Trump rolls out Sixth Round of conservative nominees, but showdown nears as Democrats stall confirmations
For several months we have been highlighting the unique opportunity presented to Donald Trump to reshape the federal judiciary.
That opportunity has largely been lost in a liberal media trying to take down Trump over Russia, Russia, Russia, as I previously wrote, While you were focused on COMEY, Trump nominated another group of CONSERVATIVE Judges:
While everyone was focused on Comey’s prepared statement, Trump went about his business filling vacancies in the federal judiciary.
I wrote about this a month ago, Trump begins counter-packing federal courts, Dems can’t stop him thanks to Reid Rule:
As we have pointed out repeatedly, Trump has an unprecedented opportunity to nominate a substantial percentage of the federal judiciary.
There are currently over 100 vacancies, and many more are likely to open up, Liberal nightmare: Trump could appoint half federal judiciary. Yet Democrats, so blinded by the light of #TheResistance, appeared oblivious to the approaching Tsunami of Trump lower court nominations.
Month after month Trump rolls out 10 nominees. Last night was round six, via The Washington Times:
President Trump announced Thursday night his intention to appoint a new round of 10 federal judges, the sixth group of judicial nominees since he took office, and five more federal prosecutors.
The president is tapping attorney Michael B. Brennan of Wisconsin to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a seat that has been vacant since 2010, longest in the appellate system. Mr. Brennan served for nine years as a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
Mr. Trump also is nominating attorney L. Steven Grasz of Nebraska to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mr. Grasz spent more than eleven years as Nebraska’s chief deputy attorney general.
The other judicial nominees are attorney Donald C. Coggins, Jr., for the District Court of South Carolina; Louisiana state Judge Terry A. Doughty to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana; attorney Michael J. Juneau of Louisiana to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana; attorney A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr., for the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina; Assistant U.S. Attorney Holly Lou Teeter of Kansas for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas; federal magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier of Kentucky for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky; attorney Elizabeth Ann Copeland of Texas to serve as a judge on the U.S. Tax Court; and Justice Department attorney Patrick J. Urda of Indiana for the U.S. Tax Court.
Those Circuit court nominations are so critical. If you don’t believe that, just consider what happened in the 4th and 9th Circuits with regard to the Travel Order litigation.
What’s particularly important is that as to Brennan for the 7th Circuit, Trump didn’t wait for a Wisconsin judicial commission to rule. Trump isn’t required to do so, anymore than he is required to wait for “blue slips” from Senators to move forward. Those and other non-binding traditions have been used by Democrats to slow down the process.
Wisconsin News 3 reports:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin says a bipartisan Wisconsin commission that signs off on federal nominees never approved a Milwaukee attorney that President Donald Trump has picked to fill a federal appellate court vacancy.
Trump announced Friday that he had chosen Michael Brennan to fill a vacancy on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The slot has been open since 2010. The seat is designated for a judge from Wisconsin.
Potential federal appointees from Wisconsin typically get vetted by the bipartisan Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission.
Baldwin’s office said the commission did not recommend Brennan as the nominee. Baldwin said in a statement that she’s troubled Trump has taken a partisan approach that disrespects Wisconsin’s process.
This is consistent with what we reported in June, that the Chuck Grassley was prepared to force nominees through the Judiciary Committee due to Democrat stalling tactics. But he has to move more quickly given Democrat determination to slow things down.
US News reports on those stalling tactics:
The GOP’s well-laid plans to move the federal courts to the right, however, has been ambushed by the Democrats’ counterattack.
Using the political equivalent of guerrilla warfare – insisting on following arcane legislative rules, withholding approval of home-state nominees and generally throwing sand in the Senate machinery – the minority party has ground Republicans’ judicial agenda to a halt. Those tactics have kept Trump and his Senate allies from addressing a judicial system with so many vacancies that legal experts on both sides have called it a crisis.
“We have the Democrats playing politics and putting up huge roadblocks to confirmation,” says Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. “They’re attempting to use every procedural tactic that they can to block [Trump’s] judges.”
Trump’s consistent pace at nominating conservative judges still has not caught on with the liberal media, which is too focused on Russia, Russia, Russia.
James Warren at Poynter.org laments that lack of media attention, The biggest political story most journalists are missing:
Donald Trump’s mercurial, chaotic ways are the overriding narrative of his early White House days. But most of the press misses his discipline in one crucial area: filling vacancies on federal courts.
He may be lax in filling many administrative posts, but it’s just not true with the courts….
As Allan Smith of Business Insider makes clear, “When it comes to nominating judges to the federal bench, Trump is moving at a breakneck pace. And the number of nominees for vacant U.S. attorney positions, a crucial area, is dwarfing” that of Barack Obama, at least at this stage.
If these picks could be the ultimate Trump legacy, consider that “through July 14, roughly a week shy of Trump’s six-month anniversary in office, he had nominated 18 people for district judgeship vacancies, 14 for circuit courts and the Court of Federal Claims, and 23 for US attorney slots. During that same timeframe in Obama’s first term, Obama had nominated just four district judges, five appeals court judges, and 13 U.S. attorneys. In total, Trump nominated 55 people, and Obama just 22.”
In The New Yorker, Jeffery Toobin cites the nomination of Kevin Newsom for the Atlanta-based Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering cases in Georgia, Alabama and Florida) as prototypical: he’s got “excellent formal qualifications, including a degree from Harvard Law School, a Supreme Court clerkship, and a stint as the solicitor general of Alabama, where he excelled at defending the state’s imposition of capital punishment against legal challenges.”
And, importantly, he is young — just 45 — and a political conservative who’s been a member of the right-leaning Federalist Society….
In so many ways, Trump is short-sighted and haphazard. But not in all. It’s a story most are totally missing.
There have not yet been as many confirmations as I would have hoped, but with Grassley signaling that the days of playing nice on nominations are over, hopefully the pace will pick up. Indeed, Grassley has stated that when it comes to Judiciary Committee scheduling, judicial nominees come first.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.