judicial nominations

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USA Today Sees a Theme in Trump's Judicial Picks

Of 87 nominees, 80 are white

(Newser) - President Trump nominated nine judges on Monday to federal courts, and a former Obama deputy counsel tweeted this in reaction: "Surprise!" wrote Christopher Kang. "All 9 of Trump's judicial nominees today appear to be white." USA Today dug into the numbers and discovered that Kang'... More »

Judicial Nominee Pulls Name After '2 Worst Minutes' on TV

Video of Matthew Petersen failing to answer basic legal questions went viral last week

(Newser) - Last week Matthew Petersen was on his way to becoming a judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Then Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted a video of Petersen at his Judiciary Committee hearing failing to answer a series of basic legal questions from Republican Sen. John Kennedy,... More »

Questioning of Judicial Nominee Does Not Go Well

Matthew Petersen struggles with some of the basics

(Newser) - The confirmation hearing of a judicial nominee is getting way more attention than such a hearing typically would, for the wrong reasons. Matthew Petersen is a lawyer on the Federal Election Committee, but he has no trial experience, notes the Washington Post . That fact caught the attention of GOP Sen.... More »

White House Gives Up on 2 Controversial Nominations

Talley, Mateer will not be moving forward

(Newser) - One is a former ghost hunter who has never tried a case. The other described transgender children as "Satan's spawn." Neither man is going to become a federal judge. A White House official tells Politico that the administration will not be moving forward with the nominations of... More »

Trump Judicial Pick Made 'Glaring Omission'

He failed to mention wife is a White House lawyer

(Newser) - One of President Trump's nominee for a federal judgeship is taking flak from Democrats for failing to mention a potential conflict of interest—the fact that his wife, Ann Donaldson, is one of Trump's senior White House lawyers. Brett Talley failed to mention in the Senate questionnaire for... More »

Obama Blasts GOP as It Blocks 3rd Top Court Pick

Calls obstruction 'completely unprecedented' as 3rd nominee in a month foiled

(Newser) - Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's third straight nominee to a key appellate court yesterday, continuing a fight that has stoked partisan tensions in the Senate. Robert Wilkins, a District Court judge in Washington who in 2010 was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote, was nominated to fill... More »

Senate GOP Blocks Another Obama Appointment

Republicans derail pick for DC court of appeals

(Newser) - Senate Republicans blocked another of President Obama's picks for one of the nation's top courts today, the latest skirmish in a nominations battle that has intensified partisan tensions in the chamber. The vote derailed Obama's selection of Georgetown University law professor Cornelia Pillard to fill one of... More »

Reid May Go 'Nuclear' to Reform Filibuster

Senate leader considers changing rules for nominations in July

(Newser) - Those who think abuse of the filibuster has gotten out of hand in DC should keep an eye on three upcoming Obama nominations, reports Greg Sargent at the Washington Post . If Republicans use the tactic to block the president's picks to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the labor... More »

Obama's 2nd-Term Mission: Appoint Diverse Judges

GOP likely to delay the process

(Newser) - Of the 35 judicial nominees currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate, 17 are women; 15 are members of ethnic minorities; five are openly gay. Just six are straight white guys. After what the Washington Post refers to as the "sluggish pace" of President Obama's first-term appointments, the second-term... More »

Vacancies Leave Federal Courts in Crisis

Republican holds on judicial nominees taking a toll

(Newser) - Republicans’ refusal to allow votes on President Obama’s judicial nominees has pushed courts to the breaking point, particularly in southwestern courts struggling with drug and illegal immigration trials, the Washington Post reports. In Arizona, for example, some judges are handling about 1200 criminal cases simultaneously. The state recently declared... More »

Partisan Tiff Leaves Federal Courts Without Judges

GOP still blocking nominees, Obama slow to nominate

(Newser) - The partisan standoff on judges is starting threaten our ability to administer justice. Nearly 1 in 8 federal judgeships are currently vacant, the LA Times reports, as Senate Republicans block many of President Obama’s nominees. Just 47% of Obama’s nominees have been approved—the lowest rate in 30... More »

Obama Talks With Potential Court Picks

Informal discussions show process getting serious

(Newser) - President Obama has begun conversations with potential Supreme Court nominees, a senior administration official tells the AP, signaling an upswing in the president's consideration of an already coalescing list of candidates. This morning, he'll meet with Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to... More »

Republicans Stonewall Obama's Judges

Procedural maneuvers help Senate GOP stall confirmation process

(Newser) - Despite the 95 yawning vacancies on the federal bench, Senate Republicans are blocking virtually all of President Obama’s nominees. Only three of Obama’s 22 nominees have been confirmed, as Republicans take the “partisan war over the courts into uncharted territory,” writes Doug Kendall for Slate. Both... More »

Obama Blasted for Letting GOP Hold Up Judges

Nominees locked in committee as vacancies build up

(Newser) - At this point in their first terms, Bill Clinton had had nine federal judges confirmed and George W Bush eight—but Barack Obama has got only three judges through, despite sending 23 names to the Democratic-controlled Senate. Part of the problem is Republican obstructionists who've threatened filibusters and used parliamentary... More »

Stevens' Exit Would Break Court Tradition

Tradition sees justices sticking with party that appointed them

(Newser) - Supreme Court justices have traditionally waited to retire until a member of the same party that nominated them held the presidency, writes Kate Klonick for True/Slant. The custom has prevailed even when the justice’s ideology drifted away from that party. But if the rumors about John Paul Stevens’ imminent... More »

Sotomayor Oath to Be Televised

Republicans feel they have dealt a blow to judicial empathy

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in to the Supreme Court on national television tomorrow morning, marking the first time the judicial oath administration has been broadcast, the Washington Post reports. The ceremony will take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, following the practice of Samuel Alito, who broke... More »

Voters Favor Sotomayor 2-1: Poll

55% approve of Obama's pick

(Newser) - Another poll has shown widespread support for Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, Bloomberg reports. Of 3,000 voters polled by Quinnipiac University, 55% approved of President Obama's choice and 25% disapproved. But the Senate will ultimately decide, and Sotomayor is spending her third straight day meeting with lawmakers on the... More »

Attacking Nominees Demeans Court

(Newser) - The political attack ads popular in general elections have a profoundly negative effect on the public’s view of the Supreme Court when used during the nomination process, James L. Gibson writes fror Miller-McCune.com. “Politicized confirmation processes can indeed damage the institution of the US Supreme Court itself,... More »

What They'll Say to Fight Sotomayor

Critics call nominee racially insensitive, lacking intellect

(Newser) - Sonia Sotomayor’s opponents are already polishing their script, Politico reports. They’ll call her radical, racist, and stupid—albeit via softer buzzwords. She’s a “judicial activist” fond of “identity politics,” with a questionable “intellect.” Here are the charges against her:
  • She lacks “
... More »

GOP Takes Aim at Obama High Court Noms

(Newser) - Republican groups have already prepared dossiers and attack strategies on a host of possible Obama Supreme Court nominees, the New York Times reports. Ten memos obtained by the Times—all about female judges and scholars—focus on records of abortion rights, gay rights, and the citing of foreign laws. Weakened... More »

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