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While you were focused on New Hampshire, more Trump judicial nominees were confirmed

While you were focused on New Hampshire, more Trump judicial nominees were confirmed

Within minutes of Trump’s impeachment acquital, McConnell lined up votes on 5 nominees, including Andrew Brasher to the 11th Circuit. This week, all 5 were confirmed.

Look, Iowa caucus debacle! Look, Bernie v. Mayor Pete v. Amy for America in New Hampshire. Look, Biden has fled to South Carolina, his campaign graveyard, I mean, firewall.

There you (and we) go again, chasing the media squirrel.

While you were focused on all that, Mitch McConnell continued ramming through Trump federal judicial nominees.

What are we up to, 192? Don’t blink or the number will change. The transformation of the judiciary will be Trump’s long-lasting legacy.

Minutes, yes minutes, after Trump was acquitted in the impeachment trial, McConnell set up for a vote 5 more judicial nominee votes:

Minutes after the historic votes on Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) filed motions to invoke cloture, or end debate, on five nominees, including Andrew Brasher to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The Republican-led chamber will start with Brasher on Feb. 10 before moving on to four district court nominees….

The four district nominees are for courts in both red states—Alaska and Missouri—and blue states—Illinois and New York. The Senate has been slow to confirm Trump nominees with two Democratic senators.

You know how that ended, don’t you? All five were confirmed this week.

The most important was Brasher’s confirmation to the 11th Circuit, bringing that Circuit even in terms of judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans. The Democrat-media fear-mongering about Brasher was intense, Trump is elevating judges who could gut the Voting Rights Act:

Fresh from handing President Trump a victory in his impeachment trial, the U.S. Senate has moved to install federal judges who have expressed disdain for the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 law that struck down rules across the South that kept African-Americans from the ballot box.

Overturning voting-rights protections tends to benefit Republicans, who have said states, not the federal government, should decide the particulars of how elections are conducted. Some scholars even believe that weakening the Voting Rights Act ahead of the 2016 election helped Trump win the presidency.

The first of those nominees, Andrew L. Brasher, 38, was formerly the solicitor general of Alabama, a position that allowed him to stake out conservative stances on issues from gun control to reproductive rights. He was confirmed to an Alabama district court last year and, in a rapid elevation, was nominated only months later for a seat on the 11th Circuit court of appeals, which is based in Atlanta. Despite intense opposition by progressive groups, Brasher was confirmed by the full Senate on Feb. 11 in a 52-43 vote.

This was a baseless smear against Brasher. Carrie Severino noted on Twitter Brasher’s top-notch qualifications:

Congratulations to Andrew Brasher on his confirmation to the Eleventh Circuit. Brasher is rich in experience, having already served as a federal district judge, solicitor general, and deputy solicitor general in Alabama.

As an appellate advocate, Judge Brasher argued three times before the Supreme Court and seventeen times before the Eleventh Circuit. Today he also joins his former boss, Judge Bill Pryor, as a colleague on that court.

Yet despite Brasher’s impressive credentials and experience, the left persists in its sad and tiresome smear campaign against President Trump’s outstanding nominees. Thankfully the Senate once again saw through the baseless smears and voted to confirm a great judge.

The four district court nominees also were confirmed:

The U.S. Senate confirmed four of President Donald Trump’s nominees for federal district courts in Alaska, Missouri, Illinois, and New York, adding to the president’s efforts to reshape the federal judiciary.

Action by the Republican-led Senate brought Trump’s total confirmed district court judges to 137. They follow the confirmation of Andrew Brasher on Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which raised the total of Trump appointees to those courts to 51. Already more than a quarter of the judges at that level were tapped by Trump.

The newly confirmed district court appointees are Joshua M. Kindred, to the District of Alaska; Matthew Thomas Schelp, to the Eastern District of Missouri; John Fitzgerald Kness, to the Northern District of Illinois; and Philip M. Halpern, to the Southern District of New York.

