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Mitch McConnell rams through 15 more federal judges

Mitch McConnell rams through 15 more federal judges

In exchange for mass confirmation, McConnell agreed to put the Senate into recess allowing vulnerable Dem Senators to return home to campaign.

Fresh off his victory in confirming Brett Kavanaugh, Mitch McConnell forced stalling Democrats to agree to 15 more federal judicial confirmations in exchange for putting the Senate in recess so vulnerable Democrats could return home to campaign.

Politico reports:

Senate Democrats accepted an offer from Senate Republicans to confirm 15 lifetime federal judges on Thursday in exchange for agreeing to go into recess through the midterms so endangered Democrats can campaign.

After senators weighed the package of three Circuit Court judges and 12 District Court judges on Thursday afternoon, they agreed to the demand from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to confirm roughly the number of judges he could confirm between now and the election if he kept the Senate in continuously. A half-dozen vulnerable Democrats and a pair of at-risk Senate Republicans are eager to go home for the election….

By the end of Thursday, McConnell and President Donald Trump will have confirmed 84 judges over the past two years, including two Supreme Court nominees.

Chuck Grassley, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, had wanted the Senate to stay in session until all 49 nominees awaiting a floor vote (including 8 approved by the committee today) were voted on:

Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants the upper house to stay in session until all of the 49 currently pending judicial appointments are confirmed.

A tweet from Grassley, R- Iowa, on Thursday came just hours after the committee cleared eight more judicial nominees to the full Senate ,and puts Democrats in a bind over whether to stay in Washington to fight the confirmations or head out on the campaign trail to defend vulnerable seats ahead of the midterms.

“Lots of work to do,” Grassley tweeted. “Senate [should] stay in session til all 49 judges are CONFIRMED/ work comes [before] campaigning.”

So did McConnell really own this libs on this? The libs seem to think so:

In response to announcement of a deal in the United States Senate to confirm 15 judicial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

“Mitch McConnell has made clear again and again that he’ll do anything to install ideological extremists and narrow minded elitists onto our federal courts. Today’s deal represents the latest chapter in his cynical campaign to jam through nominations without meaningful debate or adequate vetting. This is another step towards creating a federal court system where the wealthy and powerful get one kind of treatment, and ordinary Americans looking to vindicate their rights get another.

“No senator should have agreed to this deal. Americans deserve to know that they can depend on the courts to stand up for the constitution and the law. When our courts—and our rights—are on the line, senators should take the time to seriously debate the merits. Allowing these confirmations to be rushed through as senators head out of town does a disservice to our democracy and the rule of law. If Republicans intend to move forward on even a single nomination in the lame duck congress, Democrats should make clear that they won’t stand by silently.”

This chart appears to reflect the updated list of vacancies and pending nominees. There is a lot more work to do.

Republicans appear to be approaching ramming speed, with Trump nominating 13 more federal judges. The Daily Caller reports:

President Donald Trump announced his eighteenth wave of judicial nominees Wednesday night, just four days after the Senate confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wednesday’s nominees include two candidates for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and three for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2nd Circuit is based in New York City and has jurisdiction over New York, Connecticut and Vermont. The 9th Circuit is based in San Francisco, and hears appeals arising from nine western states as well as the outlying Pacific territories…

Trump has struggled to secure confirmations to both courts. The president’s sole confirmation to the 9th Circuit, Judge Mark Bennett, is a largely unknown quantity with questionable conservative bona fides. A second 9th Circuit nominee, Ryan Bounds, lost a narrow floor vote due to racially tinged opinion columns he wrote as an undergraduate at Stanford University.

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network has more information on the new appeals court nominees at National Review.


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I’ll bet this isn’t a recess, but more like a “recess.”
In other words, Trump won’t be able to recess-appoint any of his nominees, and nobody on the right will discuss it.

    Milhouse in reply to Matt_SE. | October 11, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    That’s right, it isn’t an actual recess, just a period when the only business conducted will be items to which there is no opposition, so senators won’t have to be there to vote. To go into actual recess needs the House’s consent, and also a vote of the senate, which the Dems could filibuster, and which might not pass anyway.

      That’s only if it would be for more than three days. Matt’s point stands.

        Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | October 12, 2018 at 12:26 am

        Nope. Any actual recess needs the House’s permission, and either unanimous consent or a vote of the senate. Having sessions every three days is how they get to go home without having a recess, and therefore without needing anyone’s permission.

          Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | October 12, 2018 at 9:33 am

          We should point out that even when they’re possible, Recess appointments for Judgeships are a bad idea. They make a little more sense for administrative positions that are not expected to last more than a couple years.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | October 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

          Recess-appointed judgeships are not for life either. Like all other recess appointments, they expire at the end of the next session of the senate.

          Matt_SE in reply to Milhouse. | October 12, 2018 at 1:52 pm

          Good GOD! Temporary, you say?!
          Then by all means, let’s not have any of the government’s business get done. It might mean that we would have to take another recess a year from now!

