President Donald Trump has been putting in some serious work since taking office in January of 2017.
He has successfully nominated numerous conservative judges to multiple United States circuit and district courts all across the country. This has caused a significant shift in our country’s judicial branch, with a strong rightward lean.
It was reported by Fox News that President Trump has just put three more conservatives’ names up for nomination in order to fill vacant seats on the mainly liberal 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals. The court has been dubbed the “Nutty Ninth,” and oversees nine of the most Western states in the country. Among those states is California, which is one of the most “influential courts in the country.”
Conservative Tribune writes, “In naming those nominees, though, Trump broke with tradition and snubbed the two Democrat senators from California — Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris — which has them hopping mad.”
Presidents generally tend to work alongside the home state senators of any given judicial nominee as a courtesy. The president would typically look for the approval of those senators in what are called “blue slips,” which shows support for the nominee.
President Trump did not follow this step with the three 9th Circuit nominees. In fact, both Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Dianne Feinstein voiced their disapproval for the candidates.
Conservative Tribune reports:
The decision to exclude Feinstein and Harris from the decision-making on the nominees who will reside on the court that oversees California likely came following the absolute debacle that was the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Feinstein was criticized for withholding a letter about a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh for months, and Harris was incredibly outspoken in her opposition to the nominee.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the White House initially attempted to negotiate with both Feinstein and Harris on the 9th Circuit’s vacancies, but those talks reached an impasse earlier during the summer and collapsed.
President Trump nominated Southern California attorneys Kenneth Lee, Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Bumatay, and Daniel Collins. It has been reported that all three nominees belong to the Conservative Federalist Society. They have all previously worked for various Republican administrations. All three men are fairly young to be appointed to a lifetime judicial chair, which means that they will sit on the very influential court for years to come if confirmed.
Both Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein voiced their disapproval for Trump’s actions.
Feinstein released a statement in which she stated, “Last night the White House moved forward without consulting me, picking controversial candidates from its initial list and another individual with no judicial experience who had not previously been suggested.”
Feinstein tweeted, “The decision to move forward on 9th Circuit nominees without consultation or responding to my acceptance of the White House’s offer reflects President Trump’s desire to stack the court. I expect my blue slips to be honored as I was acting in good faith.”
The decision to move forward on 9th Circuit nominees without consultation or responding to my acceptance of the White House’s offer reflects President Trump’s desire to stack the court. I expect my blue slips to be honored as I was acting in good faith. https://t.co/7EYWmi7V0k
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) October 11, 2018
A spokeswoman for Senator Kamala Harris, Lily Adams, released a statement with a similar sentiment. It read, “Instead of working with our office to identify consensus nominees for the 9th Circuit, the White House continues to try to pack the courts with partisan judges who will blindly support the President’s agenda, instead of acting as an independent check on this Administration.”
Conservative Tribune writes:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would see 15 more conservative jurists immediately confirmed to various vacant circuit and district court seats.
In exchange for the confirmation of those judges, McConnell would allow the Senate to go into recess until after the midterm elections, which in turn would release vulnerable Democrat senators facing tough re-election battles to finally hit the campaign trail. It had been rumored that Grassley and McConnell wanted to keep the Senate in session until some 49 outstanding nominations were voted on, a lengthy process that would have kept all senators tethered closely to Washington.
Let’s assume that President Trump’s three nominees are confirmed to the 9th Circuit. This won’t send the left-leaning court entirely to the right, but it would move the partisan gap to 16 libs and 13 conservatives. This would make the court more balanced than it’s been in years.