On Monday, a federal judge in Florida issued a nationwide injunction striking down the federal government's transportation mask mandate:
A federal judge in Florida ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift its mask mandate for airports, planes and other forms of travel Monday, saying the agency had overstepped its authority.Read more
This afternoon, President Trump announced 20 additional distinguished attorneys and judges to the list of nominees he would consider for any future Supreme Court vacancy. Polling showed that then-candidate Trump's list in 2016 was important to many voters who supported him, and he kept his promise of choosing off the list when he nominated Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Court. Further, President Trump selected from his list for many of his highly qualified nominees to lower federal courts during his first term, providing unprecedented transparency regarding judicial nominations from a presidential candidate.
By contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has not released a list, nor has he indicated that he will release one, leaving voters to wonder whom he would consider for any Supreme Court vacancy. Would a President Biden choose off the troubling Demand Justice list or the secret Alliance for Justice list? Both possibilities should terrify any American who values the rule of law.Read more
The future of the federal courts has emerged yet again as a prominent issue in the 2020 presidential election. Democrats hope to enact "structural court reforms" if Joe Biden is elected in November. What does this mean? The official Democratic Party Platform endorses expanding the number of judges on the federal bench, and you guessed it, expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court is also on the table.
In a recent op-ed for NBC, Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Counsel to Trump 2020 Justin Clark detailed what Democratic control of judicial nominations would mean for the country:Read more
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
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
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
While House Democrats have spent 2019 focused on attacking the President and a slipshod impeachment, President Trump and the United States Senate have focused on remaking the judiciary. As the Washington Post reports:
Trump nominees make up 1 in 4 U.S. circuit court judges. Two of his picks sit on the Supreme Court. And this past week, as the House voted to impeach the president, the Republican-led Senate confirmed an additional 13 district court judges.
The 13 circuit courts are the second most powerful in the nation, serving as a last stop for appeals on lower court rulings, unless the case is taken up by the Supreme Court. So far, Trump has appointed 50 judges to circuit court benches. Comparatively, by this point in President Obama’s first term, he had confirmed 25. At the end of his eight years, he had appointed 55 circuit judges.Read more
With the confirmation of Barbara Lagoa today, the number of judges appointed by Republican presidents versus Democratic presidents is now greater on three federal circuit courts than when President Trump took office. Last week, the Second Circuit "flipped" from majority Democratic-appointed to majority Republican-appointed with the confirmation of Steve Menashi, and Judge Lagoa's confirmation today "flipped" the Eleventh Circuit. As Ed Whelan wrote:Read more
With the confirmation of Robert Luck to the Eleventh Circuit today, 165 of President Trump's superb judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate. These judges who support and respect the rule of law and interpret the text of the Constitution as written are changing the federal courts. As Carrie Severino writes:Read more