Bench Memos

Activist Judges on the Docket for Lame Duck

One of the many pieces of mischief planned for the lame-duck session is the Democrats’ plan to move some of the most controversial judicial nominees through to a vote — including such notorious nominees as Goodwin Liu, whose far-left academic work Ed Whelan has exhaustively described; Edward Chen, the fan of Obama’s “empathy standard” who said he felt “ambivalent and cynical” about hearing “America the Beautiful” being played; John McConnell, the ACORN-linked darling of the trial lawyers’ lobby and heavy-hitting Democratic fundraiser; Louis “Loophole Louie” Butler, a former Wisconsin judge twice rejected by his state’s voters as a judicial activist; and even Robert Chatigny, whose egregious behavior trying to get a confessed serial murderer-rapist off death row because the convict was a “sexual sadist” earned him charges for judicial misconduct.

Chatigny’s nomination is scheduled for a committee vote tomorrow. If he is voted out of committee again — as he was earlier in this congress before his nomination lapsed over the August recess — he would be up for a floor vote during the lame-duck session. The Judicial Crisis Network, which released its Senate “judicial scorecard” prior to the November elections, has just released an alert to senators that any floor vote on Chatigny will be scored in its next scorecard. Let’s hope senators are watching and realize their votes count.

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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