Judicial nominees

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 »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 107: Is “New Originalism” an Oxymoron?

Featured image Constitutional originalism is the cornerstone of conservative jurisprudence today, but there are several rival versions of originalism, and sometimes you even hear about the “new” originalism, which sounds more like an old Spinal Tap joke. This week I caught up briefly (very briefly—we both had airplanes to catch) with John Eastman, the Salvatori Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, »

A battle the Trump administration should relish

Featured image Yesterday, John noted that the escalating Democratic attacks on Catholicism are, in part, an attempt to prepare the battlefield for the day when Justice Ginsburg dies or is unable to continue on the Supreme Court. In that event, said John, President Trump will likely nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg, and Democrats will make Barrett’s religious faith the basis for attacking her nomination. To which I say, bring »

Trump renominates 51 judges

Featured image 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. »

It’s time for the Senate GOP to go nuclear

Featured image A combination of Democratic obstructionism and Jeff Flake flakiness has conspired to create a backlog of federal judicial nominees awaiting a vote in the Senate. Flake, it will be recalled, decided to bottle up all judicial nominees in committee towards the end of 2018 because Majority Leader McConnell wouldn’t allow a vote on legislation to “protect” Robert Mueller. Mueller needs no protection. He’s not going to be fired, as the »

Are you now or have you ever been?

Featured image Democrats now freely display the sort of anti-Catholic bigotry that JFK was thought to have vanquished in the 1960 presidential campaign. As they have done with so much of their history, the Democrats have deposited JFK and the 1960 campaign down the memory hole. I wrote about the anti-Catholic bigotry on display in the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. It was the subject of my City Journal column “The unfunniest »

The Knights of Columbus responds to Sens. Hirono and Harris

Featured image In this post, I reported on the shameful attack by Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris on a judicial nominee — Brian Buescher — for belonging to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic social and charitable organization. The two Senators insist that Buescher drop his membership in that organization and recuse himself from cases in which it has taken a position. Why? Because according to Hirono, the Knights have taken »

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Knights of Columbus?

Featured image Recently, Sen. Mazie Hirono claimed that Democrats have a hard time connecting with voters because they (Democrats) are so “smart” and “know so much.” If Democrats are smart and knowledgeable, you can’t prove it by Hirono. She embarrasses herself routinely on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she almost invariably finds herself in over her head. The latest embarrassment is her attack, along with Sen. Kamala Harris, on a judicial nominee »