Bench Memos

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Eleven days ago, President Bush nominated Anthony Trenga to a federal district judgeship in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Trenga is an accomplished attorney, but I see no evidence that he shares the Bush administration’s judicial philosophy.  Indeed, it’s passing strange that President Bush would nominate someone who donated to John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, and to Democrat Mark Warner’s current Senate race against Jim Gilmore, and to Democrat Jim Webb’s campaign against George Allen in 2006.  Trenga also supported Democratic candidates in the 2001 and 2005 Virginia gubernatorial races and in three key Northern Virginia state senate races in 2007 (including an unsuccessful effort to unseat conservative stalwart Ken Cuccinelli and a successful effort—leading to Democrats control of the state senate—against Rep. Tom Davis’s wife).  Surely the White House could have found a fully qualified Republican for the position.


What next?  Maybe awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to a hard-core leftist partisan like Donna Shalala?  Oh, wait—that already happened last month. 


What is going on?  (So far as I have been able to discover, the Trenga nomination is not part of a broader deal on moving Fourth Circuit nominees.)


As the reader who informed me of Trenga’s record of contributions wrote me:  “Don’t [the folks in the White House] understand how this demoralizes GOP activists who actually donate money and time to get our guys elected?  What’s the point, when a GOP administration rewards the other side’s supporters, especially when our best judicial nominees are going nowhere?”


Update:  I’ve supplemented, and in one respect corrected, my initial account of Trenga’s contributions.

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