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Senate Confirms 15 Judicial Nominees; White House Announces Three 9th Circuit Nominees

Last week, Senate Democrats accepted Senate Republicans’ offer to confirm 15 federal judicial nominees “in exchange for the ability to go into recess through the midterms, allowing endangered Democrats to campaign,” according to Politico. “The calculation by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his caucus was simple,” Politico explained, “That Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be able to confirm roughly 15 judges if he kept the Senate in session for the next few weeks anyway.”

With the deal, the Trump Administration has now “confirmed 84 judges over the past two years, including two Supreme Court nominees,” Politico wrote.

Despite this agreement, The New York Times reported that on Wednesday, “Republicans on the Judiciary Committee convened yet another hearing to consider still more conservative federal court nominees – while the Senate was technically in recess.”

Last week, the White House also named three new nominees to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which Trump has extensively criticized and Republicans have proposed breaking up. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, complained that the White House moved forward without consulting her, saying that “to move forward with these nominees without consultation reflects President Trump's desire to remake the court.” Former White House Counsel Don McGahn disputed Feinstein’s claim, saying, “We have spent nearly two years attempting to engage constructively with the Senators regarding the growing number of judicial vacancies tied to California.”

© Copyright 2019 Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law


About this Author

Research & Program Associate

Laila is a Research and Program Associate in the Democracy Program, where she focuses on issues pertaining to fair and impartial courts. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Laila interned at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she created Brooklyn’s first police accountability database, which attorneys use to enhance defense services and mitigate police misconduct.

Laila graduated cum laude from Yale in May of 2017 with a degree in History and distinction in the major. While an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant for Professor Kate Stith at Yale Law...