Judicial nominees

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 »


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 »

“Remember boys, we’re all Democrats”

Featured image A former court of appeals judge, now deceased, used to tell the story of the meeting he had with President Lyndon Johnson after his confirmation by Congress. Johnson met not only with this judge, but with several others who had just been confirmed. Johnson’s performance, colorful and profane, gave rise to several priceless anecdotes. The most telling was Johnson’s parting words. According to this former judge, he said: “Remember boys, »

The very useful lesson of Obama’s judicial power grab

Featured image It’s no secret that President Obama was behind the push to end the filibuster as a means of blocking nominees for U.S. appeals court judgeships. At a fundraiser earlier this month, he told liberal donors that he is “remaking the courts.” Recognizing that the filibuster stood in the way of a full radical makeover, Obama personally lobbied three Democratic Senators who were undecided about whether to eliminate it. Obama reportedly »

Mark Pryor under attack for rubber-stamping Obama’s judicial nominees

Featured image Sen. Mark Pryor’s vote in favor of Obamacare, without which that legislation would not have passed the Senate, should be enough to cause his defeat in the 2014 Arkansas race Senate. And, at the end of the day, I suspect it will be. However, there is also the matter of President Obama’s judicial nominees. Pryor has not voted against the confirmation of a single one. Not even far left-winger Goodwin »

Cornelia Pillard — extreme and extremely disingenuous

Featured image Ed Whelan takes another look at Cornelia Pillard’s false and deceptive testimony to Congress during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Ed previously analyzed Pillard’s testimony regarding her writings about the novel theory that only abstinence-only sex education is unconstitutional, in certain circumstances. I discussed Ed’s post on that matter here. Now, Ed has explored three »

Cornelia Pillard’s disingenuous testimony to Congress — Ed Whelan’s take

Featured image Cornelia Pillard is President Obama’s left-wing, radical feminist nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. I wrote about Pillard’s radicalism here. I wrote about her confirmation hearing here and here. Her testimony struck me as astonishingly disingenuous. Ed Whelan has taken an in-depth look at Pillard’s testimony about whether equal-protection considerations render abstinence-only sex education in public schools unconstitutional and, in particular, her testimony »

Are these judges really necessary, except to promote Obama’s power play?

Featured image I’ve written here, here, and here about Cornelia Pillard, President Obama’s radical feminist nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. But I haven’t yet commented on the threshold question of whether any additional judges should be seated on the D.C. Circuit. This was a topic of much debate at Wednesday’s hearing on the Pillard nomination. Both sides — the Democrats who want three new judges »