In the News

Sub News Item 1/12/2018 – Sen. Mazie Hirono Vows To Ask Court Nominees Under Oath About Sexual Assault History

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) wants to guarantee that those who’ve committed sexual assault stay out of positions of power, including in the federal court system. The senator tweeted on Wednesday that going forward, she’ll be asking federal judge nominees under oath whether they have a history of sexual assault.
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Sub News Item 12/21/2017 – Trump is politicising the courts – and our judiciary is under threat
Almost one year into the Trump administration, we have fallen into a disturbingly familiar pattern of looking on as the daily news cycle tracks and parses the president’s latest tweets, decrying the fact that this is not the way things are done around here. But as we look the other way, it is the Senate that he has chosen to erode norms and conventions in how judges are staffed to the federal courts, and which is breaking down our democracy at every turn. read full story

Sub News Item 12/27/2017 – Trump Had A Good Year Getting Judges Confirmed, But He’s Still A Long Way From Reshaping The Courts
President Donald Trump made good this year on a campaign pledge he hoped would convince nervous Republicans to back him: the confirmation of young, conservative judges to lifetime seats on the federal bench. read full story

Sub News Item 12/20/2017 – Trump announces new judicial picks despite past vetting concerns
President Donald Trump nominated a new slate of judges Wednesday, including several more seasoned jurists than the controversial nominees that the administration has had to withdraw in recent weeks. read full story

Sub News Item 12/20/2017 – Toomey, Casey Applaud Nomination of Three Candidates to U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania
Following the announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate Judge Susan P. Baxter and Judge Marilyn J. Horan to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Judge Chad Kenney to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) released the following statements: read full story

Sub News Item 12/15/2017 – How the Trump White House and GOP senators fast-track judicial nominees
Under normal circumstances, confirmation hearings for district court judges aren't headline grabbers. But overnight, an exchange between a nominee and a senator on the Judiciary Committee caught fire on Twitter. read full story

Sub News Item 12/18/2017 – Trump judicial nominee withdraws after humiliating hearing
A Trump administration judicial nominee who struggled to answer basic questions about courtroom procedure in a viral video clip withdrew his name from consideration on Monday. read full story

Sub News Item 12/14/2017 – Trump’s Biggest Win In 2017? His Judicial Confirmations.
Almost a year into his job, President Donald Trump’s biggest accomplishment isn’t any specific legislation that’s passed or executive action he’s taken. It’s how he’s reshaped the courts. read full story

Sub News Item 12/15/2017 – Trump judicial nominee fumbles basic questions about the law
Nomination hearings for U.S. district judges tend to be dry affairs that offer little in the way of mass entertainment — in other words, they’re not typically the stuff of viral videos. But a clip of one of President Trump’s federal judicial nominees struggling to answer rudimentary questions about the law garnered well more than 1 million views in a matter of hours on Thursday night and stoked speculation that another of the president’s nominations might get derailed. read full story

Sub News Item 12/12/2017 – Exclusive: Grassley urges Trump to reconsider controversial judicial picks
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued a rare rebuke Tuesday of two of President Donald Trump's most controversial judicial nominees, urging the White House to rethink the picks. read full story

Sub News Item 9/7/2017 – The Judiciary in Jeopardy
Our federal judiciary is in jeopardy. Courts are often the last defense for our Constitution. Federal courts make decisions about how we are treated in the workplace, how the law regards women, racial minorities, and those with disabilities, among others, consumer protections, the safety of our environment, our right to vote, and our immigration system – just to name a few issues. read full story

Sub News Item 11/2/2017 – Wisconsin judicial pick violated fair process
The U.S. Constitution grants the President power to nominate judges for the federal courts “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.” In Wisconsin, for nearly 40 years all presidents, regardless of party, have considered candidates vetted and approved by a nominating commission run by the State Bar in cooperation with both Wisconsin Senators. read full story

Sub News Item 12/12/2017 – The rightwing takeover of the US court system will transform America
Donald Trump has nominated an unprecedented number of judges to federal courts since his appointment. These are making steady progress through the Senate confirmation process and yet they have escaped the sort of scrutiny that Trump normally attracts. This is unfortunate, because the impact of Trump’s court picks will be profound, and will help reshape American society for years to come. read full story

Sub News Item 12/7/2017 – Judiciary Dems accuse GOP of rushing court nominees as 10 advance
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee chastised their Republican colleagues on Thursday, accusing them of rushing President Trump’s judicial nominees through the  confirmation process. read full story

Sub News Item 11/29/2017 – Republican senator suggests Trump is strong-arming judicial nominees through Congress
A Republican senator on Wednesday appeared to corroborate Democrats’ complaints that the Trump administration has been trying to strong-arm its judicial picks through Congress instead of consulting with lawmakers to find mutually agreeable candidates. read full story

