Judicial nominees

Feinstein Watch

Featured image It has been obvious for quite a while that Dianne Feinstein is not capable of discharging her duties as a senator. Earlier today Feinstein became confused in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing and began reading a statement instead of casting a vote. An aide tried to help her, and Patty Murray audibly said, “Just say ‘aye.'” I haven’t paid much attention to the Feinstein saga because it is not surprising »

Kennedy stumps the nominees

Featured image Steve Hayward noted the difficulty Biden judicial nominee Kato Crews had with a basic question posed by Louisiana’s inimitable Senator John Kennedy. Crews serves as a magistrate judge for the Colorado federal district court. That means he’s not an Article III judge yet, though Biden has nominated him to move up to that position. It’s probably best not to ask him too much about Article III. The Washington Free Beacon »

Dumbing Down the Judiciary

Featured image If you look up “courtly southern gentleman” in a dictionary, you just might find a picture of Louisiana Senator John Kennedy (a former Democrat, by the way). He’s rapidly becoming my favorite senator in committee hearings, for his polite questions and unrancorous demeanor with Biden nominees that expose their ignorance or ideological bias. He’s bit like detective Columbo; he lets the nominees hang themselves with their own words. This week »

Whom Is Biden Nominating to the Federal Bench?

Featured image On Wednesday, a group of Biden nominees to district court judgeships came before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator John Kennedy asked one of the nominees, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren, some basic questions about the Constitution. Her inability to answer them has gotten a lot of attention: To be fair, constitutional questions rarely come before a state court trial judge. And, like Judge Bjelkengren, I am not familiar »

Biden Appoints Pro-Crime Appellate Judge

Featured image This is a shocking story: One of President Biden’s latest judicial nominees serves on the board of a group that backed calls to defund the police and has called to abolish prisons. Biden nominated Roopali Desai, a litigation partner at the law firm Coppersmith Brockelman, to the 9th Circuit Appeals Court bench last month. The 9th Circuit is notoriously liberal, but this is ridiculous. Before we get to abolishing prisons, »

Biden’s delay in nominating a Justice produces discord

Featured image The Hill reports that Senate Democrats are urging Joe Biden to “speed up his process for picking a nominee to the Supreme Court.” It has been about three weeks since Justice Breyer announced he will retire. It took only a month to confirm Amy Coney Barrett. Confirming Barrett was a matter of great urgency because Republicans were well on their way to losing control of the Senate. Democrats aren’t up »

A note on Judge Childs

Featured image In writing about Lindsey Graham’s confusion about affirmative action, I discussed Graham’s favorite candidate for the Supreme Court, U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs. I looked at her credentials compared to those of the current Justices at the time of their nomination and of Judge Sri Srinivasan, a highly qualified Asian-American jurist who has been excluded from consideration because he isn’t a black female. I concluded that, if selected, »

Lindsey Graham is confused about affirmative action

Featured image Sen. Lindsey Graham has long believed that a president’s judicial nominees should receive great deference from the Senate. He has made this clear over and over, both for nominees of Democrats and nominees of Republicans. For example, he defended his vote to confirm Justice Sotomayor on that basis. Graham’s view on the matter used to be shared by the vast majority of Senators. Today, almost no Senator really holds it, »

Biden’s Bad Bet on Race

Featured image Biden’s pledge to name a black woman—and only a black woman—to the Supreme Court is going down badly with Americans, a majority of whom are growing tired of the left’s relentless identity politics.  A new ABC News/Ipsos poll begins its report thus: A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that a plurality of Americans view the Supreme Court as motivated by partisanship, while President Joe Biden’s campaign trail vow to select »

The politics of replacing Breyer, Part Two

Featured image The Washington Post continues to maintain that Joe Biden has Republicans right where he wants them, thanks to his decision to appoint a black women to the Supreme Court. This article by Mike DeBonis is called (in the paper edition) “Supreme Court battle puts Republicans on the spot.” Dan Balz’s article is called “Breyer’s retirement gives Biden a fresh opportunity for a badly needed victory.” But I continue to believe »

The politics of replacing Breyer

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Democratic leaders are excited about the prospect of replacing Justice Breyer, and not just because of the opportunity to put a youngish left-liberal on the Supreme Court. According to the Post, Democrats see a political opportunity. They expect, as I do, that Biden will nominate a black female and that she will face considerable opposition from Republican Senators. Dem leaders apparently believe that in this »

Why Democrats are lucky Joe Manchin is in the Senate

Featured image As Democrats continue to trash Joe Manchin, we learn that they have succeeded in confirming the highest number of federal judges in the first year of a presidency in four decades. The Senate has confirmed 40 judges this year. That’s more than twice the number in Donald Trump’s first year. This couldn’t have happened without Joe Manchin. Without Manchin, the West Virginia seat he holds would be occupied by a »

Lindsey Graham, “the Arlen Specter of the South,” strikes again

Featured image Fifteen years ago (or so), I dubbed Lindsey Graham “the Arlen Specter of the South.” Graham wasn’t then, and isn’t now, as bad as Specter in terms of giving aid and comfort to the left. But Graham represents South Carolina, one of the most conservative states in the Union. Therefore, he deserves to be graded on a curve. So graded, Graham’s conduct, especially when it comes to judicial nominees, resembled »

The importance of a fairly-selected judiciary

Featured image Richard E. Myers II is the Chief District Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina. He was nominated by Donald Trump and took office on January 1, 2021. Judge Meyers was born in Jamaica. He is of mixed race. Today, he testified before a congressional committee on the subject of “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary: The Selection and Confirmation Process.” I found his »

How good a judge is Biden’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit?

Featured image Joe Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She currently sits on the U.S. District Court in D.C. This nomination was 100 percent expected. In fact, there has been speculation that Biden promised to nominate Judge Jackson to pacify radicals unhappy with the selection of Merrick Garland for Attorney General (as if the selections of radical race »

Open judgeships

Featured image Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell did a fine job of filling federal court of appeals judgeships. They left very little on the table for Joe Biden. However, if one looks at federal district courts, a different picture emerges. Trump and Senate Republicans left more than 50 district court judgeships unfilled at the end of Trump’s term. Some of these slots have been vacant for four years or more. These were »

Why the “blue slip” deserves a pink slip

Featured image Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did a bang up job getting President Trump’s Supreme Court and court of appeals nominees confirmed. When it comes to district court judges, things haven’t gone nearly as well for Trump, as a Power Line reader and distinguished alumnus of Dartmouth explains. Accounts of President Trump’s largely successful efforts to reform the federal judiciary overlook an ugly secret: The White House has been blocked from nominating »