WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after voting against the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit Court:

“Senate Republicans gave Justin Walker a lifetime appointment to the second highest court in the land for two main reasons: because Walker is a protégé of the Senate Majority Leader, and because he’s an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act. It is shameful that even in the middle of a public health pandemic, the Republican Party is continuing its attack on the Affordable Care Act.”

Walker is 38 years old and had no practical courtroom experience when he was confirmed on a party line vote as a federal district judge last October despite being rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association’s peer review evaluation process. On July 2, 2018, Walker wrote a column in The Federalist publication in which he described the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, which upheld the constitutionality of the ACA as an exercise of Congress’s tax power, as “an indefensible decision.” He also wrote that the Court’s rationale in that case was, “catastrophically accepted.” And while Walker was a siting federal judge, he publicly mocked the rationale of the NFIB decision during his ceremonial investiture in March 2020.

Durbin asked Judge Walker if he would commit to recuse himself from cases involving challenges to the ACA’s constitutionality in light of Walker’s public comments. Walker refused to make that commitment.

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