“NO” on Nomination of Paula Xinis for the District of Maryland

This evening, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Paula Xinis for a lifetime appointment on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.  

In a letter to all Senators earlier today, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police cautioned against confirming Xinis:

“[O]ur membership is urgently concerned about her obvious disdain for the law enforcement profession as expressed time and again through various court appearances in which she has represented citizens claiming harm caused by police personnel. In fact, her current partnership in the Baltimore law firm of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy itself is a concern as this is a firm well known in our area for hostility toward our profession and our members…”

The President of the Maryland State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police also sent a letter today:

“After careful review and consideration, I believe that Ms. Xinis at this time fails to have the requisite temperament and ability to be fair and impartial on matters that directly affect law enforcement.  Based on prior and recent experience, Ms. Xinis has shown a clear bias towards law enforcement which began in her position as complaint examiner in the Office of Police Complaints for the District of Columbia and culminated with her involvement in the civil suit surrounding the Freddie Gray Case in Baltimore City, MD.”

As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 78% said on the floor, “This nominee perhaps has the most hostile record to police that I have seen in a long time.”  During her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when questioned by Senator Sessions, Xinis said that she was not familiar with the phrase “broken windows” policing.

It is hard to ignore that her first job after law school was as a law clerk to notoriously liberal Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, President Clinton’s first appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Motz recently authored the opinion in Owens v. Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office, which reinstated a civil rights lawsuit that had been dismissed against the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, an assistant State’s Attorney, the Baltimore City Police Department, and several Baltimore City police officers.

Confirming Xinis to a lifetime appointment on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland is also the wrong response to this President’s continued executive overreach. Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky explains President Obama “will go down in history as one of the most lawless of American presidents, someone who – with the help of his political appointees – has ignored, changed, or bent the law and the Constitution on every occasion.”

In January, the White House chief of staff declared that “We’ll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I’m confident of that.”  Senators need to look no further than the Obama administration’s declaration that the departments of Justice and Education “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.”  As The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. explained, the Obama administration is once again unlawfully rewriting the law:

“[T]he law that Congress passed in 1972 [says] no such thing. Title IX was intended to protect women and girls from harassment and discrimination, to ensure that they received equal opportunities in education, and now the Obama administration is re-writing it to say schools must allow boys unfettered access to the girls locker rooms.”

There was already disturbing evidence that the Department of Education was disregarding the newest education law, which is one of the reasons Heritage Action called for Senate Republicans to oppose the nomination of John B. King, Jr. to be  Secretary of Education.  Unsurprisingly, it was Secretary King who just issued the bathroom guidance.

Further, it is an Obama judicial nominee, Henry Franklin Floyd,  on the Fourth Circuit Court that issued an outrageous ruling in April, concluding that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—should be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  This ruling, which Ryan Anderson says comes from “an activist court rewriting Title IX and remaking bathroom policy across our nation”, has gone on to serve as judicial precedent for the Department of Justice’s unfounded lawsuit against North Carolina.  

This all ties back to Xinis as she is on a track to end up on the Fourth Circuit, where she would join other liberal Obama judicial nominees like Floyd who are undermining duly enacted and clear civil rights law with overreaching and unfounded rulings.  In the past two months, two Obama appointees have issued over-reaching guidance and rulings which threatens the privacy, safety, and security of our nation’s school children. President Obama has already transformed the federal district courts, securing 265 judges — nearly 40-percent.

Additionally, it is an affront to our hard working law enforcement agencies all over the country that Senate Republicans would confirm an arguably anti-cop judge to a lifetime appointment on the first day during Police Week, a week meant to honor the sacrifice made by police.  

Heritage Action opposes the nomination of Paula Xinis and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

Heritage Action Scorecard
Heritage Action: Stop Confirming Obama’s Judicial Nominees (Jan. 11)
Heritage Action Memo: Fight Obama’s Overreach by Refusing to Confirm Nominees (Jan. 15)
Daily Signal: Lawyer With Firm That Won Freddie Gray Settlement Is Next Obama Judge Up for Senate’s OK (May 14)