Judicial nominees

Obama’s new appellate court nominees should be blocked

Featured image In his final year in office, President Obama remains in a position to continue his project of transforming America. He can do so through Executive Orders, for example. Republicans, though, are in a position to close the book on one front — the transformation of the federal judiciary. In November 2014, the GOP took control of the Senate. Consequently, no federal judge can be confirmed without Republican complicity. Indeed, as »

Jeb to Conservatives: Drop Dead

Featured image Back in September in “Bush League De-Regulation,” I took note of Jeb Bush’s Wall Street Journal op-ed about his views on regulation. I wondered whether he really understands the problem sufficiently, and concluded: This is another sign that Bush, as good as he is in many ways, is not good enough. He doesn’t get the full depths of the problem. Like his dad and older brother. Today, as reported by »

Let’s hear it for Senator Perdue

Featured image When Democratic presidents nominate leftist minority group members to the federal bench, it’s win-win for them. Either they get a leftist confirmed plus the right to brag about how much they’re doing for minorities or the Democrats can castigate Republicans for being mean to minorities. The nomination of Dax Lopez to the federal district court for the Northern District of Georgia is a classic example. Lopez is Hispanic (and Jewish »

The confirmation of Wilhelmina Wright

Featured image The Senate confirmed Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina (Mimi) Wright as a Minnesota federal district court judge on Tuesday. Heritage Action announced that it opposed her confirmation and that it was important enough that it was scoring the vote on her confirmation as a key vote. Several conservative outlets more or less protested her pending confirmation in advance of the vote. Most Republican Senators voted against her confirmation. If I »

What’s up with the Senate Judiciary Committee? Part Two

Featured image Today, the Senate easily confirmed the nomination of Luis Felipe Restrepo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Restrepo spent years as a public defender and in private practice as a criminal defense and “civil rights” attorney. An obvious left-winger, he naturally had the enthusiastic support of groups of that persuasion. Before the vote on Restrepo, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made »

Clint Bolick for SCOTUS!

Featured image Terrific news out of Arizona today, where Governor Doug Ducey has announced his appointment of Clint Bolick to the state’s Supreme Court. How great an appointment is this? Well, the folks at the Center for American Progress are having a cow: The Most Chilling Political Appointment That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Unless you’re unusually familiar with libertarian legal activists (or you are a Republican presidential candidate) you probably have »

Our “politicized” judiciary — let’s be thankful for it

Featured image How about this for a scoop: judges are more conservative on average than lawyers. That’s the conclusion reached by two political scientists — Adam Bonica of Stanford and Maya Sen of Harvard’s Kennedy School — based on an analysis of “the ideological positioning of nearly half a million judges and lawyers” as reflected in their campaign contributions. Bonica and Sen attribute this ideological mismatch to the “politicization” of courts that »

THE JUDICIAL FILIBUSTER AND THE FALLACY OF “UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT”

Featured image Politico reports what’s been pretty clear for weeks — Republicans are unlikely to reverse Harry Reid’s elimination of the filibuster of presidential nominees. My preference was to reinstate the filibuster for the reasons I presented here. However, I understand the arguments for keeping it, and consider the issue a close call. What bothers me is the mantra that reinstating the filibuster would amount to “unilateral disarmament” by Republicans. It’s an »

Lindsey Graham, you are the weakest link

Featured image Lindsey Graham, in an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s show, advocated a return to the requirement that all presidential nominations receive 60 votes in order to be confirmed. Graham told Hugh: If you keep it at 51, all they [Democrats] have to do is pick up three, four Republicans and I’m worried that you’re no stronger than your weakest link. Having to get to 60 is a much more collaborative process. »

Should Republicans reinstate the judicial filibuster?

Featured image With Republicans about to assume control of the Senate, a debate has broken out over whether to bring back the filibuster for judicial nominees. Readers will recall that Harry Reid and his crew eliminated the filibuster (except for Supreme Court nominees) in order, primarily, to confirm three left-wing nominees for the all-important U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The estimable Ed Whelan argues that it would »

Breaking: DC Circuit Vacates Obamacare Decision

Featured image Call this the first fruits of the Obama-Reid plan to pack the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.  The DC Circuit has just vacated its July 22 decision in Halbig v. Burwell that struck down the federal subsidies for Obamacare in states that did not set up exchanges as the clear language of the statute said.  The DC Circuit will now hear the case en banc, which likely favors a reversal »

Mark Pryor and company rubber stamp radical nominee David Barron

Featured image The Senate has confirmed the nomination of left-winger David Barron to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote was 53-45. Only two Democrats voted against confirming Barron. They were Joe Manchin, a genuine moderate, and Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election in a conservative state. Other pseudo-moderate Democrats such as Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan were perfectly content to rubber-stamp a nominee who, among things, has »

Crunch time for David Barron and for those of us who oppose him

Featured image We are approaching the moment of truth for David Barron, President Obama’s ultra-leftist nominee for the First Circuit Court of Appeals. With Republicans solidly aligned against Barron, he would be unconfirmable under the longstanding rules on filibustering. But Harry Reid changed those rules, and thus needs only 50 votes to break Rand Paul’s filibuster. Fortunately, Barron has alienated some Senate Democrats due to his authorship of the memo providing legal »

David Barron: Worse than I think

Featured image A long-time reader of our acquaintance who graduated from Harvard Law School corrects my assessment of David Barron, President Obama’s embattled nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit: Paul: You’re off the mark. Dave Barron isn’t as bad as you make him out to be … he’s worse! I had him for Property and Admin Law. He’s a nice guy, but a true radical leftist. He »

Barron on the administrative state

Featured image Paul has been writing about the nomination of David Barron to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (here and here). I’ve been writing about the questionable status of the administrative state in light of the separation of powers under the Constitution. To the extent of my capacity to understand, Publius has been my guide and authority. Barron stands at the intersection of Paul’s and my interests. »

Obama’s latest lefty judicial nominee faces growing scrutiny

Featured image I noted yesterday that the nomination of David Barron for the First Circuit Court of Appeals faces unexpected difficulty even under the new rules which require only a majority of the Democrat-controlled Senate to confirm him. Barron’s difficulties stem less from his ultra-leftist view of the Constitution than from his authorship of legal memoranda justifying the Obama administration’s drone policy. Whatever one’s view of the drone policy — it’s one »

Will a liberal’s good deed be punished?

Featured image What does it take to defeat an Obama court of appeals nominee now that the Democrats have invoked the “nuclear option” and abolished the filibuster for all but Supreme Court selections? Spearheading an ideologically-based defense of a cop-killer is probably sufficient. It was enough to defeat the nomination of Debo Adegbile for a top Justice Department position for which he could have been confirmed by a simple majority vote. Being »