.
Schwartz faced stiff opposition in 2017 from a variety of quarters, and his nomination eventually languished as the committee and Mitch McConnell focused on more critical seats. This appointment needs to be squelched again.