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
Today, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s replacement on the D.C. Circuit, Neomi Rao, was confirmed. This was yet another “victory” in the effort to confirm great judges and justices. The results are starting to show.Read more
New Congress, old tactics continue: Senate Democrats continue to obstruct and delay President Trump’s nominees, both executive and judicial candidates referred to the Senate for advice and consent. Democrats’ goal has been to obstruct, delay, and hinder President Trump’s mandate, in part by denying timely confirmation of his nominees. Today, we want to provide an example of this problem and offer updated statistics on how unprecedented these efforts have been.
Yesterday, the Senate Rules Committee passed a change to the Senate rules that would prevent the Democrats' obstruction and delays of many of President Trump's judicial and executive nominees:
Currently, up to 30 hours of debate time is allowed before a nominee is approved for service. But if the new rule, which was introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and James Lankford (R-OK), is approved in the Senate floor, it will reduce the maximum time to just two hours. The rule would apply to just about all judicial and executive branch nominees, but not nominees for the Supreme Court or other “high level positions,” according to CNN. . . .Read more
This past week in the Senate could be best summarized as "justice week." Last Wednesday and again today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings for judicial nominees announced late last year, including the contentious hearing for Neomi Rao to fill Justice Kavanaugh's seat on the DC Circuit. Last Thursday, the Committee sent more than 40 judicial nominees to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote, many of whom were holdovers from the last session of Congress thanks largely to Democrat obstruction tactics "to make the confirmation process as cumbersome as possible." And finally tomorrow, the full Senate is expected to have the final confirmation vote for Bill Barr as the next US Attorney General, after invoking cloture yesterday.
On Monday, the Walter Olson of the Cato Institute wrote about President Trump and his administration's efforts to remake the federal courts in the New York Post. He explains that every modern president has worked to leave a lasting impression on the courts through his choice of nominees, but President Trump has been doing great work at chipping away at a liberal judiciary.Read more
The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Neomi Rao on Tuesday showed yet again that though Democrats claim to be the party that champions women and minorities, they really only care about championing those who agree with their increasingly radical policy views. Instead of celebrating the impressive career and achievements of a minority woman, the daughter of immigrants, the Senate Judiciary Democrats attacked her and tried to mischaracterize her views. As Ashley Baker explained in Fox News today, Rao is a threat to the Democrats precisely because she is a minority woman who does not have progressive views:Read more
Today, at the end of a long executive business meeting, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report favorably the nominations of William Barr to be Attorney General and 44 judicial nominees, including circuit court nominees Bridget S. Bade (Ninth Circuit), Paul B. Matey (Third Circuit), Eric D. Miller (Ninth Circuit), Eric E. Murphy (Sixth Circuit), Chad A. Readler (Sixth Circuit), and Allison Jones Rushing (Fourth Circuit). The judicial nominees had previously had hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee but were held up by Democrats' delays and obstructions, so they had to be re-nominated by President Trump in this Congress.Read more