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Opinion

Elizabeth Warren knocks Obama for helping corporations 'capture' the federal judiciary

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Judicial Branch,Elizabeth Warren,Federal Courts

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., faulted President Obama for helping corporations "capture" the federal judiciary. Her comments were based on a new study showing that almost three-fourths of his nominees represented big businesses.

"Professional diversity is one way to insulate the courts from corporate capture," Warren told the Alliance for Justice on Thursday, before turning her attention to Obama's picks. "Seventy-one percent of the president's judicial nominees have practiced primarily for corporate or business clients, while only 25 percent are not corporate attorneys. That means that corporate attorneys outnumber all other kinds of attorneys by 3 to 1 in the president's nominees to the federal bench."

The remaining nominees came from a public interest legal background, Warren said. "I believe that diversity of experience matters," she said. "It matters that someone has represented people other than corporate clients."

Warren, still inclined to view Republicans as the party of big business, suggested that Obama will have an easier time elevating lawyers from other backgrounds now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has pulled the trigger on the nuclear option, blocking the filibuster of judicial nominees (excluding Supreme Court nominations).

"And with this change comes an opportunity: an opportunity to build a federal bench that reflects the best and the brightest from every corner of the legal profession," Warren said.

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