President Trump campaigned on judges, and he delivered at an impressive rate. As Mike Davis puts it:
To put this in perspective, President Obama appointed 55 circuit judges in 8 years; President Trump has appointed 53 in under 4. In doing this, President Trump has filled every federal circuit-court vacancy – something not done by any president in more than 40 years.
At 200 (and counting), President Trump is #2 of 45 for the pace of all Article III judges – and he would be #1 but for the fact that Congress created 152 new judgeships (25 percent) for President Carter to fill.Read more
As we have documented on this blog, most recently here, it was Joe Biden who started blocking or attempting to block highly qualified judicial nominees nominated by Republican Presidents. Democrats took this “borking” strategy to the extreme of obstructing multiple nominees. And now they are angry that conservatives are fighting back.
Senate Democrats are going after conservatives’ influence over the federal judiciary, but it’s unclear how they plan to counter the immediate impact of President Donald Trump’s wave of judicial nominees.Read more
While the Democrats seem to continuously reward bad actors who falsely accuse, such as Rep. Adam Schiff, with leadership roles, it looks as if they know will award the original such bad actor with their party's Presidential nomination. The original bad guy Chairman may have been presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. Biden was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the term “borking" was created after the travesty done to Judge Robert Bork. As Webster’s defines "bork": “to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification.”Read more
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
Yesterday, the Committee for Justice hosted a webinar on the Supreme Court and the 2020 election featuring RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen, Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, and Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network. In his remarks, Mr. Thielen outlined presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's history regarding judges and judicial confirmations. He described how then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Biden presided over both the character assassination of Robert Bork, creating the new term "borking," and the late, discredited attack on Clarence Thomas that created the playbook used against Brett Kavanaugh:Read more
DC Circuit Court nominee and current Western District of Kentucky Judge Justin Walker wrote an epic opinion for a Temporary Restraining Order and defense of the First Amendment over the weekend. This defense will likely be in law school text books in the coming years but shows why President Trump made a great choice in Judge Walker for the DC Circuit. Below are excerpts from Temporary Restraining Order but the whole order is worth a read. All footnotes have been removed and all the emphasis is added.
First some background from the order:
On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion. But two days ago, citing the need for social distancing during the current pandemic, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer ordered Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their cars to worship – and even though it’s Easter. The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, “beyond all reason,” unconstitutional.Read more
While COVID-19 is the Administration's main focus, they continue to build on one of their most important and long-lasting accomplishments: nominating judges who respect and uphold the rule of law. Today yet another great nomination was made with Judge Justin Walker to the DC Circuit:
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate:
Justin R. Walker of Kentucky, to serve as Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Justin Walker currently serves as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. Judge Walker is also a part-time Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Ordered Liberty Program at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Before taking the bench in 2019, Judge Walker was Partner of Counsel at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP in Louisville, Kentucky, where his practice focused on commercial and appellate litigation. Previously, Judge Walker was an appellate attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. Judge Walker served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and to then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Judge Walker earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from Duke University, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as Notes Editor on the Harvard Law Review.Read more
Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words is a great movie. I saw it this weekend and came away with three thoughts, none of which are on his legal philosophy, which is just touched on in the movie. But two of them are very relevant for today.
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:Read more
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.Read more