President Trump just used the power vested in him to hit back at a liberal court famous for blocking his transformative agenda – the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that covers the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii.
Trump is not the first conservative to take issue with the reliably liberal-leaning court, in fact, most liberal lawsuits seek out this court as they view it favorably.
To be fair, the conservative lawyers oftentimes use the same tactics and try to get cases in front of more conservative judges in Texas.
Trump for his part is taking the somewhat unprecedented step and overruling Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and is appointing very conservative judges to the court in hopes of bringing some balance to it.
Usually, a president will take the advice of the Senators from states in the district before he appoints them effectively giving them veto power – this is called the blue slips – but this is more a polite practice than a hard rule and the conservatives asked Trump to go his own way.
And that is exactly what he did. From The Washington Times:
Two of the appeals court nominees — Daniel P. Collins and Kenneth Kiyul Lee — were names he’d submitted last year, while a third, Daniel A. Bress, is considered a rising star.
“We are relieved to see that the White House has decided to move forward with a list of extraordinarily qualified nominees,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.
The president also nominated Mark C. Scarsi, Jeremy B. Rosen and Stanley Blumenfeld to judgeships in the Central District of California.
Ms. Feinstein and Ms. Harris said they were disappointed in the White House’s selection for the 9th Circuit.
“The White House is moving forward with three nominees to a circuit court who have no judicial experience,” they said in a joint statement.
They also said Mr. Lee has controversial views on affirmative action and voting rights, while raising concerns with Mr. Collins’ temperament. The two senators also took issue with Mr. Bress, who lives in D.C. — not California.
A furious Feinstein took to Twitter and ripped the decision – elections have consequences, Dianne.
“I am deeply disappointed that the White House has chosen to re-nominate Daniel Collins and Kenneth Lee to the Ninth Circuit.
We made clear our opposition to these individuals and told the White House we wanted to work together to come to consensus on a new package of nominees.”
@SenKamalaHarris and I even identified candidates selected by the White House we could support to demonstrate our willingness to work cooperatively.
Unfortunately, the White House is moving forward with three nominees to a circuit court who have no judicial experience.”
Chairman Graham said he wants to protect senators’ role in nominations. The best way to do that is the blue-slip tradition. When a Democrat was president, Republicans strongly defended blue slips & Democrats honored them. That shouldn’t change because a Republican is president. pic.twitter.com/qfuK55U9OC
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 31, 2019
“Chairman Graham said he wants to protect senators’ role in nominations. The best way to do that is the blue-slip tradition.
When a Democrat was president, Republicans strongly defended blue slips & Democrats honored them. That shouldn’t change because a Republican is president.”