In the News

Sub News Item 7/7/2017 – Trump Will Get To Pick A New Judge For A Key Appeals Court
A judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is stepping down, presenting President Trump with the opportunity to choose at least one judge for a key court that presides over challenges to federal agency actions. Judge Janice Rogers Brown, nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed to the DC Circuit in 2005, will be stepping down, a source familiar with the circumstances told BuzzFeed News on Friday. It was not immediately clear if Brown would take senior status — meaning she’d stay on the bench, but could take a reduced caseload — or retire outright. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Brown will step down. read full story

Sub News Item 7/10/2017 – One of the Biggest Reasons Republicans Stick by Trump
Although he’s been thwarted so far on his legislative agenda before Congress, most notably on health care, President Donald Trump has a big opportunity to reshape another branch of government outside his control: the federal judiciary. He has already moved swiftly to fill an unusual, inherited vacancy on the Supreme Court, and now his aides are working their way through a large number of openings on the lower federal courts. Some of his first picks are up for a Senate committee vote this month. read full story

Sub News Item 7/4/2017 – Why the Koch brothers want to kill an obscure Senate rule to help shape the federal courts
The influential donor network tied to billionaire Charles Koch is taking aim at a longstanding Senate tradition that allows Democratic senators to block judicial nominees from their states, as conservatives race to seize on one-party control of Washington to rapidly reshape the federal judiciary. read full story

Sub News Item 7/4/2017 – Trump Appeals Court Nominee Draws Fire For Blog Posts
Louisville lawyer John Bush is still awaiting a vote on his confirmation by President Donald Trump to be a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. During hearings last month, he dodged questions dealing with controversial blog posts he penned under a pseudonym. read full story

Sub News Item 7/4/2017 – Trump’s Michigan judicial nominee hits a snag
The Senate Judiciary Committee has not taken up the nomination of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen nearly two months after her selection for the federal appellate bench — a development that concerns her supporters. read full story

Sub News Item 6/28/2017 – Trump’s judicial nominee from Louisville ducks questions about his controversial blog posts
Trying to save his nomination to a federal appeals court, Louisville attorney John K. Bush has evaded questions about blog posts in which he equated abortion with slavery as America’s greatest tragedies, denounced gay marriage and embraced other conservative views. read full story

Sub News Item 6/26/2017 – To Ram Through Judges, GOP Senators Consider Yielding Power to Trump White House
With the White House’s initial batch of 11 nominations for lifetime appointments—with most of the names taken from lists compiled by the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation—before the U.S. Senate, Republicans there are warning that they may change the rules to push them through over Democratic objections. read full story

Sub News Item 6/23/2017 – Democrats Accuse Republicans Of Trying To Rush Through Trump’s Judicial Nominees
At this time last year, Democrats were accusing Republicans of dragging their feet on President Obama’s judicial nominees. Now, Democrats say Republicans are rushing to push through President Trump’s picks. The Senate Judiciary Committee this week scheduled a June 28 confirmation hearing for two of Trump’s lower court nominees — Trevor McFadden and Timothy Kelly, both nominated for seats on the federal district court in Washington, DC. read full story

Sub News Item 6/22/2017 – Democrats raise alarm on Senate judicial confirmation hearing
The Senate Judiciary Committee is plowing ahead with confirmation hearings for two of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the federal courts next week, almost certainly without formal ratings from the American Bar Association — a move infuriating Democrats who say the nonpartisan group needs more time to rate Trump’s judicial candidates. read full story

Sub News Item 6/22/2017 – Donald Trump Is In The Perfect Position To Dramatically Remake The Courts
Most days, it seems like President Donald Trump is sabotaging his own agenda, one tweet at a time. But the White House has been quietly plowing ahead in one area that will affect generations of people: the courts. Trump is unbelievably well-positioned to fill up federal courts with lifetime judges. He inherited a whopping 108 court vacancies when he became president ― double the number of vacancies President Barack Obama inherited when he took office. read full story

Sub News Item 6/15/2017 – Senators Grill Trump Judicial Nominees On Provocative Blog Posts
"The Case of the Bloviating Bloggers." That might be an apt title for the mini-drama that took place Wednesday when two judicial nominees came before the Senate Judiciary Committee, among the first batch President Trump has sent to the Senate for confirmation. read full story

Sub News Item 6/14/2017 – Feinstein defends blue-slip tactic to block judges
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is warning Republicans against cutting back on the rights of home-state senators to block judicial nominees through a process known as the blue slip. read full story

Sub News Item 6/14/2017 – Trump judicial nominee says political blogging won’t affect his rulings
Federal appeals court nominee John K. Bush told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that his political beliefs, previously expressed in blog posts, would not affect his approach to judging. "Blogging is a political activity," Bush said during hearings on his 6th Circuit Court of Appeals nomination Wednesday. "It is not appropriate to bring politics to the bench. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will not bring politics to the bench." read full story

Sub News Item 6/13/2017 – Judicial Nominees Draw Criticism for Political Comments
Past comments from two of President Donald Trump’s judicial picks have raised concerns from liberal advocacy groups, as one nominee called Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy a “judicial prostitute,” and another wrote anonymously that Sen. Ted Cruz was a “sore loser.” read full story

