The victories of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue on January 5th in the Georgia Senate runoffs are crucial for preserving President Donald Trump's legacy in one of the most critical areas — the federal judiciary. If their Democratic opponents win, Republicans will lose their majority in the U.S. Senate:
As the two Senate races loom, party control of the Senate hangs in the balance, with the upper chamber currently made up of 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. If Democrats win both runoff elections, raising the total to 50-50, the Democrats will take control of the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.
Without a Republican majority in the Senate, there would be no safeguard in place to block President Joe Biden from appointing radical jurists to the federal bench.Read more
Judicial confirmations are continuing full speed ahead thanks to the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham. As reported by Carrie Severino for the National Review:
The Senate has recessed for Thanksgiving break, but not before processing a number of judicial nominees. Five new trial judges were confirmed last week, four to various district courts and one to the Court of International Trade.Read more
While Democrats have been obstructing President Trump's nominees to an unprecedented extent, Joe Biden has yet to discuss his most important nominees, those to the Supreme Court.
On the first, cloture had been invoked 32 times combined on the nominees of the previous four Presidents in their first times terms. As of today, for President Trump's nominees, it has been invoked 298 times! Cloture is a delaying tactic traditionally reserved for the most controversial of nominees. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have used it multiple times for people who have passed with no opposition. Most recently on February 20 for Silvia Carreno-Coll who was confirmed in a 96-0 to be a U.S. District Judge. Hardly controversial.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
The American Bar Association has shown bias so extreme that some of its leaders are leaving or complaining of their evaluation of Ninth Circuit nominee Lawrence VanDyke. While some of their not-qualified rating is at best subjective and biased, some of it seems to be based on an outright subversion of what he said:
The ABA letter falsely claims that Lawrence VanDyke "would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community." In fact, he flatly told the secret ABA evaluator (Marcia Davenport) that he would be fair to all litigants.— Mike Davis (@mrddmia) October 30, 2019
Many experts have concluded last night’s CNN Democratic Presidential debate was won by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Moreover many “conservatives” liked Mayor Pete. However, on the issue that RNLA has been tracking- the candidate’s positions on judicial nominees and court packing- Mayor Pete was again a trainwreck last night. His position last night:
Now, I'm not talking about packing the court just with people who agree with me, although I certainly will appoint people who share my values, for example, the idea that women's reproductive freedom is an American right.
What I'm talking about is reforms that will depoliticize the court. We can't go on like this, where every single time there is a vacancy, we have this apocalyptic ideological firefight over what to do next.
Now, one way to fix this would be to have a 15-member court where five of the members can only be appointed by unanimous agreement of the other 10.Read more
Demand Justice, a far left group run by former Hillary Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon that has become the left’s voice on judicial nominations, came out with their “short list” of potential liberal Supreme Court nominees. The list is extreme to say the least. How extreme? As Carrie Severino points out:
Amazing: there must be hundreds of federal judges Obama put on the courts, and only 4 make this list. This list would have been way too liberal for Obama.— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) October 15, 2019
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for four judicial vacancies. The nominees include Charles Eskridge (nominated for the Southern District of Texas), Peter Phipps (nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals), William Stickman IV (nominated for the Western District of Pennsylvania), and Jennifer Wilson (nominated for the Middle District of Pennsylvania). The nominations for the U.S. District Court positions are especially important because 118 vacancies remain unfilled.Read more
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]
- In a fundraising email, she stated: “President Trump just announced Neil Gorsuch as his nominee to the Supreme Court, and I’m ready to consider him on his merits,” the missive reads. “But President Trump has made it clear that he wants a justice who will carry on Scalia’s legacy of limiting Americans’ constitutional rights…If that is the case, let me make one thing very clear: You can count on me to fight back against ANY nomination that threatens the rights of Americans.”[ii]
- “Gillibrand said in an interview that she believes Justice Neil Gorsuch essentially possesses an illegitimate seat after Garland was denied even a committee hearing. The New York Democrat added that the Senate should move swiftly to impose strict ethics rules on the Supreme Court.”[iii]
- “Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch has proven to have a judicial philosophy outside of the mainstream and time and again has subjugated individual rights to those of corporations...I plan to stand up for individuals over corporations and oppose his nomination....”[iv]
On Brett Kavanaugh: Voted No.[v]
- “If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, he would tip the balance of the Supreme Court even more against workers’ rights, civil rights, and women’s rights for decades to come. I do not think he is the right choice for our country, and I am going to vote against him and urge my colleagues to do the same….I strongly oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and I urge all New Yorkers to raise their voices and join me in opposing him. We need a justice who will protect the rights of all people in our state — not just some.”[vi]
Her Opposition to Trump’s Nominees:
Overall, Senator Gillibrand voted in favor of just 15 of President Trump’s judicial nominees during the last Congress, or just over 26% of 57 nominated.[vii]
Regarding President Trump’s judicial nominees, Senator Gillibrand is on the record stating:
- “President Trump and Senate Republicans are stacking the courts with extremist right-wing judges who are not independent or impartial. The decision to move forward with these nominees without the support of both home-state Senators is unacceptable. As long as Senate Republicans are going to preside over a broken process, I will oppose all Circuit Court nominations. The American people deserve a judiciary that is fair and unbiased.” [viii]
- “Demand Justice, a liberal group that works to galvanize Democratic engagement on the federal judiciary, said Gillibrand ‘has quickly emerged as one of the most consistent allies in the fight against Donald Trump's court-packing" and others "ought to immediately follow her lead.’” [ix]
Position on Expanding the Supreme Court:
- “Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand told POLITICO they would not rule out expanding the Supreme Court if elected president, showcasing a new level of interest in the Democratic field on an issue that has until recently remained on the fringes of debate.”[x]
- On March 19, 2019, The Hill reported: “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told “Pod Save America” that the idea [of adding Supreme Courts justices and term limits to Supreme Court justices’ tenure] was ‘interesting’ and she would ‘need to think more about it.’”[xi]
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