Today was likely one of the last “controversial” hearings for a judicial nominee for President Trump’s first term. Judge Justin Walker was before the committee as a nominee to the DC Circuit. However, much of the Democrats' potential fire was taken away before the hearing even started. Yesterday, the American Bar Association (ABA), the self-proclaimed "gold standard" of Senate Democrats, rated Judge Walker "Well Qualified." Judge Walker had previously been rated "not qualified" by the ABA, due to his being just short of the required number of post-law school years of experience.Read more
Few things inflame Democrats more than Supreme Court Justices with whom they disagree. On the eve of the last days of the Supreme Court term, and on the eve of the first Democrat Presidential debates, we thought it worth revisiting an issue that is certain to be brought up again by Democrats in their effort to outflank each to the left: court packing. The master of Senate procedure, attorney Marty Gold, has a great new article on the topic that delves into the history of the issue.
This is another installment of an ongoing series of posts summarizing 2020 Democratic presidential candidates' views on judges and the courts. All posts in this series can be viewed here.
On Neil Gorsuch: Voted No.
- “I will be opposing Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, every step of the way as his nomination moves through the Senate. Requiring 60 Senate votes is not something new for Supreme Court nominees to overcome. It helps ensure that presidents seek nominees whose views are in the mainstream. And make no mistake: Judge Gorsuch is out of the mainstream.” 
- “Based on what I have read of his past rulings and statements, I believe that Judge Gorsuch's interpretation of the Constitution falls far outside of the mainstream and I question whether he will put the interests of working families in New Jersey and throughout the country before those of big corporations, or adequately protect the rights of women, minorities, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Any Supreme Court nominee must possess a judicial philosophy and track record that promotes the equal rights of all people and shows an understanding of how the Court's decisions impact the lives of everyday Americans -- I will hold Judge Gorsuch and all future nominees to this fundamental standard.” 
On Brett Kavanaugh: Voted No. 
- Stated that those who support Justice Kavanaugh are “complicit in the evil,” stating “I’m here to call on folks to understand that in a moral moment, there is no neutral. In a moral moment, there is no bystanders. You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.” 
- Released confidential documents from Justice Kavanaugh’s time as White House Counsel, declaring “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.” 
- Demanded his Twitter followers flood the Senate with phone calls opposing the nomination, stating that “the time to call your senators is now. #StopKavanaugh #BelieveSurvivors.” 
- Stated that Justice Kavanaugh “has an immensely troubling record on issues that impact everyday Americans. President Trump has been clear about his intent to nominate only justices that support overturning Roe v. Wade, and there’s no question Judge Kavanaugh has passed this litmus test. He’s demonstrated a hostility to the Affordable Care Act that the Trump administration is continually working to undermine. And his decisions show a clear favoritism toward corporations over workers trying to organize for better wages and working conditions.” 
His opposition to Trump’s Judicial Nominees: Senator Booker has only supported 13% of President Trump’s judicial nominations. 
- Has asked judicial nominees about their religious beliefs, including whether certain behaviors “are a sin.” 
- Under the Obama administration, Senator Booker called on Republicans to speed up the confirmation process due to the crisis in the courts: “Today’s vote couldn’t come at a more urgent time—Judge Martinotti’s nomination has been pending in the Senate for over a year, and 24 other judicial nominations are still pending before the Senate while 83 federal judgeships sit vacant nationwide. We simply cannot expect our federal judicial system to function as intended when these critical positions are left vacant for months and years at a time. It’s past time for Senate Republican leadership to bring the rest of the Senate’s pending judicial nominations up for a vote, including that of Judge Julien Neals.” 
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for current Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator and Scalia Law Professor Neomi Rao's nomination to the D.C. Circuit. RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen described in the Daily Caller how Senate Judiciary Democrats attempted to trip her up and ended up only looking foolish themselves:Read more