Judicial nominees

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 »

Neomi Rao and the abortion issue [UPDATED]

Featured image We’ve discussed the frivolous concerns expressed by Sen. Joni Ernst about Neomi Rao, President Trump’s stellar nominee to fill the vacancy on the D.C. Circuit by Brett Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court. Ernst was upset about sensible comments Rao made, as a college student, about date rape. The absurdity of sinking a nominee with outstanding credentials and a powerful critique of the administrative state — or really any nominee »

Joni Ernst and the borking of Neomi Rao

Featured image Neomi Rao is President Trump’s highly-qualified nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. We’ve written about her here and here. Democrats are determined to block Rao. She is what they despise: a brilliant conservative minority group member and potential future Supreme Court nominee. To make matters worse, her professional focus has been the administrative state, on which Democrats rely to reshape America without the consent of its people. »

Spartacus flops again

Featured image Neomi Rao is President Trump’s extraordinarily well-qualified nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. I agree with Jeremy Carl that “if you were to design a perfect judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in a laboratory, that judge would look like Neomi Rao.” Why? Because the D.C. Circuit is the leading court in which administrative law decisions are made, with exclusive jurisdiction »

Trump stiffs Feinstein and Harris on judges. . .mostly

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the three conservatives President Trump nominated for the Ninth Circuit last year, but did not renominate this year. The unwillingness to renominate the three came about after a request by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. They asked that the White House “work with us to reach an agreement on a consensus package” of appeals court nominees from California. The package they desired would have »

Why is the White House working with Feinstein and Harris on selecting judges?

Featured image In this post, I listed nine federal appeals court nominees resubmitted to the Senate for confirmation this year, including two nominees for the Ninth Circuit. Unfortunately, Trump did not renominate three other Ninth Circuit nominees he submitted to Senate last year. One of these nominees is Patrick Bumatay. A graduate of Yale and of Harvard Law School, Bumatay clerked for a district court judge and for a Tenth Circuit judge. »

Gay authoritarianism

Featured image Jim Obergefell is the successful plaintiff in the case where the Supreme Court invented a constitutional right to same sex marriage. Eric Murphy is a lawyer who, in his capacity as Solicitor General of Ohio, argued against inventing such a right. President Trump has nominated Murphy for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Rob Portman, one of Murphy’s home state Senators, backs the nomination, even though Portman supports same »