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  • Piedmont Rising

North Carolinians Urge Senator Tillis to Reject Unqualified Judge Who Opposes the ACA

Updated: May 22, 2020

Judge Walker, deemed “unqualified” to serve as a district court judge just five months ago, believes the Courts should invalidate the ACA and take away health care from millions with pre-existing conditions

Raleigh, N.C. -- The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony Wednesday morning as part of the confirmation hearing for Justin Walker, a 37-year-old federal judge backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a seat on the most powerful appeals court in the country.

Piedmont Rising Executive Director, Casey Wilkinson, today highlighted concerns with Judge Justin Walker’s nomination to the federal court:

“A vote to confirm Judge Walker would put at risk health care access for millions of people in North Carolina and across the country. In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, Senate Judiciary Committee members, like Senator Thom Tillis, are prioritizing Justin Walker's nomination to the second most powerful court in America above our health care. Walker’s confirmation would further exacerbate the health crisis in this country. This is beyond unacceptable. While Senator Tillis has routinely voted to make health care more expensive, he should reject this nominee who would only make care even more difficult to access for many North Carolinians.” 


  • In October 2019, the Senate, including Senator Thom Tillis, confirmed Judge Walker to the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, with no Democratic votes. Today, the committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit.

  • “Wednesday’s hearing was the first on judicial nominees held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitehouse, Leahy, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar all appeared at the hearing through videoconference, as did GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and Marsha Blackburn.”

  • During the hearing, Senators repeatedly raised Judge Justin Walker’s past comments disparaging the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, pressing the judge on whether he would rule to strike down the law.

  • Walker said he was writing as an academic and commentator when he criticized as “indefensible” a Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

  • Senator Dick Durbin asked Walker to recuse himself from cases involving the ACA over the prior comments on the health care law. Walker declined to make that commitment, saying he would follow the statute guiding judicial recusals.

Media Contact:

Jessica Coscia


About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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