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Legislative Update: Senate Majority Continues Work to Fill the Courts

By October 26, 2018Blog, News and Events
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Even while the Senate stands in recess through the November election, the Senate Judiciary Committee is at work holding hearings on judicial nominees to ready them for votes when the Senate returns. Just this week two circuit court nominees for the west-coast Ninth Circuit had hearings, adding to last week’s hearing for Allison Jones Rushing to be a circuit judge for the Fourth Circuit (more on her in a moment). Seven additional lower court judges were on the hearing docket for life-time appointments to the bench.

President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have not flinched in their commitment to Americans to fill federal court vacancies at all levels. Their success not only has been impressive, but historic. To date, 84 federal judges have been confirmed, including two Supreme Court justices, 29 circuit judges, and 53 district judges. This represents an all-time record for the number of circuit judges confirmed in the first two years of a presidential administration. It has happened in the face of unrelenting obstruction by the Democrats who deploy any procedural means possible to delay confirmations.

Women are notable among the list of confirmed judges. One year ago this week, Judge Amy Coney Barrett was the first woman nominated by the Trump Administration to be confirmed. Serving on the Seventh Circuit court of appeals, Barrett is also on President Trump’s short list for Supreme Court consideration. Like Barrett, Allison Jones Rushing of North Carolina is one of the rising stars nominated by the Trump Administration and positioned to take a lifetime appointment on the circuit court. Rushing, 36, clerked for Judge Gorsuch on the Tenth Circuit and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Her professional experience in law has covered a wide range of issues involving complex civil and criminal litigation in the federal and appellate courts. She has argued cases before federal circuit and state appellate courts and been recognized by professional groups for her excellent written and oral advocacy skills.

President Trump won the presidency with conservative voters who cared about filling court vacancies with highly qualified, conservative judges committed to upholding the Constitution and not legislating from the bench. And he hasn’t disappointed. This November voters in key red states have the potential of strengthening that majority in the Senate to move these judges forward.

Chairman Grassley has scheduled the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 19th nomination hearing for the week after the election. Thirty -two judicial nominees are out of committee and ready for confirmation votes by the full Senate. As Chairman Grassley has said, “we are not tired of winning.”