JusticeDelivered | October 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm

How many more need to be appointed? Are any loopholes open to push more through while they are campaigning 🙂

    Not without the Dems’ consent, which is not going to happen.

    Recess appointments by Trump.

      Milhouse in reply to Terry T. | October 12, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Which require a recess, which is not happening, because it needs the house’s permission and unanimous consent or a vote in the senate.

        Matt_SE in reply to Milhouse. | October 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm

        Every one of your objections is an excuse.
        “It would require the House to vote!” We control the House.
        “The Senate Dems might filibuster!” They need to go home to campaign. Not want, NEED, if they want to win their races.

        You think Cocaine Mitch couldn’t force them to a real recess if he wanted to? In fact, I’m not even sure they’d object.

Cocaine Mitch has been a much better majority leader than I expected. Holding up Garland, in McConnel’s words, was his most consequential decision…..and I agree. Since then he has been on a roll. It still isn’t fast enough for me, but I am a guy who wants my football team to go undefeated every year, beat scUM every year, and win the NC every year… my expectations are a tad high for everything.

Surely not all these judges would be in position to shoot down Roe. So the D’rat monomania for wishing to reject these implies that they are now officially voting “no” on all Trump nominees.

Article II, Section 2 says something about “advice and consent of the Senate”. It doesn’t say “sniping and rote refusal by the Senate”. Oh right, I keep forgetting, the Constitution is a “living” document, and doesn’t mean what it says.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 11, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Nor does it say the senate has to consent. The senate is entirely within its rights not to consent, or even consider a nomination, as it did to Garland.

Assuming there is some rule the dems could use to stall the judges, repubs already have the votes to get them seated. I saw most of the votes for the 15 were 51 to 48 or 41 etc.
Mitch should have gone for even more, especially the 9th. Imagine flipping the 9th Circuit from loony leftist. Libs may just implode (not that it’s a bad thing).

    Milhouse in reply to 4fun. | October 11, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    The problem is the Dems are entitled to 30 hours of debate per nominee, and they’ve been insisting on using all 30 hours whether they have anything to say or not. That’s why deals like this are needed.

      dems want to get their vulnerable candidates home. Just wondering if Mitch couldn’t have pushed them more for the deal.
      And I love how harris and feinstein are livid because they couldn’t use their blue cards for the nominees.
      That Kavanaugh crap the dems pulled is now seeing their payback.
      I’m so glad Trump won. It’s been a great almost two years watching the left bouncing off the walls.

Trump, McConnell and Grassley. Whoda thunk it two years ago

Not even talking about Graham and Collins. WTF? Love it!

Do they ever consider judges after the election? I.e. let lame-duck Senators vote on confirmations?

    Milhouse in reply to BrokeGopher. | October 11, 2018 at 9:16 pm


      Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | October 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

      And Mitch will have another window opening up that he can use to put pressure on any recalcitrant dems – everyone in DC wants to go back home during the December holidays. That’s when Mitch can once again threaten to keep the lame duck Senate in session until they vote on what he wants. Without an election looming, there will be plenty of dem senators who will say “oh hell lets be done with this and go home.”

No lady. This does not mean people will get shafted by the courts by using them to enact the liberal agenda which doesn’t meet constitutional muster. This has been the agenda of the left since their sainted FDR.

is there a list of the 15 judges published?

Three reasons:

Not Hiilary
Everything else is gravy

” ideological extremists and narrow minded elitists ” — translation: Judges who will read the cited law, consult with the legislative history and precedent, and then apply the law to the facts at hand.

Nice, but there are still more vacancies than when Trump took office. Something like 70 pending nominations still for over 100 vacancies? Too slow!

    Tom Servo in reply to Same Same. | October 12, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Agreed, but at least the tide is finally turning!

    Matt_SE in reply to Same Same. | October 12, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    “Too slow!”
    Exactly as planned.
    McConnell has no intention of actually helping Trump, he’s just doing the bare minimum to not be accused of sabotage. He may take an action now and again to boost his PR, but this is all a kabuki show.

I know Mark Bennett. And he is a wonderful judge, and a fine, brilliant, individual. But he believes the Second Amendment means the opposite of what it says: that only State governments can establish the right to bear arms or prohibit the same (his preference), and the First means the State has the right to control speech the State finds obnoxious to the approved beliefs of the left. In other words, just the man you want on contracts or criminal law, but leans left on individual liberties, as if the Bill of Rights was some sort of joke.

CaliforniaJimbo | October 12, 2018 at 7:09 am

After the midterms Mitch next needs to keep the senate in session over the Christmas break and move more nominations. Make them work until the last day

I am not a fan of Mitch.
But, when it comes to playing strategy as a swamp critter…
Mitch is it.

This is a very late comment, but I was inspired by someone else’s words to note this: given that the Democratic base is very upset about this deal, why did the Democratic Party senators give unanimous consent, which any of their members could have foiled? Just how bad was the post-Kavanaugh polling that they feel the heat and need to go home to “connect with their constituents” for the upcoming election, regardless of what the activists might think?

It’s an interesting thought.