Judicial Confirmations - Questions for 2020, Answers for 2019

Today, Ed Whelan posted the four big questions in judicial confirmations for 2020 and answers to the four big questions he posed at the beginning of 2019. The first big question is whether a new Supreme Court vacancy will arise.

Although one did not in 2019, he notes that a nominee for a vacancy that arise this year would likely be confirmed "notwithstanding the ruckus the Left will raise." Looking ahead to 2020, he also asks:

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Part 2, Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019

We continue our Top 10 Blog posts for 2019.  Numbers 6-10 are here.  


Senate Judiciary Dems playing an awkward game of praising Bill Barr's character and competence while saying why they're voting against him, which boils down to Pres. Trump, with some background of unitary executive theory.

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Joe Biden Does Same Thing that Dems Impeached Trump Over

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would refuse to comply with a subpoena by the U.S. Senate unless a court order compels him. While Democrats may defend Biden for being in his right to do so, there’s one problem: they already impeached President Trump for doing the same thing.

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Part 1: Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019

In a series of two blog posts, RNLA will detail our top 10 blog posts of 2019.  Today Numbers 10-6.  


Attorney General Bill Barr drives it home -"How did we get to this point? The President was falsely accused of colluding with Russians - the evidence shows those allegations are false. To listen to some of the rhetoric you’d think the Mueller Report had found the opposite."

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ICYMI: There Should be Bipartisan Outrage over the Treatment of Carter Page

Carter Page served as foreign policy advisor to the 2016 Trump campaign and also as a CIA asset.  He is exhibit one in the abuse (or worse) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the FBI in their efforts to investigate the Trump campaign. Don’t take our word for it- Judge Rosemary Collyer, the Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is furious. 

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Happy Holidays: 1 in 4 Circuit Court Judges are now Trump Nominees

While House Democrats have spent 2019 focused on attacking the President and a slipshod impeachment, President Trump and the United States Senate have focused on remaking the judiciary.  As the Washington Post reports:

Trump nominees make up 1 in 4 U.S. circuit court judges. Two of his picks sit on the Supreme Court. And this past week, as the House voted to impeach the president, the Republican-led Senate confirmed an additional 13 district court judges.

The 13 circuit courts are the second most powerful in the nation, serving as a last stop for appeals on lower court rulings, unless the case is taken up by the Supreme Court. So far, Trump has appointed 50 judges to circuit court benches. Comparatively, by this point in President Obama’s first term, he had confirmed 25. At the end of his eight years, he had appointed 55 circuit judges.

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ICYMI: President Trump’s Executive Order Combating anti-Semitism

As Hanukkah celebrations are underway, we thought we would briefly focus on President Trump’s recent Executive Order Combating Anti-Semitism (some excerpts):

While Title VI does not cover discrimination based on religion, individuals who face discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin do not lose protection under Title VI for also being a member of a group that shares common religious practices.  Discrimination against Jews may give rise to a Title VI violation when the discrimination is based on an individual’s race, color, or national origin. . . .

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.  Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”; and

(ii)  the “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism” identified by the IHRA, to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.

(b)  In considering the materials described in subsections (a)(i) and (a)(ii) of this section, agencies shall not diminish or infringe upon any right protected under Federal law or under the First Amendment

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Pelosi’s Latest Impeachment Stunt Creates Many Opinions and One Agreement

Speaker Pelosi’s latest partisan stunt of not sending over the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate is creating a variety of opinions on the legal ramifications but almost universal agreement that it is another bad idea for her.   Let’s sample three current and former Harvard Law professors.

Professor Noah Feldman makes the point that President Trump has not yet been impeached as a result of Speaker Pelosi’s actions.  In an op-ed entitled Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate, he states:

If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.

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Impeachment Update: Rule of Law and Process

It is becoming apparent that the impeachment was done with no respect for the rule of law or even the political process.  On the first point, RNLA Vice President for Communications Audrey Perry Martin writes:

While an impeachment proceeding is not a court of law, these fundamental concepts of due process and fairness need to be respected for Americans to have any confidence in the integrity of the proceeding.

In their rush to impeach President Trump, House Democrats turned back the clock and embraced the non-existent due process protections of medieval courts.

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Democrats Celebrate "Impeachmas"; Senate Confirms More Judges

Today, the House passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump with no Republican support.  There were a few Democrats voting with the Republicans and one voting present. Here are some of the best reactions from Republican House leaders to today's debate.

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