2019 Scorecard Vote
The Senate considered President Trump’s nomination of Lawrence VanDyke to be a U.S. Circuit Court judge for the Ninth Circuit. Circuit courts are often the ultimate arbiters of highly significant cases, including those involving environmental protections, and it is critical that the judges confirmed to serve lifetime appointments on these courts are qualified, non-partisan, and committed to treating parties fairly. In particular, the Ninth Circuit is critically important for environmental issues, covering nearly two-thirds of the nation’s public land and over half of all endangered species. VanDyke spent his career opposing environmental protections and supporting the expansion of oil and gas drilling on public lands. He joined with three mining companies in a lawsuit challenging bipartisan efforts to protect sage-grouse habitats, challenged the proposed Clean Water Rule, opposed the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to address climate change, and opposed the protection of one million acres of Grand Canyon watershed from the harms of uranium mining. His long record on environmental issues, as well as significant concerns voiced by his colleagues about his qualifications to serve fairly as a judge make clear that he is incapable of objectively ruling on environmental matters. On December 11, the Senate confirmed VanDyke to the Ninth Circuit by a vote of 51-44 (Senate roll call vote 391). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.