Confirmation week

This morning, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Notre Dame Law professor Amy Barrett as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. The vote was 55-43.

Three Democrats — Sen. Joe Donnelly, Sen. Tim Kaine, and Sen. Joe Manchin — broke ranks and voted to confirm Barrett. They thus rejected the suggestion by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others on the Senate Judiciary Committee that Barrett is too Catholic to be an appellate judge.

This morning, the Senate also voted 60-38 for cloture (i.e., to limit debate) on the nomination of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen to serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit. The Senate now has up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate on Justice Larsen’s nomination. Larsen may be confirmed as early as tomorrow.

Next, the Senate will turn to the cloture and confirmation votes on Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit. She will probably be confirmed by the end of the week. If so, that will make it three conservative female circuit judges confirmed in three days.

Finally, at the end of this week or early next week, the Senate will vote on cloture and confirmation of Penn Law professor Stephanos Bibas as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. When he is confirmed, the Senate will have confirmed eight Circuit Court nominees this year. That will tie Ronald Reagan’s first year, and put President Trump on track to place more federal appeals court judges on the bench in his first year than any of his five predecessors.

Credit goes to the president, to Majority Leader McConnell, to Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley, and to Grassley’s colleagues and staff on the Committee.

Credit also goes to Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society for helping President Trump identify the stellar nominees who are being confirmed.


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