In the News

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

Sub News Item 9/20/2017 – Political Drama In Texas Has Left Trump Struggling To Fill Court Seats
The White House has been at odds with Texas’ Republican senators and governor for months over two judicial vacancies, showing how tricky it can be for President Donald Trump to shape the judiciary even in seemingly friendly states. read full story

Sub News Item 9/20/2017 – Trump’s judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of “Satan’s plan”
Jeff Mateer, a high-ranking official in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office whom President Donald Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship, said in speeches in 2015 that transgender children are part of "Satan's plan" and argued same-sex marriage would open the floodgates for "disgusting" forms of marriage, according to CNN. read full story

Sub News Item 9/13/2017 – GOP May Break Democrats’ Best Weapon Against Wave of Right-Wing Judges
For all the wild talk of Donald Trump’s preferring to work with Democrats instead of his own fractious party, the administration and Senate Democrats are on a collision course that should smash figments of imaginary bipartisanship. Trump has now nominated 50 would-be judges to openings on Circuit Courts of Appeal and district benches, all of whom appear to have been vetted by conservative legal commissars like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. Most of them will probably be confirmed on strict or near party-line votes in the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. read full story

Sub News Item 9/8/2017 – Bennet Gives Stamp of Approval to Eid
Colorado’s Democratic senator, Michael Bennet, returned his blue slip for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid to fill the vacant seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bennet’s office confirmed that he gave his nod of approval for Eid’s move to the federal circuit court, though without a glowing endorsement. read full story

Sub News Item 9/12/2017 – Bye Bye Blue Slip?
Republicans in the Senate may continue to sour on Donald Trump for the foreseeable future, but there is one reason they will never fully turn on the president: The ability to pack the federal courts with life-tenured hyperconservative jurists is worth whatever pain Trump may cause in other quarters. read full story

Sub News Item 9/13/2017 – McConnell: Blue slips shouldn’t ‘blackball’ circuit court nominees
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is weighing in on a looming fight over judicial nominees, saying an obscure Senate rule shouldn't be used to block some judicial nominations. “My personal view is that the blue slip, with regard to circuit court appointments, ought to simply be a notification of how you’re going to vote, not the opportunity to blackball,” McConnell told The New York Times. read full story

Sub News Item 9/8/2017 – Oregon refuses Trump nominee
Both Oregon’s U.S. senators pushed back hard and fast against yesterday’s move by the Trump Administration, all but accusing the White House of a power play involving nepotism and patronage. read full story

Sub News Item 9/8/2017 – Oregon senators say they’ll block Trump circuit court nominee
Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have announced plans to block President Trump’s nominee for the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. read full story

Sub News Item 9/8/2017 – Young, out-of-state lawyer could be a new federal judge for NM
A federal court of appeals judge from New Mexico, who is expected to step down soon, could be replaced by a lawyer with less than 10 years of legal work under his belt and very loose ties to the state. NM Political Report learned the White House sent a short list of possible replacements for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Paul Kelly Jr. Names on the list include prominent judges and lawyers who currently practice in New Mexico—and one is a lawyer from Washington D.C. who previously worked for a Utah senator and whose family owns a cattle ranch in New Mexico. read full story

Sub News Item 9/11/2017 – Senators Could Lose ‘Blue Slip’ Input on Circuit Judges
A looming showdown over a Senate tradition could strip senators of a de facto veto power over nominees to federal appeals courts — and give President Donald Trump less reason to consult with senators about which judges should be appointed. read full story

Sub News Item 9/10/2017 – Court nominee’s lack of NM roots prompts concern
The White House is considering five names to replace retiring Judge Paul Kelly Jr. of Santa Fe on the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals – including one surprise contender who is raising eyebrows in New Mexico’s legal community because of his lack of roots and legal experience in the state. read full story

Sub News Item 9/6/2017 – A Democratic senator’s obscure move highlights the biggest roadblock Trump faces in his quest to remake the courts
Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota on Tuesday refused to sign off on President Donald Trump's nomination of a judge for a vacancy on the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals, highlighting perhaps the biggest challenge Trump faces as he tries to remake the federal judiciary. read full story

