Judicial nominees

Why so much trouble nominating reliably conservative Justices? Part Two

Featured image In this post from last month, I tried to explain why Republican presidents have far less success nominating reliably conservative Supreme Court Justices than their Democratic counterparts have in nominating liberal ones. The main reason, I said, is that the conservative legal movement in America has multiple strands, not all of which point adherents to a result that can be called, or agreed upon as, conservative. For example, if one »

Why so much trouble nominating reliably conservative Justices?

Featured image Today, Yoram Hozany, an Israeli philosopher, tweeted: I wonder: Has there ever been an ideological movement this incompetent? They only had one job to do: Distinguish conservative lawyers from liberal lawyers. They formulate lists of approved individuals and everyone murmurs that they’ve been vetted. Then all sorts of distinguished persons publicly pronounce in chorus that the candidate is brilliant and the nomination fine. What criteria are involved in all this? »

Is that all they got?

Featured image The ABA’s finding that Judge Justin Walker is “well qualified” to serve on the D.C. Circuit removes the Democrats’ main, though always specious, talking point against confirming Walker. As a result, the Dems are reduced to basing their case against Walker on the Wuhan coronavirus. During today’s hearing on Walker’s nomination, Sen. Durbin found it ironic that, in this time of a pandemic, a “strident” opponent of Obamacare is up »

ABA rates Justin Walker well qualified to serve on D.C. Circuit

Featured image The Senate is set to consider the nomination of Justin Walker for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the talking points about Judge Walker’s nomination consistently raised by the mainstream media is that, when Walker was nominated for his federal district court judgeship, the ABA rated him “not qualified.” The rationale for this rating was that Walker had no experience trying cases in »

Trump nominates 37 year-old Kentucky judge for D.C. Circuit

Featured image President Trump has nominated Judge Justin Walker for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the nation’s second most important court. Walker, age 37, serves on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. He has been on that court for about half a year. The American Bar Association rated Walker “unqualified” when he was nominated for the district court position. To the extent, if »

This year in judicial confirmations

Featured image 2019 was a banner year for confirming federal judges — an accomplishment that will reverberate long after many of the leading stories of the year, including impeachment, have been largely forgotten. Let’s start with federal district court judges. These positions didn’t used to be considered politically charged. Confirmation of district court nominees once was routine. That’s no longer true. District judges are actively participating in the anti-Trump resistance. They are »

Democrats balk but Senate confirms Knights of Columbus member for judgeship

Featured image The Senate today confirmed Brian Buescher, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska. Readers may recall that Senate Democrats attacked Buescher for his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization. I wrote about this here. Sen. Kamala Harris was one of the Senators who led the charge against Buescher during his Committee hearing. His other main adversary was Sen. Mazie Hirono, one of the »

Whitehouse’s blacklist

Featured image What is it with Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse? During the Kavanaugh confirmation spectacle, he showed himself to be a killer clown (if you can imagine a killer clown doing his thing with haughty grandiosity). Like the rest of his colleagues on the Democratic side of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the man operates without a conscience. I wrote about him several times in posts collected here. Whitehouse recently turned in »

Neomi Rao, Josh Hawley, and the Wall Street Journal

Featured image Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Neomi Rao, President Trump’s selection to fill the seat on the D.C. Circuit that Brett Kavanaugh left. The vote was 53-46. Some Republicans, most notably Sen. Josh Hawley, had expressed concern over Rao as a nominee. However, Rao was able to address these concerns to the Senators’ satisfaction. In the end, she received the vote of every Republican member (and no Democrats). I’m glad Rao was »

McConnell ready to limit debate to counter Dem obstruction of nominees

Featured image For many months, we (along with many other conservatives) have been urging Senate Republicans to reduce the number of hours permitted to debate nominees. This step is necessary because Senate Democrats have used the 30 hours now permitted to stall nominees. The result is an unacceptable backlog of qualified, confirmable nominees. Consequently, judgeships and key administration jobs remain vacant. Now it finally looks like Majority McConnell will pull the trigger. »

The Democrats’ bad faith attacks on Kenneth Lee

Featured image Kenneth K. Lee is President Trump’s nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lee is well-qualified for the job. He clerked for Judge Emilio Garza of the Fifth Circuit; served as Associate White House Counsel to President George W. Bush and as special counsel on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee; and now is a partner at a prestigious law firm. In addition, he has taught law as an »

A Clarence Thomas non-scandal

Featured image Was it scandalous for Justice Clarence Thomas to express his support for Neomi Rao’s nomination to Senators considering whether to vote for her confirmation as a federal appellate judge? Some claim it was. Elie Mystal says: I guess we already know how Thomas would rule on any Rao opinions appealed to him. That’s… not how this is supposed to work. Nonsense. A positive report by a Supreme Court Justice about »

Wall Street Journal renews smear of Josh Hawley

Featured image Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal attacked Sen. Josh Hawley in a snotty, condescending editorial. Hawley’s sin? He said he needed to learn more about the views of Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee for the D.C. Circuit, before he could vote for her confirmation. Hawley was concerned about an article Rao wrote regarding the role of “dignity” in constitutional law. “Dignity” is the core concept in Justice Kennedy’s worst »

The Row Over Rao

Featured image Like Paul, I am much relieved to see the news today that Neomi Rao’s nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has passed out of the Judiciary Committee, with Sen. Josh Hawley voting yes. I’ve been holding back in commenting on this story. (Also I’m traveling.) I guess I should, in the spirit of disclosure that journalists follow these days, tell my favorite Neomi Rao story, as I do »

Neomi Rao clears judiciary committee

Featured image This morning, the Senate Judiciary advanced the nomination of Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The vote in favor of Rao was 12-10, along straight party lines. Both Committee Republicans who had expressed doubts about Rao — Sens. Joni Ernst and Josh Hawley — voted in her favor. Ernst had indicated some time ago that her concern about Rao’s student writings on rape had »

Cotton joins Hawley in expressing doubts about Neomi Rao

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Sen. Tom Cotton is privately raising questions about Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Says the Post, “though he hasn’t voiced them publicly, Cotton shares concerns outlined by Sen. Josh Hawley earlier this week about Rao’s judicial philosophy, which Hawley detailed in a letter to Rao earlier Tuesday.” Sen. Cotton is a Harvard »

Persuade Josh Hawley, don’t ridicule him

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about how Sen. Josh Hawley is concerned with some of the academic writings of Neomi Rao, President Trump’s stellar nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. Sen. Hawley worries that some of Rao’s work suggests she might be too comfortable with the concept of “substantive due process” — a theory that can be used to protect rights, such as the right to an »