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Trump Appointments Tag

There has been a fair amount of conservative frustration that the Trump administration was slow to get off the mark to renominate and start the confirmation process for judicial nominees held over from the last Congress. Particularly as to vacancies on the 9th Circuit, there were fears that the administration was cutting a bad deal with Democrats.

Neomi Rao is the nominee to fill the vacancy created on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals created when Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court after a vicious campaign against him. Rao's Judiciary Committee hearing is Tuesday, February 5. Senate Democrats and liberal interest groups are trying to attack Rao in order to damage her prospects for a future Supreme Court nomination and to serve as a warning that if she is nominated, they will Bork and Kavanaugh her.

There was a huge outcry in conservative media over the past couple of days regarding a deal allegedly being worked out with liberal Democrat Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, as to nominees to fill vacancies. We covered the issue in Trump has opportunity to flip the 9th Circuit, so why isn’t he?  Rush Limbaugh covered it today, linking to our post.

Bringing the federal judiciary back to the center has been one of the great successes of Trump's first two years in office. As mentioned many times before, Trump was presented with an opportunity to realign the federal judiciary for a generation given the large number of Court of Appeals and District Court vacancies when he took office. Judicial nominations, particularly to the Supreme Court, were a core Trump campaign promise and a huge motivator for Republicans in 2016.

I'm so old, I remember when Republicans were ramming judicial nominations through the Senate, and Democrats were squealing like stuck pigs about it. Then came Jeff Flake's attempt to disrupt the process unless a bill were passed protecting Mueller, and then the congressional term ran out with Democrats refusing to carry over the nominations. That left 13 nominees for appeals courts and 60 nominees for District and other lower courts hung out to dry.

85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has suffered multiple health setbacks in recent months. She fell and broke some ribs, and then had cancerous tumors removed from her lungs. Recovery from the lung surgery caused Ginsburg to miss three days of oral arguments this week, the first time she has missed an oral argument since joining the high court:

As a Catholic woman, I am very familiar with the faith-based, charity activities organized by our parish's Knights of Columbus group. I must have missed the memo saying it was a chauvinist, religious cabal intent on creating a pontifical version of "A Handmaid's Tale". It's a good thing US senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) are on top of things.

President Donald Trump will nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to take over as UN Ambassador to replace Nikki Haley. From The Washington Examiner:
“Heather Nauert will be nominated [for U.S. ambassador]. She's done work with Nikki Haley to replace Nikki at the United Nations. She will be ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn before departing for a trip to Kansas City, Mo.

The Department of Justice has ruled that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker can serve in the position. Whitaker came under criticism after President Donald Trump appointed him when Jeff Sessions stepped down. Whitaker served as Sessions' chief of staff.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has released its Final Report (pdf.)(full embed at bottom of post) detailing the extensive investigation conducted into allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation proceedings. The report completely clears Kavanaugh. Here is a portion of the Summary (emphasis added):

You may recall that just after Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, Democrats agreed to confirm 15 federal judicial nominees in exchange for Mitch McConnell putting the Senate in recess so that vulnerable Senate Dems could return home to campaign. #TheResistance was upset. While they can't stop nominees, they demand resistance for resistance sake. But Senate Democrats had other priorities.

Now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, it's worth taking a look back at what changed the course of the fight. Democrats had thrown everything they had at Kavanaugh, including a misleadingly edited video circulated by Sen. Kamala Harris and false accusations of perjury circulated by many Democrats. None of it stuck, in part because of rapid fact response by the administration, Kavanaugh's team, and non-liberal media.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been on a roll. Together Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, McConnell has sheparded through Democrat obstruction a total as of today of 84 Trump judicial nominees, including 15 last week in addition to Brett Kavanaugh. Included in that group are two Supreme Court justices, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and 29 Courts of Appeals judges.

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.