Sub News Item 11/16/2017 – Grassley rips up ‘blue slip’ for a pair of Trump court picks
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is burning the blue slip for some judicial nominees. The Iowa Republican announced Thursday that he is going ahead with a confirmation hearing for a nominee to the powerful appellate courts despite the objections of a Democrat who had been blocking the nomination for months. The move will likely escalate the judicial wars in the Senate. read full story

Sub News Item 11/7/2017 – Another Trump Court Pick Is Rated ‘Not Qualified’
President Donald Trump’s pick for an Alabama district court seat, Brett Talley, is “not qualified” to be a federal judge, says the American Bar Association. The ABA announced its unanimous rating on Tuesday evening. read full story

Sub News Item 10/30/2017 – The Senate Is About To Confirm A Frenzy Of Conservative Judges
McConnell has teed up votes this week on four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. That’s an incredible amount of activity on judges in one week. For some comparison, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) typically scheduled a vote on one nominee per week, at most. read full story

Sub News Item 10/30/2017 – Second Trump judicial nominee gets ‘not qualified’ rating from ABA: What’s the rating process?
The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has rated two of President Donald Trump’s nominees to federal judgeships as “not qualified.” But the significance of that rating and the process behind it can be as important as the rating itself. read full story

Sub News Item 10/17/2017 – Trump’s judge picks: ‘Not qualified,’ prolific bloggers
President Donald Trump has nominated 50 candidates to lifetime appointments to the federal bench — including a man who asserted transgender children were evidence of “Satan’s plan,” one deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association and a handful of prolific bloggers. read full story

Sub News Item 10/3/2017 – One Of Trump’s Judicial Picks Received A Rare “Not Qualified” Rating From Top Legal Group
One of President Trump's judicial nominees has received a rare "not qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. Charles Goodwin, who serves as a federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, is the first of Trump's judicial nominees to receive a "not qualified" rating from the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which vets all federal court nominees. read full story

Sub News Item 9/25/2017 – One Of Trump’s Judicial Nominees Sits On The Board Of A Group That Defends “Conversion” Therapy
One of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Leonard Grasz, has served since 2015 on the board of a Nebraska nonprofit that has defended so-called “conversion” therapy for minors. Grasz was nominated in August to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. According to a questionnaire that Grasz submitted to the US Senate, he has served since August 2015 as a board member of Nebraska Family Alliance, a conservative nonprofit that in 2017 published two pieces on its website criticizing states that banned so-called conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy,” for minors. read full story

Sub News Item 9/25/2017 – Purdon and Maring: It’s time for a federal Judicial Nominating Commission in North Dakota
Federal judges rule on issues important to North Dakotans every day. The rulings decide whether a person committed a crime and what the punishment should be, the constitutionality of a law, disputes between two or more states, bankruptcy cases and more. read full story

Sub News Item 9/21/2017 – Trump pick for NC judge accused of ‘hostile record on African-American voting rights and workers’ rights’
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a strongly worded letter Wednesday urging U.S. senators to reject Thomas Farr, a Triangle-based attorney who has represented GOP state legislators in redistricting and voter ID cases, for a lifetime seat on the federal bench. read full story

Sub News Item 9/21/2017 – Judicial candidates should be less partisan and more representative
As Minnesota’s secretary of state, I took pride in our state’s tradition of civic participation. Minnesotans of all political persuasions understand that, whether we’re choosing a president or a state legislator, we deserve a government that truly represents us. And we are willing to do the hard work democracy demands in order to achieve it.  read full story

Sub News Item 9/21/2017 – Mateer ‘Satan’ remarks: ‘That’s why you have Senate hearings’ on judges
When assistant state Attorney General Jeff Mateer goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a federal judge nominee, there will be strong echoes of Texas' transgender "bathroom bill" debate. read full story

Sub News Item 9/18/2017 – White House hits back at Oregon’s senators over appeals court nomination
In the ongoing dispute between the state's two U.S. senators and the Trump administration, the White House counsel accuses the lawmakers of failing to consider the administration's pick for a judicial vacancy on a federal appellate court. read full story

Sub News Item 9/14/2017 – Despite McConnell Reservations, Tool to Block Judicial Nominees May Stay
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Wednesday for a change to a Senate tradition that lets senators block federal judges nominated in their home state, it remains unclear whether the old process will actually disappear. read full story

Sub News Item 9/18/2017 – Buffalo’s federal court backlog is among worst in nation
Justice can be slow. But for Adam Pritchard and Erie County, slow means waiting years. Thirteen years, to be exact. Pritchard, 37 at the time, filed a lawsuit in 2004 challenging the county's use of strip searches at its jails. His case, like hundreds of other civil suits in Buffalo federal court, remains unresolved years later. While Pritchard's case is the extreme, a review of the local court's workload found one of the worst civil and criminal case backlogs in the nation. read full story

Sub News Item 9/21/2017 – Civil Rights, Racial Disputes Fuel Divide Over Judicial Nominee
President Donald Trump’s pick for a federal judgeship in North Carolina has drawn the opposition of the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights groups in part because of past work defending the state’s congressional redistricting plans and voter ID law, which courts have struck down as unfair to minorities. read full story

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