Three more district court nominees breezed through their Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings.

A hot media topic is that Trump-McConnell are running out of district court vacancies to fill in states in which there is at least one Republican Senator. Since Lindsey Graham on the Judiciary Committee is continuing the policy of honoring ‘blue slips’ for district courts (but not appeals courts), Democrats could slow down judicial appointments in blue states:

Almost 84% of the nearly 80 current and expected district court vacancies are in states with at least one Democratic senator and fully 53 are in blue states, or states with two Democratic senators, according to Bloomberg Law analysis of Federal Judicial Center data.

That means this year—an election year when there’s already much less time to get things done in the bitterly divided chamber with a third of seats up for election in November—the White House will have to work with Democratic senators to get judges confirmed that they can agree on or possibly accept a lower yield on one of Trump’s most successful priorities.

Mitch will cross that bridge when he gets to it.

So while you were focused on New Hampshire, … well, you know, this is now a series:


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Since Lindsey Graham on the Judiciary Committee is continuing the policy of honoring ‘blue slips’ for district courts (but not appeals courts), Democrats could slow down judicial appointments in blue states:
What a pain in the rear. Ignore the blue slips Lynn and get the appointments taken care of. They’re probably more important than SC. Many more cases that don’t go beyond district courts than reach the SC.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to 4fun. | February 12, 2020 at 9:18 pm


    All these closet Democrats are a real pain!

    Milhouse in reply to 4fun. | February 12, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    He’s filling the appeals courts, while preserving the senate’s traditions for as long as possible. When they run out of appeals court vacancies, and district court vacancies for which the blue slips have been returned, then he can turn to the senators who are holding on to blue slips and tell them that he’s given them all the consideration he can reasonably give, and if they don’t start turning them in there’ll have to be a change of policy.

      Edward in reply to Milhouse. | February 13, 2020 at 10:16 am

      A reasoned approach. There are just so many nominations which can be processed within the Senate procedures (and the nomination train from the White House), so prioritizing Courts of Appeals and the “easy” District Court appointees (wonder what the judicial temperament of that NYSD newly appointed Judge will be) before turning to the “war” with the Socialist-Democrats over District Court vacancies.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | February 13, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Nope. The Senate democrats should simply be told that delaying or refusing to submit their “blue slips” will have no bearing on the votes for judicial replacements. Republicans simply do not need to deal with the minority party and their intransigence. Especially in an election year. If the democrats don’t want to participate then too bad for them.

        As I pointed out above, there are still plenty of vacancies that can be filled, so why overturn the senate’s traditions? Just for the sake of doing so? If all the easy vacancies get filled and the blue slips are still not coming in, that will be the time to have words for the obstructive senators, putting the onus on them to act responsibly if they want the traditions to be preserved.

      bhwms in reply to Milhouse. | February 13, 2020 at 3:20 pm

      But what are the odds Graham will actually DO that? How many times has Lindsay been a part of a “Gang of X” that had appeasement written all over it?

      Sure, he might do that, and I will be pleasantly surprised & gladly admit I was wrong. But I doubt he will do that. He is very much in the “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” camp. We shall see.

      sfharding in reply to Milhouse. | February 13, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      If push comes to shove the President should simply fill the district vacancies, en masse, by recess appointment. Recess appointment is in the Constitution, blue slips are not.

        Milhouse in reply to sfharding. | February 13, 2020 at 11:20 pm

        He can’t make any recess appointments unless the senate goes on a recess. Which it can’t do without the House’s permission. And which it has now established a tradition of not doing, even with permission; there’s unlikely to be a majority of senators to undo that tradition, and there are certainly not the 60 senators needed to break a filibuster of any attempt to undo it.

