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While you were focused on the pandemic, Trump nominated two more Court of Appeals judges

While you were focused on the pandemic, Trump nominated two more Court of Appeals judges

Expect a brutal fight over nomination of Kavanaugh defender and McConnell protégé Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

We have long covered the substantial and generational shift in the federal judiciary since Trump took office, particularly at the Court of Appeals level.

Filling all Court of Appeals vacancies is a top priority, and while the Wuhan coronavirus crisis has stopped much of the economy, it has not stopped the normal functioning of the nomination process, or the activism of Democrats and liberal groups in opposing nominations.

This past week, Trump unveiled to new nominees, Cory Wilson for the 5th Circuit, and Justin Walker for the D.C. Circuit.

Carrie Severino has the background on Wilson:

Judge Cory Wilson is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Wilson is currently a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Before today’s announcement, Wilson was a pending nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

49 years old, Wilson is a native of Pascagoula, Mississippi. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 1992. At Ole Miss, Wilson received the Taylor Medal in Economics, awarded to the student achieving the highest GPA. Following his graduation from Ole Miss, Wilson attended Yale Law School, where he was an editor for the Yale Law Journal, an Olin Fellow in Economics, and a member of the Yale Law School chapter of the Federalist Society….

On August 28, 2019, President Trump nominated Wilson to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. At his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this year, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) criticized Wilson for his membership in the Federalist Society.

More controversial, and significant, is the nomination of Walker to the D.C. Circuit, widely considered the most important appeals court because it hears so many of the disputes arising in D.C. Again, Severino has Wilson’s background:

Judge Justin Walker is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Walker is currently a federal district judge in the Western District of Kentucky. President Trump also nominated Walker to his current post, and he was confirmed by the Senate in October 2019….

Growing up, Walker attended Catholic school for 13 years, graduating from Louisville St. Xavier High School. He went on to attend Duke University, where he majored in political science and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduating summa cum laude. Walker similarly excelled at Harvard Law School, where he earned magna cum laude honors and served as the notes editor of the Harvard Law Review. Walker was also a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Law & Public Policy, a leading journal for conservative and libertarian scholarship. He also served on the executive board of the Harvard chapter of The Federalist Society.

After law school, Walker clerked for Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit (2010-2011) and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court (2011-2012)….

Walker was a staunch supporter of Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination to the Supreme Court. Walker wrote in National Review that Kavanaugh was a “a steadfast and fearless supporter of religious liberty.” Likewise, in The Federalist, Walker described Kavanaugh as having “the strongest, most consistent, most fearless record of constitutional conservatism of any federal court of appeals judge in the country.”

Got that? Walker clerked for Kavanaugh when Kavanaugh was on the D.C. Circuit, supported Kavanaugh publicly during Kavanaugh’s own confirmation fight, and is referred to as Mitch McConnell’s protégé..

That means leftie activist groups are preparing for war on Walker, as CNBC reports:

Conservative dark money groups are preparing for one of their biggest battles of the year over President Donald Trump’s new pick to fill the a seat on a court that once included Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh….

Walker was confirmed in 2019 to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, after the American Bar Association deemed him “not qualified” for the position.

That rating, on top of the fact that most Democrats have opposed many of the president’s nominations, has conservative outside groups, such as the Judicial Crisis Network and the Article III Project, preparing for an all-out war in defense of Walker, according to people with direct knowledge of matter.

“The D.C. Circuit is considered the second highest court in the land, and barring a Supreme Court vacancy, this will be the biggest judicial fight this year,” Mike Davis, the founder of Article III, told CNBC in an interview on Friday.

Though it’s unclear how some of the liberal organizations are planning to take on the Walker nomination, Demand Justice, a group who vehemently opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination has already gone on offense.

“The nomination of a Mitch McConnell crony, who has been rated unqualified by his peers, to the second highest court in the country is beyond suspicious,” Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang said Friday. “We need to know if McConnell contacted Griffith directly, as reports suggest he may have, and if so, what he offered in exchange for his retirement.”

How this will play out procedurally remains to be seen, since Judiciary Committee hearings normally would be held in person, and that’s unlikely to happen in the next 30-plus days.


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“Not qualified” is ABA-speak for “Not leftist”.

rabid wombat | April 5, 2020 at 9:59 pm

Not Hillary
Everything else is gravy

Broken record ?

As was said in “Animal House”, “ramming speed”. Ram it through, Mitch.

