Today, President Trump renominated 51 candidates for the federal judiciary. The list of nominees is here.
Trump had to renominate these candidates because they had not been confirmed when the last Session of Congress ended. We can thank Jeff Flake and the Senate Democrats for this.
Most the 51 nominees are for district court judgeships. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is Brian Buescher of Nebraska. He’s the one Sens. Hirono and Harris attacked for his membership in the Knights of Columbus.
The list includes nine nominees for courts of appeals judgeships. They are:
Bridget Bade (9th Circuit)
Joseph Bianco (2nd Circuit)
Paul Matey (3rd Circuit)
Eric Miller (9th Circuit)
Eric Murphy (6th Circuit)
Michael Park (2nd Circuit)
Neomi Rao (D.C. Circuit)
Chad Readler (6th Circuit)
Allison Jones Rushing (4th Circuit)
Neomi Rao is perhaps the most important of these nominees because of the special importance of the D.C. Circuit and because of Rao’s expertise regarding the administrative state. At the Scalia School of Law (also known as George Mason), she founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State. More recently, she has served President Trump as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), focusing on regulatory reform.
Naturally, the left is smearing her. Carrie Severino writes about that effort here.
Rao’s critics are focusing on “inflammatory op-eds” she wrote while in college. There’s nothing per se wrong with college students writing inflammatory op-eds. Nor is there anything wrong with the op-eds Rao wrote. As Severino shows, claims to the contrary are based on distortions of her articles.
The Senate needs to vote on these nominees promptly because there will be more coming. Vacancies in the federal judiciary still abound.
If Democrats continue to slow down the process by demanding 30 hours of floor debate on all or most of the district court renominees, Republicans should change the rules and limit floor debate on these nominees to two or three hours. I made the case for this move here.
With the House under Democratic control, Congress will be unable to enact much substantive legislation this year. Thus, the best use of the Senate’s time is to get Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed. This should be priority #1.