Monday, April 05, 2021

Sen. Grassley throws another wrench into the judicial selection process

 He sent this letter to Middle District of Florida Chief Judge Corrigan railing against the Middle District's decision to post on its website the "House based" JNC's notice and application process.  Our District quickly took down the same links on its website.  

From the letter (footnotes omitted):

By posting this notice, your Court is giving credibility to the “Commission” against the stated views of Senators Rubio and Scott. For example, there is no similar announcement for how interested parties can reach out to Florida’s U.S. Senators. The Middle District of Florida is, therefore, taking a side in a pending, partisan political dispute. As a result the federal judiciary has found itself in the middle of a purely political conflict between the House, the Senate, and the President. This bodes ill for its perceived independence. 

I have the following questions for you. 

1. At whose request did you place this notice on the Middle District’s website? 

2. Were you aware that Florida’s Senior Senator, Marco Rubio, said of this “Commission,” “We can’t stop Joe Biden from consulting with whomever he wants in picking nominees, but this effort has no legitimacy in our eyes with regards to our advise-and-consent role.” 

3. Were you aware that Florida’s Junior Senator, Rick Scott, upon hearing of this “Commission,” wrote to President Biden to oppose this “attempt[] [by House Democrats] to insert themselves into the nomination process”?

4. Did you consult with either Senator Rubio or Scott before issuing your Court’s announcement about the “Commission”? 

5. What, if any, ethics advice did you receive before announcing the House “Commission” on the Middle District’s website?

6. Will you agree to take remedial action in order to prevent the appearance of partisan political activity on the part of your Court? In particular, will you (a) remove the notice about the House “Commission” and (b) issue a further notice that the Court takes no part in or position on the nomination process for federal office in Florida? If not, why not? 

The complaint that "there is no similar announcement for how interested parties can reach out to Florida's U.S. Senators" is strange.  Have Rubio or Scott announced how they intend to vet candidates?  I'm sure the MDFLA would be fine posting that information as well. The problem, though, is that Scott has said he will try to block any Biden nominee.  I wonder if Grassley has a problem with that.


Anonymous said...

Oh please. Spare me the drama. Good grief does anyone remember 2000 when Bush nominated a US Marshal and others who never even applied for the job. Senator Graham put up a fight how the process was corrupted because it was a first to by pass the application process. Eventually Graham caved and let the process play out. Trump appointed so many judges across the country by passing traditions too. Does anyone believe Scott and Rubio are going to bless Biden nominees? Republicans you broke the process yet when they lose power suddenly they want the democrats to follow tradition. Give me a break.

Rumpole said...

Wow. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

Did you even read the post? The issue raised is not whether the dems and
Republicans are in yet another tit for tat political fight over judicial nominees. We know they are and both side will do whatever they can get away with, including breaking tradition and flip flopping positions when power shifts from majority to minority and vice versa. The actual issue is wheteher THE JUDICIARY should take sides in a contested political fight over the proper means of selection of judicial nominees. The answer to that is clearly no. Judges shouldn't take sides, and shouldnt do anything that could be even perceived as taking sides. Cant we agree on that?

Anonymous said...

Of course we can agree with that. What about some judges in S/FL who openly criticized nominated judges in S/FL who were in the confirmation process. OUCH. I wont mention the names but most likely you know it or you can google. I dont understand why its so wrong for a judicial district to have an application process on its website. Is that not a more open and transparent process than political donors who lobby for nominations? What am I missing here. Please elaborate how having an application process on the website is lobbying for judicial nominations. Did not the M/FL get a federal judge who never tried a case in a courtroom before? How is that political process working out Senator? Having an open application process is a good thing. Secret backroom deals and political nonsense hurts our system. Good grief it does not matter who applies it still does not mean those applicants will get picked up by the purely political process. The system Grassley is upholding is so outdated and pure politics. Forgive us who think merit should come before politics.

Anonymous said...

Can I add one other point. Senator Scott gave a speech on the Senate after our government was attacked to over turn a legitimate and free election in Pennsylvania. The republican legislature and PA Supreme Court set the rules of the election and Biden won by over 85,000 votes. Not really that close. Yet Scott wanted PA's electors thrown out. If you don't believe in democracy and have no care that our government was attacked, should you even be in position to approve federal judges? Have you no shame? My simple rule is if you don't believe in democracy then you really should not participate in its process if all you want to do is derail our democratic values. Seriously, is it not scary there are no consequences for such actions? Just imagine if 30 years ago someone told you a sitting US Senator did this. You don't think there would be a bi-partisan group telling you to resign let alone have a say in picking federal judges. Have we all went mad?