Great. And, with another four-year term (a near-certainty, at this point), POTUS will be able to work even more magic to reverse the Dhimmi-crats’ decades-long installation of agenda-driven, self-aggrandizing Leftist judges lacking any modicum of judicial modesty and restraint, arrogant narcissists who believe it is their proper role to enact by judicial fiat policy preferences that the Dhimmis are unwilling or unable to advance at the legislative level.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to guyjones. | February 12, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Hear! Hear!

    VaGentleman in reply to guyjones. | February 12, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Provided we keep the senate. As it becomes clear he is going to win, the dem focus will shift to taking the senate and keeping the house. We have to guard against complacency and remember to get out and vote because the down ticket posts matter too.

    Meanwhile, to quote Jackie Gleason: How sweet it is!

    Thank God for Trump and Mitch.

      My argument against Operation Chaos. Nominating and electing conservative judges (in states that elect judges, like Texas) is far more important than pulling Dem hair by crossing party lines to sow a little discord in Dem primaries.

        Edward in reply to txvet2. | February 13, 2020 at 10:22 am

        Even more than state Judges is state Representatives and Senators, Governors, LT Governors, etc. Control of the state legislative and executive process is critical in 2020 and immediately beyond as redistricting comes about after the new census. Once the state is in Republican hands, the President’s work in the Federal courts will come in handy as the Socialist-Democrats inevitably (at least in the South) try to once again use the courts to gain what they could not get from the people.

        Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | February 13, 2020 at 11:23 pm

        How does Operation Chaos affect that? It’s about presidential primaries in states with open primaries, isn’t it?

      Close The Fed in reply to VaGentleman. | February 13, 2020 at 5:43 am

      With all due respect, getting out to vote, while important, isn’t all that needs done.

      None of us wants to give the RNC money, but GOP house and senate candidates are being WAY out-fundraised by the dems.

      GOP candidates need $$ and campaign volunteers.

      If you can give, give to a worthy GOP rep/sen candidate.
      If you can attend GOP county/district/state meetings, go.
      If you can make phone calls, make phone calls.
      If you can go door to door, do it.
      If you can run against a RINO or a dem, do it.

      Voting is the first, but not only, way to help.

Mconnell and Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. Nancy Pelosi, not so much. I’ll bet McConnell doesn’t spend his evenings drinking.

Cocaine Mitch is like a breath of fresh air! The king of strategy.

hopefully some of these judges start overturning the attacks on the second.

During the Kavanaugh hearings:

Lindsey: I hope you b—————— never come to power you are literally the worst people on earth.

Once the cameras are off:

Lindsey: sure you can block our nominations in blue states where conservatives are literally gasping for a breath of freedom in cases where we are being strangled by progressive activist judges.

Thanks Lindsey.

Prof., will you please comment on the legality/Constitutionality of states allowing electoral votes going to the one who wins the popular vote?

    Edward in reply to lc. | February 13, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Those states which have signed on to this scheme have yet to act on the legislation because in all these statutes which have passed thus far (IIRC) each one requires states which cumulatively total 270 Electoral College votes to participate before the statute’s requirement becomes active. IOW, unless and until they can control the election of the President through the Electoral College votes, nothing happens. It is unclear whether they will ever get to the requisite vote total.

    I’ll leave it to the Prof to speak specifically to the constitutionality of this effort to do an end-around of the Electoral process required by the Constitution. Needless to say it is an attempt to avoid the Founders’ answer to preventing the populous states from always electing the President, a situation which would make it immaterial whether the smaller states’ citizens even show up at the polls to vote.

      Milhouse in reply to Edward. | February 13, 2020 at 11:27 pm

      The scheme seems perfectly constitutional, but I doubt it will ever be implemented.

      As for upsetting the founders’ scheme, that happened when candidates for elector started pledging their votes in advance, and being chosen on that basis; and certainly when the voters stopped even knowing the names of the electors they were choosing, knowing only whom they pledged to support for president. The founders’ whole point was that this should not happen. They wanted electors to be chosen who would be trusted to deliberate and make up their own minds whom to support for president.