President Donald Trump was praised Monday for the quality of the candidates he put forward as he announced his choices for 10 nominees to fill vacancies in the federal judiciary.
“President Trump is building on the success of his nomination of Justice Gorsuch with an outstanding new slate of nominees for the lower federal courts,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network.
“The nominees have stellar qualifications and a record of courageous commitment to the rule of law that will make them excellent additions to the federal bench. When it comes to fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint strong, principled judges, Trump is knocking it out of the park,” she said.
“The nominees make up an impressive list of highly respected jurists, attorneys and legal thinkers,” wrote Jonathan Adler in The Washington Post.
“Those of us who doubted Trump would take judicial nominations seriously may have some crow to eat. Especially when one looks at the names to be announced for appellate court vacancies, this is as strong a list of nominees as one could hope for.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the nominees were “chosen for their deep knowledge of the law” and their commitment to upholding constitutional principles.
Trump’s nominees included two judges who were on his list of possible Supreme Court nominees, the same list that Justice Neil Gorsuch had been on when Trump tapped him to serve on the court.
The New York Times published the list Monday morning, and said it included Joan Larsen, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and law professor at the University of Michigan, who serves on the Michigan Supreme Court is nominated to the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. David Stras, a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and law professor at the University of Minnesota, who serves on the Minnesota Supreme Court is being nominated to the 8th Circuit.
Trump will fill three other appellate vacancies by appointing Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame and another former law clerk to Justice Scalia, to the 7th Circuit in Chicago; John K. Bush, a lawyer in Louisville, Ky., to the 6th Circuit; and Kevin C. Newsom, a lawyer in Birmingham, Ala., and former law clerk to Justice David H. Souter, to the 11th Circuit.
Trump will make four appointments to federal district courts: Dabney L. Friedrich to the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia; Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer of the Federal District Court in Montgomery, Ala., to be a district judge there; David C. Nye, an Idaho state judge to the Federal District Court there; and Scott L. Palk, currently at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, to the Federal District Court in Oklahoma City.
Damien M. Schiff, a lawyer with the pro-property rights Pacific Legal Foundation, will be nominated to the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Prior to Monday’s nominations, Trump has put forward one nominee. Judge Amul Thapar, currently of the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, is awaiting Senate confirmation to be appointed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As reported by Western Journalism, Trump will have the opportunity to fill more than twice as many vacancies on the federal bench (over 100) as Barack Obama did when he took office in 2009.
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