Yesterday marked an impressive milestone for the Senate and Trump Administration, the 150th new judge was confirmed during the Trump Administration:
Six district court nominees won confirmation Wednesday, bringing the president’s total number of appointed judges to the lower federal courts to 105. Mr. Trump has also appointed 43 circuit court nominees and two Supreme Court justices since taking office.
The pace has far outdone President Obama, who only saw 20 circuit court nominees and 74 district court judges confirmed during the same period of time. Mr. Obama, though, like Mr. Trump had two Supreme Court appointments within his first three years.Read more
President Trump nominated Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit. In a fair world, Mr. Menashi would breeze through the hearings. The liberal gold standard of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the American Bar Association, rated him “well qualified.” His personal background is also inspiring. Menashi’s paternal grandparents were Iraqi Jews, living in Baghdad, before moving to Tehran and then finding a home in Israel. His grandmother survived the Farhud, a violent pogrom against the Jewish community of Baghdad in 1941, by fleeing the city for the countryside. Menashi’s grandfather fled Ukraine for the United States at age 16 and his maternal grandmother’s family emigrated from Lithuania.Read more
After the hotly contested election in 2000, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the bipartisan Help America Vote Act ("HAVA"). HAVA was a response to the chaos of the 2000 Florida recount. HAVA was not perfect but it represented a good faith effort on all sides to come together and passed 357-48 in the House and 92-2 in the Senate. This should be the way all election reform is done. Unfortunately, it is not true anymore.Read more
Joe Biden's announcement that he is running for President was unique in that the prelude included several apologies or near apologies for his behavior toward women. Among those apologies was one to Anita Hill, who falsely accused Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. As former Associate White House Counsel Mark Paoletta wrote a few years back when the Hill-Thomas subject was being brought up in relation to the Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes matters:Read more
Thanks to the leadership of Senator James Lankford and Leader Mitch McConnell, efficiency and order have been restored to the U.S. Senate. Their resolve to move past the Democrats’ partisan obstruction is now allowing the Senate to fill judicial vacancies in a timely manner and equip federal courts to be fully operational and serve the American people.Read more
Under the leadership of Senators Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, James Lankford, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans have been confirming judges at record pace. Democrats have not tried to substantively oppose most nominees (maybe because they are so well qualified) but have attempted to use obscure Senate procedures to do so. An example was the “cloture rule:”
This involves Rule 22, which provides a time consuming process to end debate, a necessary step before the Senate can vote on confirmation. Under Rule 22, even when the Senate votes to end debate, there can be up to 30 more hours of consideration. In the past, the minority party cooperated to informally schedule a final confirmation vote. Today, Democrats will not cooperate on anything, forcing the Senate to use this drawn out process for nearly every nomination, including those with no actual opposition.
The Senate has taken six times as many of these unnecessary cloture votes as during the same period under the previous nine presidents combined. You read that right. Even though the Senate votes to end debate every time, Democrats insist that the clock keep running for those 30 hours of debate after cloture. Even worse, they almost never spend time on the Senate floor actually debating these nominations.Read more
On Friday during the National Policy Conference, the RNLA gave the 2019 Betty Murphy Award to Mike Davis, former Chief Counsel for Nominations to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Davis tweeted that former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is the true "unsung hero" of confirming President Trump's judicial nominees:
Honored. But the real unsung hero of the fight to confirm Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kavanaugh, & the rest of President @realDonaldTrump’s judicial nominees is @ChuckGrassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (and my boss) last Congress. Grassley Works. Grassley Delivers. https://t.co/maqwHgaU0k— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) April 5, 2019
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican Senators have had enough of the obstruction by Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer. Here are a few of the numbers:
- Until 1968, cloture had never been required for any nomination. By 1978, it had been required for two (2).
- During the first two years of the last six (6) presidential administrations before President Trump (dating to 1977), 24 total cloture votes had to be held on nominations. The first two years of President Trump’s administration: 128 cloture votes had to be held on nominations.
- These cloture votes are not for “controversial nominees.” The list includes 42 different executive branch positions that were forced to endure cloture votes for the first time ever, including: Assistant Secretaries and Agency General Counsels.
Currently, New York attorney Michael Park is pending on the Senate floor in queue for an upcoming final confirmation vote. Mr. Park was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in November 2018 and re-nominated at the start of this new session of Congress, after Senate Democrats delayed his confirmation process as part of their overall unprecedented nomination obstruction tactics.Read more