Senate Still Working On Judicial Confirmations
Senate Still Working On Judicial Confirmations
While the House – controlled by the Democrats – continues the impeachment three-ring-circus, the Senate – controlled by the GOP – keeps quietly getting judicial nominees confirmed.
It’s quiet in that the media isn’t covering it very much. They’re all distracted by the bright and shiny bedtime stories that the House Intelligence Committee is telling.
However, the work of the Senate goes on. Do you remember when the 2016 election was considered so highly important because there was already a vacant Supreme Court seat, and even if you didn’t personally like Donald Trump, you knew exactly the kind of judge that Hillary Clinton would appoint? One of the areas that has really been a pleasant reward to conservatives is the way that Donald Trump has gone about filling both Supreme Court vacancies and other federal judicial confirmations. We all knew that the left loves to use the courts when they can’t get their way in the legislature, and that this has been ongoing since Roe v. Wade. For decades, the federal judiciary has been sliding more and more to the left. And then Harry Reid triggered the nuclear option in the Senate in order to get Barack Obama’s nominees pushed through with a simple majority. Well, let’s not forget that Mitch McConnell warned the Democrats that they would regret what they were doing.
And oh boy, was he right. The one great thing that the GOP has learned from Donald Trump, for better or worse, is to stop playing nice. If the Democrats in the Senate voted for the nuclear option back in 2013, then there is just no way in hell that the Republicans should not use that rule change to their advantage. Goose, sauce, gander; game, set, match. So, when the Democrats freaked out prematurely about Neil Gorsuch, the roadmap to a simple majority vote confirmation had already been laid. And again, the Democrats were warned – this is not the fight you want to pick! If you are smart, you’ll let Gorsuch replace Antonin Scalia and save your strength for replacing a swing or liberal vote. They didn’t listen. So without any kind of option to delay or deny Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the Democrats went for the scorched earth option and tried every trick in their book to destroy a man whose real crime was that he was being nominated by Donald Trump.
But with the spectacle of Supreme Court nominations behind us and the kangaroo court of impeachment inquiries in the House ongoing, the Senate has quietly moved on. And when the media notices, they also know there’s not a damned thing that can be done about it, thanks to Harry Reid. As a result, the Trump administration has been busy confirming judges to the Circuit Court of Appeals and shifting their numbers to majority-Republican appointees.
Even as the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday heard crucial testimony from pivotal witness Gordon Sondland, the Senate voted to confirm Trump’s latest appointee to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a regional appeals court handling cases from Georgia, Alabama and Florida.”
The action represented a new milestone in Trump’s dramatic reshaping of the federal judiciary, with Republican-appointed judges now in the majority in the 11th Circuit, whose majority before Trump took office in January 2017 had been Democratic appointees. Republican-appointed justices tend to be conservative, while Democratic-named judges tend to be liberal.”
This marks the third time that Trump has been able to engineer the ideological “flip” of one of the nation’s 13 federal appeals courts, which exert considerable power one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. The other two to “flip” were the Manhattan-based 2nd Circuit and the Philadelphia-based 3th Circuit, both of which also had Democratic-appointed majorities when Trump became president.”
And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not resting on his laurels. He’s busy right now, and his communications director has no problem crowing about it on Twitter.
.@senatemajldr is filing cloture on eight district judge nominees right now. For those of you looking for some counter programming to the House side today, this may interest you. pic.twitter.com/xuXruy8pDb
— David Popp (@davidpopp) November 21, 2019
This is all happening while the media is consumed with impeachment. The balancing out, if not the reshaping, of the federal judiciary is largely going unseen, except when the media wishes it to be seen.
We need federal judges who will respect the rule of law. We have seen too many judges impose their own “interpretation” of law and then block an entire new policy not for legal reasons, but ideological ones (examples: travel ban, DACA). We need a fair and honest judiciary. So, congratulations to the Senate and Mitch McConnell for working within the new rules, and getting those court seats filled. Goodness knows that if the Democrats gain the presidency and the Senate back, they would do exactly the same thing.