The “judge story” that Trump crowed about in October continues apace.

Tonight the Senate confirmed Leonard Steven Grasz, by a 50–48 vote, to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.  Grasz had received a unanimous “Not Qualified” rating from the American Bar Association, an influential legal organization that publicly rates the qualifications of prospective federal judges. Republicans have criticized it as a left-leaning advocacy group, and the Trump White House does not give it veto power over nominees—as President Obama largely did.

It also invoked cloture on Don Willett’s nomination to the Fifth Circuit, also by a vote of 50–48. Every Democrat voted against both nominees.

It’s worth noting, however, that Willett received a unanimous “Well Qualified” rating—the highest possible score—and still didn’t pick up any Democratic support.

The cycle continues. Democrats obstruct Reagan’s nominees, so Republican’s obstructed Clinton’s nominees, so Democrat’s obstructed Bush nominees, so Republicans obstructed Garland, so the Democrats obstruct Trump’s nominees, so the Republicans will obstruct the next Democrat’s nominees, ad infinitum. 

At the same time, it appears that one of President Trump’s most controversial nominees, Brett J. Talley, is withdrawing his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He had come under fire because of his age and penchant for writing inflammatory comments on the Internet. He too had received a unanimous “Not Qualified” from the ABA, and CNN reported today that Chuck Grassley asked the White House to reconsider the nomination.



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