- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2018

The ten Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a 60 page report Thursday blasting Republicans for their rush to confirm “right-wing ideological nominees” with little vetting.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s ranking member, said President Trump has had more circuit court nominees confirmed in his first 328 days in office than any other president since the circuit court system was created in 1891.

Mr. Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, have vocalized their commitment to filling the federal bench, which had an unprecedented amount of vacancies when Mr. Trump took office.

“Sustained efforts by Senate Republicans to block President Obama’s judicial nominees were intended to hold seats open for a Republican president,” the report read.

The research revealed the GOP-led Senate handed Mr. Trump 112 vacancies on his first day, which represents 12 percent of the entire federal judiciary. President Obama, in contrast, had 53 vacancies when he entered office.

It revealed the Republican majority held open 18 seats on the federal bench during Mr. Obama’s term, six for circuit courts and 12 were for district court slots.

According to the Democrats, Mr. Trump’s nominees are also getting confirmed eight times faster than Mr. Obama’s nominees were, bucking complaints from Republicans that they’re slow-walking the judicial picks by filibustering to eat up floor time.

The report also blasts Senate Republicans for not honoring the blue slip tradition, which allows senators from the home state of a nominee to signifying acquiescence in the confirmation.

On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing for a nominee to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Ryan Bounds, without either senator from Oregon returning a blue slip.

It also found only 11 percent of the president’s circuit court picks are people of color, while just 19 percent are women.

Republicans also are moving forward with judicial nominees that admit to using marijuana during their FBI background checks, which is not standard practice for the committee.

According to the report, Mr. Trump had five judicial nominees not renominated after the Senate returned from its winter recess, and three of those nominees had troubling commentary, which raised concerns over their impartiality if confirmed.

“While these nominees were never confirmed, they are emblematic of the types of nominees President Trump is choosing,” the report read.


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