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Judicial Nominations

Penny Nance with Attorney General Barr

2019, The Year of Judges

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As we continue to pray and fight against the unjust, politically motivated, unconstitutional impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, I want to take a moment and look back at the historic achievement we achieved in the area of judicial nominations. I do not want you to miss the important part you played in making this a historic year for the confirmations of federal judges.

Do not miss it. Your voice, through Concerned Women for America (CWA), is heard in Washington! When we speak on behalf or in opposition to a judge here, every senator knows that we have a mighty army of committed women standing strong for the values we represent. They take note, and they do everything to address the concerns we raise.

Recently, a high-level official sent a note of gratitude to CWA for our work on a very tough nomination calling us, “One of the best groups with which we work.” I know this is in reference to the very strategic, professional, energetic, and graceful way in which you engage at the state level and every time we send a call to action from D.C. Thank you!

Let me give you the historic numbers. I am writing to you as the U.S. Senate has adjourned for the Christmas break and has just confirmed 13 judges in a row to make the total of judges confirmed in 2019, 102. That is the second-highest number for confirmations in one year in U.S. history. All total, we have confirmed 187 under President Trump.

Some of the highlights for this year where you shined through CWA include the recently confirmed Lawrence VanDyke to the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Van Dyke is a Christian conservative with an incredible track record of support for the Constitution as written. Neomi Rao to the D.C. Circuit was also an important nomination that could not have happened without CWA’s influential voice. Let me also mention the important nomination of Attorney General William Barr, just to highlight the fact that your work has been important in the confirmation of important officials beyond judges. As you have probably seen, AG Barr’s contributions to the impeachment battle are becoming more and more important as he exposes the frightening abuse of power at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) against then-candidate Donald Trump.

But back to judicial confirmations. Fifty of the 187 confirmations for President Trump have been to the Appellate Court, which given the small percentage of cases the Supreme Court takes, end up being more influential in the day to day administration of justice. These confirmations are important.

Three Circuits were totally “flipped” to have more judges appointed by Republican presidents than Democrats: the second, third, and eleventh. That is significant, but progress was made in all circuits.

Eighty were confirmed in district courts and seven more to other specialty courts. Compare that with just six confirmations to the district court in 2017 and 47 in 2018. No Supreme Court battle and an important rule change limiting the time for debate on district court nominees made that historic gain possible.

To compare President Trump’s 187 confirmations so far, consider President Barack Obama had 124, President George W. Bush had 169, President Bill Clinton 166, and President George H.W. Bush had 128 at the same time in their presidency.

But no discussion of President Trump’s legacy when it comes to judges is complete without mentioning Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. These justices are serving with honor and distinction in the highest court in the land, and your involvement through CWA was instrumental to their confirmations.