The abortion advocacy group NARAL issued a statement Wednesday condemning Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for backing Trump judicial nominee Michael Liburdi.
In the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Sen. Sinema described Liburdi as a “well-respected attorney.” She said he was “professionally qualified" to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
“Mike and I do not share all the same political beliefs, but I believe the role of the Senate is to evaluate every nominee based on whether he or she is professionally qualified,” she emphasized, “and can be trusted to faithfully interpret and uphold the law.”
NARAL rejected that criteria for a judicial post and instead argued that Liburdi’s “anti-choice” stance disqualified him. They called Sinema’s support for him “troubling.”
“Senator Sinema, like so many Democrats, was elected last year in large part due to a wave powered by women voters who wanted to put a check on this runaway Administration,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said. ”So to use one of her first acts in office to help elevate a judge with a clear anti-choice record is beyond troubling.”
NARAL cited Liburdi’s past role as chairman of the Arizona Right to Life PAC from 2010- 2014 as well his role of chief counsel to pro-life Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ).
Hogue claimed that “Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and anti-choice activists are stacking the courts at a record pace with far right-wing judges that will strip away our rights and freedoms with the ultimate goal of gutting Roe v. Wade and criminalizing abortion.”
Hogue outlined what she expects from Democrats on Trump nominees.
“Democratic Senators should be doing everything in their power to fight these efforts to stack courts against women and families,” she wrote. “Senator Sinema says she knows this person and we should trust her judgement; however, actions speak louder than words and his actions have spoken volumes about where he stands on our fundamental reproductive freedoms.”
She then argued that Sinema’s support of a Trump judicial nominee could even detract from her ability to call herself an advocate for women.
“You can’t claim you are an advocate of women and our reproductive freedom just because you vote correctly on some legislation if, at the same time, you help elevate right-wing judges who will inflict long-term damage to our cause,” she said.
Sinema has a pro-abortion stance and received $5,000 from NARAL for her 2018 Senate race, according to OpenSecrets.