Sub News Item 6/7/2017 – Trump nominates U.S. District Court judge in Fargo to federal appeals court
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced that President Trump has nominated U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson to a seat on the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Erickson was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2003 to the U.S. District Court here, the trial court level in the federal judicial system. Previously Erickson served as a state district judge for the East Central Judicial District in Cass County and as a magistrate judge and county judge. read full story

Sub News Item 6/6/2017 – How Trump is Stalling His Own Nominees
President Donald Trump is lashing out at Democrats for allegedly stalling his appointments and agenda, but it’s his own administration that is frequently sitting on the necessary paperwork for nominees. Trump tapped Kevin McAleenan on March 30 to lead Customs and Border Protection, a critical position for his drive to revamp U.S. immigration policy. But the White House didn’t formally submit his nomination to the Senate for confirmation until May 22, nearly eight weeks later. read full story

Sub News Item 6/5/2017 – Ohio senators announce commission to recommend federal judge nominees
Ohio's senators on Monday announced a 28-member commission that will make recommendations on who should fill two open seats on the state's federal bench in the state's northern and southern districts. The bipartisan commission contains many familiar names in state politics, attorneys from some of the states biggest law firms and representatives of some of the state's largest companies. read full story

Sub News Item 5/25/2017 – Rubio, Nelson propose expansion of federal judgeships
Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson today proposed adding a number of federal judges to the state. They introduced the "Florida Federal Judicial Relief Act, legislation that would authorize one, six, and three additional judgeships in the northern, middle, and southern districts of Florida, respectively," according to a release. read full story

Sub News Item 5/25/2017 – Senate confirms Trump’s conservative pick for 6th Circuit Appeals court
President Donald Trump is on his way to leaving a conservative imprint on the federal judiciary with the confirmation of Amul Thapar, his first judge to the lower courts, and a renewed willingness from Republicans to sidestep a century-old custom involving judicial nominees. read full story

Sub News Item 5/25/2017 – Senate Republicans likely to change custom that allows Democrats to block judicial choices
Senate Republicans are threatening to change a custom that allows Democratic senators to block some judicial choices from their states, in an effort to speed along a conservative transformation of the federal judiciary. read full story

Sub News Item 5/18/2017 – Senate Judiciary Committee approves Amul Thapar for 6th Circuit
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 on Thursday to approve Judge Amul Thapar for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley praised Thapar on Thursday as an "independent" and "fair-minded" judge who will do right for both the "rich and poor." read full story

Sub News Item 5/20/2017 – GOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges
GOP senators are talking about changing an obscure Senate tradition to make it more difficult for Democrats to block certain judges from advancing to a confirmation hearing. The change to the “blue-slip rule” would involve preventing individual senators from blocking nominees to circuit courts that have jurisdiction over several states. read full story

Sub News Item 5/24/2017 – Blog posts could dog Trump judicial nominee and Louisville lawyer John K. Bush
The conservative Louisville lawyer nominated by President Donald Trump for a vacancy on a federal appeals court once wrote that slavery and abortion are the “two greatest tragedies in our country." read full story

Sub News Item 5/22/2017 – Gorsuch dissents as Supreme Court upholds ban on big-money gifts to parties
New Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joined Clarence Thomas in dissent Monday when the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Republican Party lawyer seeking to strike down limits on big-money contributions to political parties. read full story

Sub News Item 5/14/2017 – Greg Abbott plays an outsized role in filling U.S. judicial vacancies
Vacancies for the federal bench typically present a chance for U.S. senators to push preferred candidates, but as President Donald Trump prepares to name two Texas nominees for a U.S. appellate court, he’s hearing from an unlikely person: Gov. Greg Abbott. read full story

Sub News Item 5/11/2017 – Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid in line for Neil Gorsuch’s seat on 10th Circuit
Neil Gorsuch beat out fellow Coloradan Allison Eid for a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court, but Eid’s likely consolation prize isn’t so bad: Gorsuch’s still-warm seat on the powerful 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver. read full story

Sub News Item 5/9/2017 – Two women in line for federal bench in Kentucky, which now only has one female judge out of 13
Kentucky may be getting two new federal judges, both of them women. Several lawyers said they have been interviewed by FBI agents performing a background check on Claria Horn Boom, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner in Frost Brown Todd’s Lexington office. read full story

Sub News Item 5/10/2017 – The diversity problem on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
When Associate Justice David Stras was appointed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty to the Minnesota Supreme Court at the tender age of 35, liberal eyebrows shot up. Stras was active in the conservative Federalist Society and had been a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Critics cast him as a right-wing ideologue. read full story

Sub News Item 5/8/2017 – Democrats take on Trump over court vacancies
With his nomination Monday of 10 conservative judges to the federal courts, President Donald Trump is reviving the long-running judicial wars with Democrats. And the two picks likely to rankle Democrats the most are the ones they have the most leverage to block. read full story

Sub News Item 5/9/2017 – Senate Custom Could Trip Up G.O.P.’s March to Reshape Courts
When the White House found itself caught up in difficult spending and health care fights last week, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, deemed it necessary to assure the public that administration officials are competent and “know what we’re doing.” read full story

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