President Trump was very busy last week taking religious liberty and healthcare-related victory laps around the Rose Garden, which has left many wondering what’s next.
Now we know: federal court nominations.
The New York Times is reporting that Trump is turning his attention toward the more than 120 federal court vacancies, with the first round of nominations expected today (full list below).
The candidates to be announced Monday include two judges from the lists issued during the campaign. Both serve on state supreme courts, and the administration may believe that Senate confirmation and a record of federal judicial opinions will make them more attractive candidates for eventual elevation to the Supreme Court.
One is Justice Joan L. Larsen, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and law professor at the University of Michigan, who now serves on the Michigan Supreme Court. She will be nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati.
The other is Justice David R. Stras, a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and law professor at the University of Minnesota, who now serves on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He will be nominated to the Eighth Circuit, in St. Louis.
Scalia and Thomas? Boom.
One of the big draws to Trump during the campaign – especially from voters who might otherwise not have supported him – was the idea of Hillary Clinton having free rein over judicial appointments in a court system that was already turning decidedly liberal and activistic. Trump’s first slate of nominations, on the heels of Neil Gorsuch, certainly seems to validate his campaign promise to nominate principled jurists who will adhere to the Constitution.
This, of course, angers liberals.
Nan Aron, the president of the progressive group Alliance for Justice, told the New York Times, “The Trump administration has made clear its intention to benefit from Republican obstructionism and to pack the federal courts with ultraconservatives given a stamp of approval by the Federalist Society.”
You say that like it’s a bad thing, Nan!
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:
John K. Bush – 6th
Joan L. Larsen – 6th
Amy Coney Barrett – 7th
David R. Stras – 8th
Kevin C. Newsom – 11th
Dabney L Friedrich
Terry F. Moorer
David C. Nye
Scott L. Palk
U.S. Court of Federal Claims:
Damien M. Schiff