Trump Begins Effort to Pack Courts With Conservatives | NBC 10 Philadelphia
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Trump Begins Effort to Pack Courts With Conservatives

All nominees would require Senate confirmation

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Begins Effort to Pack Courts With Conservatives
    Evan Vucci/AP, File
    This April 11, 2017, file photo shows President Donald Trump in Washington.

    The Trump administration on Monday named 10 judges it plans to nominate for key posts as President Donald Trump works to pack the nation's federal courts with more conservative voices.

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that among the candidates are individuals previously named on Trump's list of 21 possible picks for Supreme Court justice. All nominees would require Senate confirmation.

    The announcement came less than a month after Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed, restoring the court's conservative tilt.

    Trump will nominate judges John K. Bush of Kentucky and Joan Larsen of Michigan for the bench of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. David Stras of Minnesota will be nominated for the 8th Circuit.

    Supreme Court Reinstates Much of Trump’s Travel Ban

    [NATL] Supreme Court Reinstates Much of Trump’s Travel Ban

    The Supreme Court reinstated parts of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and announced it will hear arguments on the case in October.

    (Published 4 hours ago)

    Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana will be nominated to serve on the 7th Circuit. Kevin Newsom of Alabama will be nominated as a circuit judge on the 11th Circuit.

    Also to be nominated for federal court positions are David Nye of Idaho, Scott L. Palk of Oklahoma and Damien M. Schiff of California.

    The president will also nominate two people for federal judgeships: Dabney L. Friedrich of Washington, D.C., and Terry F. Moorer of Alabama.

    While appeals courts tends to have a lower public profile, their role in adjudicating many of the orders and laws put forth by the administration is significant.

    Trump's earliest efforts to implement his agenda were dramatically derailed by the courts, which pushed back against his proposed travel ban and his order to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

    After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his immigration ban, Trump emphatically tweeted last February "SEE YOU IN COURT!" The administration vowed that it would re-appeal the ruling and either revise its original executive order or write a new one from scratch. But while a revised ban was later released, that too was blocked by the courts.

    Senate Struggles With Health Care as Trump Signs VA Bill

    [NATL] Senate Struggles With Health Care Reform as Trump Signs VA Bill

    Just one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released details of the Senate revised health care bill, five conservative senators expressed dissent with the current language of the bill. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, signed a law that makes it easier for the Department of Veteran Affairs to fire employees as part of a push for an agency overhaul. 

    (Published Friday, June 23, 2017)

    Trump said last month that he is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit, a federal appeals court that covers Western states and which has long been a target of Republicans. It would take congressional action to break up the 9th U.S. Circuit, and Republicans introduced bills this year to do just that.

    Gorsuch's 66-day confirmation process was swift, but bitterly divisive. It saw Senate Republicans trigger the "nuclear option" to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold for Gorsuch and all future high court nominees. The change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

    Most Democrats refused to support Gorsuch because they were still seething over the Republican blockade last year of President Barack Obama's pick for the same seat, Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for Garland, saying a high court replacement should be up to the next president.

    "With this first slate of lower court nominees, it seems that the President is intent on continuing to outsource the judicial selection process to hard right, special interest groups rather than consulting with Senators on a bipartisan basis," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement. "The president should work with members of both parties to pick judges from within the judicial mainstream, who will interpret the law rather than make it."

    Larsen, a former professor at the University of Michigan law school, has served on the Michigan Supreme Court bench since September 2015 and has written majority opinions in five cases.

    Stras, 42, would join a court that already is dominated by Republican nominees. Larsen and Newsom would replace judges who also were nominated by Republicans.

    Senate Releases Health Care Bill

    [NATL] Senate Releases Health Care Bill

    U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell released the GOP's health care overhaul on Thursday. The 142-page proposal includes massive cuts to Medicaid, cuts in taxes for the wealthy and defunding of Planned Parenthood for at least one year. The Congressional Budget Office has not had a chance to score the Senate's bill yet. Under the House bill, the CBO found found that 23 million Americans would lose their   coverage by 2026.

    (Published Thursday, June 22, 2017)

    Among the nominees are four lawyers who once served as Supreme Court law clerks. Stras worked for Justice Clarence Thomas and Newsom served under Justice David Souter. Larsen and Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett worked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Bush authored a Supreme Court brief in a high-profile case about race and public schools. Bush wrote on behalf of the local Chamber of Commerce in defense of the Jefferson County, Kentucky, school system plan to maintain diversity in local schools. In 2007, the court's conservative majority ruled 5-4 in favor of challengers to the school system.