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
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
President Trump has started 2019 by continuing his success of nominating excellent, well-qualified judges. This was the first major test of new White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and he has passed with flying colors.Read more
The RNLA will honor Mike Davis, former Chief Nominations Counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, with the 2019 Betty Murphy Award. Prior to serving Sen. Grassley, Davis worked in private practice in Denver where he chaired RNLA’s Colorado Chapter, clerked for Justice Neil Gorsuch when he was on the Tenth Circuit, helped get Justice Gorsuch confirmed, and again clerked for Justice Gorsuch at the Supreme Court.Read more
Last Friday, a group of students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky were provoked and attacked because of their Catholic beliefs and outward support of President Trump by wearing hats that said “Make America Great Again.” The students and their parents have been faced with threats of attack and fear that their families will be destroyed; this is the same hostility that Justice Kavanaugh and his family faced during his hearing and confirmation process.Read more
Today, President Trump sent to the Senate a list of executive branch nominations, which included many who were nominated during the last Congress, but either never had a hearing or were never voted on. Those nominated include: former RNLA Chair John Ryder, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority; former RNLA Chair Kimberly Reed, to be President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States; RNLA member James "Trey" Trainor, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission; and RNLA member Dennis Kirk, to be Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board.Read more
Senate Judiciary Democrats are once again facing criticism for their treatment of a judicial nominee. However this time it comes from an unexpected source, the Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii. She wrote:
While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is “unqualified” because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the 'liberal lion of the Senate' Ted Kennedy would have been “unqualified” for the same reasons.
Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that there "shall be no religious test" for any seeking to serve in public office.
No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because “the dogma lives loudly within you” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit.
When the 116th Congress started last Thursday, all pending nominations from the 115th Congress were sent back to the White House and the nominees will need to be renominated to be considered for confirmation by the new Senate. The hundreds of nominations sent back to the White House included a record number of judicial nominees, due to Democrats' delay and obstruction. Tom Jipping of the Heritage Foundation described the problem and the Democrats' tactics: