Confirmation Drumbeat: GOP-Held Senate Approves Sixth Trump Nominee to Ninth Circuit, 41st Overall

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Posted: May 22, 2019 2:05 PM
Confirmation Drumbeat: GOP-Held Senate Approves Sixth Trump Nominee to Ninth Circuit, 41st Overall

It's time, once again, to hail the important and historic progress being made in the Republican-held United States Senate on the judicial confirmation front.  Having adopted and modestly expanded Democrats' endless and ends-oriented power grabs of years past, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has wisely prioritized the reshaping of the federal judiciary.  He and his conference have steadily and diligently worked to tip the balance away from the Obama-era deluge of liberal judges, and toward constitutionalism.  No recent partnership in Washington has been more lastingly impactful than the Trump-McConnell alliance, resulting in this ongoing generational shift -- and with all the other noise in Washington, this issue has flown under the radar.  But McConnell knows the score.  Here he is applauding the confirmation of the 41st circuit court judge of the Trump presidency, marking the sixth Trump appointment to the infamously left-wing Ninth Circuit Court of appeals:

“Since President Trump took office in 2017, the Senate has confirmed 41 well-qualified individuals to serve on our nation’s circuit courts. Number 41 was Daniel Collins of California, whom we confirmed yesterday to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As I’ve noted already, Mr. Collins came before the Senate with every conceivable indicator of a brilliant legal mind and an impeccable professional record. I was proud that the full Senate followed up the Judiciary Committee’s favorable report with a majority vote here on the floor. But our work this week is just beginning. Yesterday the Senate also advanced four more nominees – these, to serve on district courts across the country. Today, we will vote to confirm all four." 

Collins was strongly opposed by California's two Democratic US Senators, citing his views on abortion and religious liberty.  He was rated well-qualified by the left-leaning American Bar Association, and was given the green light by the full Senate, along party lines, all thanks to the Reid Rule. The Ninth Circuit remains solidly liberal, but Trump has meaningfully chipped away at the lopsided ideological balance that he inherited:

Trump has already “flipped” the Third Circuit to majority-Republican appointees, and could soon do the same at the Second Circuit. But he’s unlikely to flip the Ninth Circuit in the near future. It now has 16 Democratic-appointed judges and 11 tapped by Republicans. Still, his appointees could provide dissenting voices that might moderate majority opinions. They can also write dissents that might encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision.

Meanwhile, here is the quartet of District Court nominees expected to be confirmed later today:


Most famously, President Trump has installed two constitutionalist justices on the United States Supreme Court thus far -- although as we've recently been reminded, conservative-leaning justices can't always be counted upon to vote in lock step with one another, the way the liberal bloc almost always does.  I'll leave you with McConnell leaning into the Left's deep-seated loathing of him as he enters another re-election cycle in Kentucky, followed by some unlikely praise from a notorious hater of so-called 'establishment' Republicans:

Call him “Cocaine Mitch,” “Nuclear Mitch” or the steward of the “legislative graveyard.” Mitch McConnell says he’s the “Grim Reaper” anyway, so he’s loving every minute of it. While his critics have tried to make the Kentucky Republican public enemy No. 1, the Senate GOP leader has embraced the demonization in a bid to protect his Senate majority, his own seat and his title as longest serving Senate GOP leader in U.S. history... “His enemies have given him more personality than he’s given himself,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said. “And he’s smart enough to play the game.”


We live in unusual times. Re-electing McConnell, and maintaining his status as majority leader, is an urgent 2020 priority for conservatives.