Trump defies DiFi and Kamala, nominating 3 Federalist Society members for Ninth Circuit
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is about to become about ten percent less crazy. President Trump has nominated three new judges for the 29-seat circuit court, over the objections of the two senators representing their home state of California. Until Trump discarded the practice, home state senators were allowed to veto judicial nominations for courts in their states, a custom known as the "blue slip." That seems quaint these days, a relic of a bygone era in which actual qualifications, not ideology, were the issue in Senate confirmation votes that, anyway, required a filibuster-proof 60 votes.
As a result, President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are filling the federal bench with judges and justices who read and apply the Constitution instead of deciding which outcome they want ideologically and then finding a rationalization for it.
Emily Cadei and Kate Irby of the Sacramento Bee report:
After months of negotiations and delays, the White House is moving to fill California's three vacancies on the influential 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – over the strenuous objections of the state's two Democratic senators.
White House officials had been negotiating with Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, earlier in the year about filling these and other federal court vacancies in the state. But that dialogue collapsed this past summer, Senate aides said.
On Wednesday night, the Trump administration announced it was nominating three attorneys to the Ninth Circuit, the largest and busiest federal appeals court in the country. Among the thorny issues the court has tackled or could decide on are the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program for undocumented young people [sic] brought to the country as children, the president's travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries, and a lawsuit challenging the White House's attempts to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.
The White House also announced nominees for three district court vacancies in California on Wednesday.
President Trump's nominees for the appeals court – litigators Daniel Collins and Kenneth Lee and Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Bumatay – are all based in Southern California, are prominent members of the conservative Federalist Society, and have worked for Republican administrations. None of the three were [sic] approved by Feinstein or Harris via a process known as a "blue slip," the senators' offices confirmed Thursday.
"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 said in a statement.
"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," Lily Adams, Harris' communications director, said in a statement.
Bye-bye, blue slip.