Effort Launched to Stop Democrats From Blocking Trump’s Judicial Nominees
Trump is on track to have fewer nominees confirmed this year than Obama did his first year in office.
Thanks to Democrats abusing Senate rules, there are now more judicial vacancies than there were when President Donald Trump first took office. Even though he is “naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers,” according to The Washington Post.
As long as those positions stay open, other judges will be deciding cases. Many of them will be liberals, since President Obama stacked the bench with liberals.
Currently, the senators from a nominee’s home state must submit a blue slip to the Judiciary Committee, approving or rejecting the candidate. Only then can the committee vote on him. Democrat senators refuse to submit them. They also demand up to 30 hours of debate on every nominee.
Minnesota’s two Democratic senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, are blocking Eighth Circuit nominee Judge David Stras. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is blocking Judge Allison Eid.
Democrats are even blocking candidates they admit are qualified. The federal district court judge who was approved was nominated by Obama.
When Trump took office, 105 vacancies needed to be filled. Now almost 140 need to be filled. That number is rising. Under Trump, the Senate has only confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, three Trump nominees for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and one district judge. At this rate, fewer judges nominated by Trump will be confirmed than during Obama’s first year, 11.
The gridlock reform proposal, offered by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), would allow nominees to be approved by a majority of senators. Senators could debate each nominee for eight hours at most. After that, the nominee would receive a prompt up or down vote.
The debate requirement also affects Trump’s nominees for agency positions. Lankford observed, “At the current rate, it will take 11 years to fill the executive branch.” The nation has no confirmed solicitor general, for example.
The Senate briefly adopted the rule change in 2013 under then-Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. The rule change would not be unusual.
Democrats are even blocking candidates they admit are qualified. The federal district court judge who was approved was nominated by Obama. Senate Democrats widely supported Judge David Nye for the position in Idaho. Yet they delayed his vote for 30 hours.
Liberals Need a Liberal Court
The Judicial Crisis Network started a $500,000 ad campaign to rally activists to contact members Congress and demand they adopt the gridlock reform proposal. Other conservative groups are launching similar grassroots campaigns. They include Tea Party Patriots, Concerned Veterans for America, Susan B, Anthony List and Concerned Women for America.
Democrats fear Trump’s effect on the judiciary. As the Post explained, liberals need a liberal court system to get what they want. “Progressives … are increasingly counting on the federal courts to be a bulwark against Trump’s initiatives.” It’s also a way for them to take down elected officials when they can’t beat them at the ballot box.
When the left couldn’t defeat popular Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in elections, they filed lawsuits against him. Ultimately, they convinced a judge to find him guilty of criminal contempt. That tarnished his reputation enough that he finally lost reelection.
Considering Trump is on track to have fewer nominees confirmed this year than Obama did his first year in office, it makes sense for Republicans to change the rules. The Democrats set the precedent. They did the same thing when they were in power in 2013.