Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

How Trump is reshaping the federal courts

During the Republican primary election season, after then-candidate Donald Trump said that he might appoint his liberal sister to the Supreme Court, conservatives were justifiably nervous about who the unknown GOP nominee might actually appoint to the federal bench.

If confirmed, Kevin C. Newsom of Alabama will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Stras formerly clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and is known to share the view of a limited role for the judiciary.

The 42-year-old Kansas native, the first Jewish man on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and his wife, Heather, have two children.

Appointed by President George W. Bush to the Eastern District of Kentucky court in 2007, Judge Thapar has demonstrated fidelity to the text of the laws passed by Congress and the text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights authored by our Founding Fathers.

The New York Times, which first reported Stras was a Trump pick, said that the Monday announcement of 10 nominees was the first of many to fill 120 federal court openings.

"The campaign list was put together from the Heritage Foundation, as well as the Federalist Society, and as the president said last September when it was released, these 'highly respected people are the kind of scholars that we need to preserve the very core of our country and make it greater than ever before.' The president followed the principles that were used to guide that list to select the additional eight individuals", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. The job requires approval by the Senate.

President Donald Trump nominated a Minnesota Supreme Court justice to a St. Louis-based federal appeals court.

Trump will nominate Joan Larsen, who now serves on Michigan's Supreme Court, to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and David Stras, a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court bench, to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

By naming ten nominees just four weeks after the White House finished its selection and confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, President Trump has demonstrated his commitment to speedy judicial nominations.

If confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett of IN will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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State Trial Judge David C. Nye of Idaho, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

President Trump tapped Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Damien Schiff for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which hears monetary claims against the government.

Magistrate Judge Terry F. Moorer of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, nominated to be a district judge on that court.

While appeals courts tends to have a lower public profile, their role in adjudicating numerous 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. Environmental Protection Agency before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats gave up the right to filibuster nominees for the lower courts. The change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority.

HORSLEY: Indeed, Trump came into office with a chance to fill more than twice as many court vacancies as President Obama had. 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 NY said in a statement. Justice Joan Larsen now serves as the 111th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. "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".

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who as a Judiciary Committee member will have a vote in confirming Stras, both complemented and questioned the jurist.

"Our only regret", they wrote, "is that she will no longer be able to continue as a Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court, where she has served with distinction". He got two left-leaning women onto the Court: Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice, and Elena Kagan, his former solicitor general.

She was a law clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative giant on the court, and spoke at a memorial following his death in February.

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