Trump Plays More Hardball on the Judiciary

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

In a recent diary I quoted Chuck Schumer to show why the Dems went all in on the Kavanaugh fight. He wants a liberal Supreme Court to ignore the tenth amendment and overrule states rights whenever there is some liberal cause that cannot pass Congress.


We saw how that worked out. Trump and McConnell stuck with Kavanaugh and he is now on the Supreme Court. Now segue to what’s happening on the Ninth Circuit. There is a huge majority of liberal judges there, so all the GOP can hope to do is fill most of the seven open seats so that every once in a while a three-judge panel happens to have two judges who are not Kamala Harris types.

May: Negotiating with Feinstein and Harris

The president’s legal advisers have been working with California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, to vet potential nominees. And sources in Washington and California say the list of names being circulated for the court include respected, mainstream picks that both Trump and the Democratic senators could potentially get behind.

What it amounts to is that DiFi and Kamala want to pick mainstream (i.e. liberal) judges, or worst case ensure that any who are no rock-solid liberals are over 60 so they won’t be around long. This is despite the fact that, as with Kavanaugh, Trump is looking at qualified nominees.

Judicial expert Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, a centrist [!!!] D.C. think tank, said that, “By and large, (the White House’s candidates) have the kind of conventional legal credentials that you would be looking for.”


October: Screw ’em – here are my picks

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.

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 approved by Feinstein or Harris via a process known as a “blue slip,” the senators’ offices confirmed Thursday.

Wah wah wah. The Senators tried to overrule Trump, and they had just as much success this time as they did with blocking Kavanaugh.

Let’s hope this is a sign that Trump – and McConnell – are going to use the Kavanaugh debacle to tell the Democratic Senators to go pound sand. They are going to cry no matter what that Trump and McConnell are trying to stuff the courts with controversial unqualified nominees, so there is no point in negotiating with any of them. Full speed ahead!


BTW about those blue slips
Blue slips were another one of those dumb Senate traditions where minority party Senators tried to block nominations from their state. McConnell and Grassley had enough of that and back in May they pushed through a nomination for an Oregon seat on the Ninth Circuit despite Wyden and Merkeley trying to blue-slip him. Even the New York Times admits that blue slips were stupid.

Blue slips are not provided for in the Constitution or by statute; they are merely a Senate tradition, and the importance given to them has varied over the years….

Now blue slips seem to be going the way of the filibuster for judicial nominees….

Not surprisingly, liberals are upset. Awww, give me a violin.


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