Walker clerked for Kavanaugh , then clerked for Kennedy. Having known several Supreme Court clerks – you don’t clerk for any one on the Supreme Court if y are not qualified.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Joe-dallas. | April 6, 2020 at 11:49 am

    9 Justices, 3 clerks per Justice, means that the top 27, out of maybe 50k new lawyers every year, get tapped (actually, Supreme Court clerkship are delayed a year or two from graduation, with new clerks having spent time clerking for a lower, typically appeals, level court first, but the numbers are steady enough that this delay can be ignored). My memory is that they are almost all >90%) at least Magna cum Laude graduates of Harvard or Yale (>=1/3), or the very top grads from the other top 10 law schools. Walker’s mentor, Brett Kavenaugh, also clerked for Justice Kennedy, as did his high school classmate, Neil Gorsuch (who also clerked for Justice White).

What “fight”? We’re going to win. We do NOT have to indulge the traitors of pelosi and gang beyond voting against them.

We don’t have to publicize or get in the gutter with them. That’s all they have, but “we” keep giving it to them – kind of like obsessing over CNN or alexandra cortez – when no one watches or listens to them or her.

    The headlines of the news each day are about the people writing the democrat news.

    This madness has to stop. Stop falling in their trap.

    What “fight”? We’re going to win.

    And that’s all the reason we need to stop beating up on McConnell. I know he’s not a conservative. I know he’s a politician who ducks many big fights. In the final analysis, he’s been rock solid on judges. I don’t care how bad he’s been otherwise, the one thing that endures is the judges. The one thing that scares the Marxists is a judiciary who, by their own precedent, can force the national conversation toward conservative orthodoxy. Find another target. McConnell has been our ally, if not our savior.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to txvet2. | April 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      “toward conservative orthodoxy”
      just means toward common decency and common sense……..

Another Voice | April 6, 2020 at 2:06 am

There may not be another Senate Leader or President who will leave a legacy that will have impact for generations as these elected. The avg. age of the recent 3 justices being 55 with the prediction that at least RBG @ 87 and the possibility of Sotomayor @ 65 who is in treatment with Diabetes-1, will be replaced in the same way if DJT gets another 4 years and the GOP holds the Senate. It will forever be known as the Trump/McConnell Court for their appointments as much as FDR is still referred to 80 years later as president who tried to pack the court.

OneVoiceInAmerica | April 6, 2020 at 3:52 am

Democrat Senators will be as nasty as possible for as long as possible, then he will be confirmed.
Thank you Harry Reid! Shhh Shumer.

There is no fight. Just get the fuck on with the job and appoint these men!

    Ghostrider in reply to mailman. | April 6, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Why not just follow the advice of the Democrat’s presumptive nominee and hold virtual hearings in the Senate with mail ballots? Joe says it’s the way to go!

he was deemed not qualified
– because he did not have 12 years of legal experience
– as defined by the left
– despite several other examples of similar nominees

yet now
– he has more experience
– having served as a district court judge

    Albigensian in reply to Dr P. | April 6, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Justin Walker was born in 1982. He’s probably “not qualified” because he just might hold that judgeship long after many of his critics are in the ground.

      Ghostrider in reply to Albigensian. | April 6, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      The Left is terrified about Walker because he’s young and will be around for a long time and can sense–God forbid–he might be a future, conservative SCOTUS nominee. Oh, the horror!

We need them both. Let’s get this show on the road so the Dimocrats can humiliate themselves again.

More fun this year. Buying popcorn is a good excuse to get out and hit the grocery store.

Simplest litmus test….if the candidate has participated in at least one abortion, they are qualified for the bench.

    SophieA in reply to alaskabob. | April 6, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    You are so correct.
    It remains deeply and
    grievous to advance one’s career
    on the pain and suffering of women and
    the deaths of
    their unborn children.

    Ghostrider in reply to alaskabob. | April 6, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    “Simplest litmus test…. if the candidate has participated in at least one abortion, they are qualified for the bench.”

    1) Participated in at least one abortion
    2) Has ruled in favor of releasing felons from prisons
    3) Has ruled in favor of every Leftist law-fare pet peeve
    4) Has voiced his displeasure with Donald J Trump

my guiding light as far as anything political is simple … If the democrats are for it .. I’m against it … If they are against it … I’m for it … Using that yardstick I’m right about 90 – 95 % of the time