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    Mitch McConnell rams through 15 more federal judges

    Mitch McConnell rams through 15 more federal judges

    In exchange for mass confirmation, McConnell agreed to put the Senate into recess allowing vulnerable Dem Senators to return home to campaign.

    Fresh off his victory in confirming Brett Kavanaugh, Mitch McConnell forced stalling Democrats to agree to 15 more federal judicial confirmations in exchange for putting the Senate in recess so vulnerable Democrats could return home to campaign.

    Politico reports:

    Senate Democrats accepted an offer from Senate Republicans to confirm 15 lifetime federal judges on Thursday in exchange for agreeing to go into recess through the midterms so endangered Democrats can campaign.

    After senators weighed the package of three Circuit Court judges and 12 District Court judges on Thursday afternoon, they agreed to the demand from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to confirm roughly the number of judges he could confirm between now and the election if he kept the Senate in continuously. A half-dozen vulnerable Democrats and a pair of at-risk Senate Republicans are eager to go home for the election….

    By the end of Thursday, McConnell and President Donald Trump will have confirmed 84 judges over the past two years, including two Supreme Court nominees.

    Chuck Grassley, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, had wanted the Senate to stay in session until all 49 nominees awaiting a floor vote (including 8 approved by the committee today) were voted on:

    Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants the upper house to stay in session until all of the 49 currently pending judicial appointments are confirmed.

    A tweet from Grassley, R- Iowa, on Thursday came just hours after the committee cleared eight more judicial nominees to the full Senate ,and puts Democrats in a bind over whether to stay in Washington to fight the confirmations or head out on the campaign trail to defend vulnerable seats ahead of the midterms.

    “Lots of work to do,” Grassley tweeted. “Senate [should] stay in session til all 49 judges are CONFIRMED/ work comes [before] campaigning.”

    So did McConnell really own this libs on this? The libs seem to think so:

    In response to announcement of a deal in the United States Senate to confirm 15 judicial nominees to lifetime seats on the federal bench, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker issued the following statement:

    “Mitch McConnell has made clear again and again that he’ll do anything to install ideological extremists and narrow minded elitists onto our federal courts. Today’s deal represents the latest chapter in his cynical campaign to jam through nominations without meaningful debate or adequate vetting. This is another step towards creating a federal court system where the wealthy and powerful get one kind of treatment, and ordinary Americans looking to vindicate their rights get another.

    “No senator should have agreed to this deal. Americans deserve to know that they can depend on the courts to stand up for the constitution and the law. When our courts—and our rights—are on the line, senators should take the time to seriously debate the merits. Allowing these confirmations to be rushed through as senators head out of town does a disservice to our democracy and the rule of law. If Republicans intend to move forward on even a single nomination in the lame duck congress, Democrats should make clear that they won’t stand by silently.”

    This chart appears to reflect the updated list of vacancies and pending nominees. There is a lot more work to do.

    Republicans appear to be approaching ramming speed, with Trump nominating 13 more federal judges. The Daily Caller reports:

    President Donald Trump announced his eighteenth wave of judicial nominees Wednesday night, just four days after the Senate confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Wednesday’s nominees include two candidates for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and three for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2nd Circuit is based in New York City and has jurisdiction over New York, Connecticut and Vermont. The 9th Circuit is based in San Francisco, and hears appeals arising from nine western states as well as the outlying Pacific territories…

    Trump has struggled to secure confirmations to both courts. The president’s sole confirmation to the 9th Circuit, Judge Mark Bennett, is a largely unknown quantity with questionable conservative bona fides. A second 9th Circuit nominee, Ryan Bounds, lost a narrow floor vote due to racially tinged opinion columns he wrote as an undergraduate at Stanford University.

    Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network has more information on the new appeals court nominees at National Review.


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    This is a very late comment, but I was inspired by someone else’s words to note this: given that the Democratic base is very upset about this deal, why did the Democratic Party senators give unanimous consent, which any of their members could have foiled? Just how bad was the post-Kavanaugh polling that they feel the heat and need to go home to “connect with their constituents” for the upcoming election, regardless of what the activists might think?

    It’s an interesting thought.

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