Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is finally giving conservative groups what they want: a huge push on judicial confirmations.
McConnell has teed up votes this week on four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. That’s an incredible amount of activity on judges in one week. For some comparison, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) typically scheduled a vote on one nominee per week, at most.
“I never remember the Democrats ever doing anything comparable,” Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and an expert on judicial nominations, told HuffPost on Monday.
With little fanfare, this week is shaping up to be one of Republicans’ biggest boosts to Trump’s agenda since Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed in April.
All four nominees are young (in their late 40s and early 50s), conservative and up for a lifetime post on a U.S. circuit court ― one level below the Supreme Court. None got a single Democratic vote when they were reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Two were recommended to Trump directly by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, both right-wing think tanks.
The Senate cleared a procedural step on Monday night for the first nominee in the batch, Amy Coney Barrett. She is now on track to be confirmed Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
Democrats have raised red flags with Barrett’s past writings on abortion, which include her questioning the precedent of Roe v. Wade and condemning the birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act as “a grave infringement on religious liberty.” One Democrat, Al Franken (Minn.), called her out for taking a speaking fee from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit that has defended forced sterilization for transgender people and has been dubbed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Trump’s other court picks getting votes include Joan Larsen, a nominee to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals who is opposed by 27 LGBTQ advocacy groups and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Allison Eid, a nominee to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals who is opposed by the AFL-CIO and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Stephanos Bibas, a nominee to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Here come the (conservative) judges...
While everyone is focused on the Manafort indictment, the Senate is about to confirm 4 conservative appellate judges. From HuffPost: