At the ACLJ, we have been aggressively fighting for conservative judges on the federal bench. Over the last few months we have helped achieve unprecedented success.
One of the most important duties facing a President and the U.S. Senate is the nomination and confirmation of federal judges. The lifetime term of these judges often spans numerous decades and impact the legal landscape of our country in an incredibly significant way. As such, it is critically important to nominate and confirm judges with a deep commitment to the original wording and intent of the Constitution, and a committed reverence for the rule of law.
Given the magnitude of this responsibility, we are thrilled that President Trump and the U.S. Senate have demonstrated a real commitment to nominating and confirming federal judges for both the circuit and district courts. President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley deserve praise for the vital role they have played in ensuring the confirmation of stellar judicial nominees. Despite efforts of radical leftists in the U.S. Senate to block consideration of judicial nominees, 2017 will be remembered as a year when the federal courts were significantly bolstered. We at the ACLJ applaud the U.S. Senate for making the confirmation of judicial nominees one of its highest priorities.
Vacancies on the federal circuit courts of appeals and the district courts are being filled with highly qualified individuals who have a deep regard for the rule of law. The President has done a remarkable job of picking originalists who will respect the rule of law and the Constitution. The nominees have experience that draws from numerous sources, such as stellar academic records, clerkships for Supreme Court Justices, tenures on their State Supreme Courts, and private practice experience in a variety of different fields. These nominees have also demonstrated a fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law.
This focus on the federal courts has resulted in a record number of federal judges confirmed in President Trump’s first year. A total of 18 federal judges have already been confirmed to date, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. In fact, 12 circuit court judges have been confirmed – more than have been confirmed in any previous President’s first year in office. It is one higher than the 11 who were confirmed in the first year of both President Nixon’s and President Kennedy’s Administrations.
Last week alone the Senate confirmed three circuit court nominees. Leonard Steven Grasz was confirmed to serve on the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett was confirmed to the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Of note, Judge Willett was named in 2016 by then-candidate Trump to his list of potential U.S. Supreme Court picks. Former Texas Solicitor General James Ho was also confirmed to serve as a circuit judge on the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
Perhaps one of the most familiar nominees is Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed to serve on the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Her rise to prominence in the national spotlight is due in large part to an attack on her faith by two leftist U.S. Senators. Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) infamously questioned Judge Barrett’s fitness to sit on the federal bench because she is a Christian, saying, ‘The dogma lives loudly within you.’ This type of bigoted questioning clearly violates the Constitution’s imperative that “no religious test” shall be required for any federal office.
We will continue forcefully urging the Senate to continue confirming judges to the federal bench in 2018 at a steady pace, as this is one of the most important steps to ensure the rule of law prevails in our great nation. We will also continue fighting for judges who respect the sanctity of life and hold a deep-seated belief in the Constitution as the law of the land.
President Trump and the U.S. Senate, led by Sen. McConnell and Chairman Grassley, must remain committed to a federal judiciary that reveres and defends the Constitution. This responsibility is one of the most significant factors to ensure our nation’s strength for decades to come.
List of Confirmed Judges so far: (in order of confirmation)
Circuit Court of Appeals:
Amul Thapar (6th)
John K. Bush (6th)
Kevin Newsom (11th)
Ralph R. Erickson (8th)
Amy Coney Barrett (7th)
Joan Larsen (6th)
Allison H. Eid (10th)
Stephanos Bibas (3rd)
Gregory Katsas (D.C.)
L. Steven Grasz (8th)
Don Willett (5th)
James C. Ho (5th)
United States District Courts:
David Nye (Idaho)
Timothy J. Kelly (D.C.)
Scott L. Palk (Western Oklahoma)
Trevor N. McFadden (D.C.)
Donald C. Coggins Jr. (S. Carolina)
Dabney L. Friedrich (D.C.)
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