Sub News Item 9/7/2017 – Democrats prepare to block another Trump judicial nominee
Two Senate Democrats said Thursday they will block yet another nominee from President Donald Trump to the nation’s powerful appellate courts — inflaming a growing battle between Democratic senators and the White House over judicial candidates. read full story

Sub News Item 9/5/2017 – Amid tension, Trump and McConnell together on judges
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not be on the best of terms after a failure to pass a healthcare overhaul this summer and ahead of expected fiscal fights this fall. But they have at least one shared mission: confirming a bevy of federal judges. read full story

Sub News Item 9/1/2017 – Three potential nominees for Cleveland federal judge submitted to Sen. Rob Portman
The commission tasked with identifying candidates to fill a federal judge seat in Cleveland has submitted three names to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman's office, sources with knowledge of the search said. read full story

Sub News Item 8/26/2017 – Will Trump’s enduring legacy be a right-wing judiciary?
Earlier this month, Donald Trump chose Michael Brennan to fill an open seat on the 7thCircuit Court of Appeals. In doing so, he broke with a 38-year-old Wisconsin tradition. read full story

Sub News Item 8/31/2017 – Larsen’s hearing for federal bench set for next week

The Senate Judiciary Committee has set the nomination hearing for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen for Wednesday in Washington. Larsen, a former University of Michigan law professor, was nominated in May by President Donald Trump for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over district courts in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Sub News Item 8/7/2017 – The White House Has Pitched A Nominee For Manhattan’s Powerful US Attorney Opening
The White House is considering Geoffrey Berman, an attorney who practices in New Jersey and New York and one of Rudolph Giuliani’s law partners, to lead the US attorney’s office in Manhattan — one of the most high-profile federal law enforcement jobs in the country. read full story

Sub News Item 8/4/2017 – Mich. senators let Trump appeals judge choice advance
Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters said Friday they have returned blue slips for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, allowing her nomination to the federal appellate bench to advance without saying whether they would vote for her. read full story

Sub News Item 8/4/2017 – Trump nominates Steve Grasz for 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
President Donald Trump has nominated Steve Grasz to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. The nomination was applauded by Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, both Nebraska Republicans, who recommended Grasz for the seat. read full story

Sub News Item 8/4/2017 – Trump Appoints Milwaukee Attorney To Long-Standing 7th Circuit Vacancy
President Donald Trump has nominated a Milwaukee lawyer to the nation's longest standing federal appeals court vacancy. Trump announced the nomination of Michael Brennan for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday morning. The seat has been open since 2010. read full story

Sub News Item 8/4/2017 – Donald Trump is Rapidly Reshaping the Nation’s Courts
Donald Trump's mercurial, chaotic ways are the overriding narrative of his early White House days. But most of the press misses his discipline in one crucial area: filling vacancies on federal courts. He may be lax in filling many administrative posts, but it's just not true with the courts. read full story

Sub News Item 8/2/2017 – The Battle for the Judiciary
When Senate Republicans linked arms to keep former President Barack Obama from replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, irate Democrats said the extraordinary move was the capstone of a 16-month GOP campaign: Stop Obama from filling vacancies on the federal bench, by any means necessary. read full story

Sub News Item 8/1/2017 – With fifth judge confirmed, Trump outpaces Obama and Bush
President Trump may be facing a roadblock on the rest of his nominees — but he’s outpacing his predecessors when it comes to getting federal judges confirmed, with his fifth court pick approved by the Senate on Tuesday. Alabama lawyer Kevin Christopher Newsom was confirmed to a seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a 66-31 vote, with 16 Democrats joining the GOP. read full story

Sub News Item 7/28/2017 – White House Lawyer Is Top Pick For Open Court Seat, And Controversy Could Follow
Deputy White House counsel Gregory Katsas is the leading candidate for a judgeship in one of the most important federal appeals courts in the nation, NPR has learned. While the White House has not yet named its pick for the seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a Katsas nomination would open the door to confirmation hearings that could plumb a series of legal controversies from the first six months of the Trump administration. read full story

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