- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2018

President Trump announced a new wave of 20 judicial nominees Tuesday, including top posts for a close aide to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and a replacement for a district judgeship where Mr. Trump’s first candidate washed out in the confirmation process.

Six of the 20 picks are women, and they are a young group — particularly the three nominees for the critical circuit courts of appeals — making good on conservatives’ goal of trying to reshape the judiciary for years to come.

The circuit court nominees are: Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt C. Grant for the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals, David J. Porter also for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Paul B. Matey for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat, pushed back against Mr. Porter’s nomination, saying he’s worked as a lawyer against legal theories that run afoul with workers rights and access to health care.

Mr. Casey said he and his fellow home state Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, had worked together to name candidates they wanted to see the Trump administration consider.

“It is unfortunate that this administration has decided to nominate, over my objections, an individual who is far outside the mainstream to a lifetime appointment to one of the most important courts in the nation: the Third Circuit Court of Appeals,” Mr. Casey said.

Under Senate tradition, in order to receive a hearing by the Judiciary Committee, judicial nominees need their home state senators to return a blue slip, showing acquiescence in the pick.

If Mr. Toomey sides with Mr. Casey over the administration, Mr. Porter’s nomination could hang in limbo.

Mr. Matey, like Mr. Porter, could also face a hold up since he comes from New Jersey, a state with two Democratic senators. It’s unclear if either Sen. Bob Menendez or Sen. Cory Booker will withhold their blue slips. Neither senator responded for a request for comment.

But Philly.com reported the two lawmakers made a deal to back Mr. Matey, who was deputy general counsel to Mr. Christie, in exchange for the president nominating some of their preferred picks for district court judgeships.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump also moved to name Andrew L. Brasher to the Middle District of Alabama, as a replacement to Brett Talley. Mr. Talley had to withdraw his nomination last year after it was revealed he did not disclose to the Judiciary Committee that his wife worked for the White House counsel’s office and that he wrote partisan, controversial blog posts.

The announcement comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to confirm three of Mr. Trump’s previous judicial nominees this week.

The first nominee, Claria Horn Boom for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 96 to 1. Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, voted against Ms. Boom.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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