Friday, April 01, 2022

April 2022 Judiciary News

 Happy Joe Biden day.

Nominations, Hearings, Confirmations:

Jackson:  During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Ketanji Brown Jackson endorsed originalism, saying "I’m looking at original documents. I am focusing on the original public meaning because I am constrained to interpret the text."  While she may not hold to that in office, this illustrates how the left has lost the argument over constitutional interpretation.

Jackson:  Responding to a question from Marsha Blackburn, Jackson stated that she could not define a the word 'woman', saying "I’m not a biologist".

Jackson repeatedly avoided or rejected progressive positions during her hearing, including on international law, police, and other issues.  She denied having anything to do with critical race theory, but Senator Ted Cruz showed that it is being taught in Georgetown Day School, where Jackson was trustee.  Jackson claimed that she was unaware of the case that struck down VMI's male-only admissions policy.  She also referred to Guam as a country.

Jackson:  Senator Josh Hawley accused Jackson of being soft of people who possess and distribute child porn, noting that she has often given sentences below the sentencing guidelines.  Andrew McCarthy argues that the attack is misguided, while Thomas Jipping gives it more credence.

Jackson:  In 2020, Jackson praised the 1619 Project, which uses the past existence of slavery to attack America.  It promoted many false historical claims, including that the American revolution was fought to protect slavery.

Jackson:  Ed Whelan argues that if confirmed, Jackson must recuse from the Harvard affirmative action case due to her being a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers.  She later agreed to do so.

Jackson:  A group of fake conservatives appointees of previous Republican presidents has endorsed Jackson's nomination.  This could serve as a convenient list of people a future R president should never appoint to anything.

Jackson:  Senator Lindsay Graham will oppose Jackson' nomination.  Susan Collins will support Jackson, and Lisa Murkowski has yet to announce a position.  They are the only three R senators to support Jackson for the DC Circuit.

SD-NY:  Over 20 progressive groups are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Biden  nominee Jennifer Rearden due to her work representing corporations against leftists.  She was previously nominated by Trump in 2020 on the recommendation of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

ED-WI:  Senator Dick Durbin will honor Senator Ron Johnson's (R) refusal to return a blue slip for judge William Pocan, who was nominated to ED-WI.  Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) refused to return a blue slip for Trump nominee Gordon Giampietro in 2018, so this may be a case of "turnabout is fair play".


The Federal Judiciary:

Thomas:  Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Thomas, sent texts to the White House discussing ways to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election.  The messages were leaked by the January 6 commission.  Many leftists have demanded that Justice Thomas recuse himself from cases related to January 6.  However, they took the opposite position when the spouses of judges Stephen Reinhardt and Cornelia Pillard engaged in ideological advocacy.

2nd Circuit:  The seat of Jose Cabranes will be filled by a nominee from Connecticut, due to an agreement by Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Blumenthal (D-CT).  Cabranes had ties to both News York and Connecticut and was appointed to D-CT by Carter.  On the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Clinton appointed him to a 2nd Circuit seat previously held by New Yorkers.

Vacancy Declarations:  There are now 111 current and future judicial vacancies.  New vacancies over the past month are listed below.
1st Circuit: Sandra Lynch (Clinton) TBD (senior)
WD-NC: Max Cogburn (Obama) TBD (senior)
9th Circuit: Sidney Thomas (Clinton) TBD (senior)

State Supreme Courts:

Kansas:  The Kansas legislature is considering changing the current "merit" selection of judges dominated by one special interest group, the Kansas Bar Association.  One proposal would institute direct election of judges, while the other would require senate confirmation of judges.  Either proposal would require a 2/3 majority in the legislature before going to the voters.

Maine:  Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ellen Gorman announced her intent to retire in January 2021.  Governor Janet Mills nominated District Court Judge Rick Lawrence to the court.  He is 66, and would be the first black justice on the court.

Montana:  Following clashes between the left-leaning judiciary and R-controlled legislature, incumbent Montana Supreme Court Justices James Rice and Ingrid Gustafson will face serious challenges for reelection.  Judge Mike McMahon and former MT GOP counsel and PSC President James Brown are challenging Gustafson.  Brown has been endorsed by the top Republicans in the state.

Utah:  Governor Spencer Cox nominated Utah Court of Appeals judge Diana Hagen to the Utah Supreme Court.  She clerked for Judge Tena Campbell (D-UT), served as a federal prosecutor, and was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2017.  She will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Constandinos Himonas.

West Virginia:  The West Virginia Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will interview nine applicants for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Evan Jenkins.  After interviewing candidates, they will submit three names to Governor Jim Justice for his choice.

Numbers and Trivia:

Chief Judges:  On March 31, David Barron became the Chief Judge of the 1st Circuit, taking over from Jeffrey Howard.  Barron was appointed by Obama in 2014.  The Presidents who appointed chief judges of the 13 appeals courts are Clinton (4), W (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, Fed), and Obama (1, 9, DC).


No comments: