The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Senate Will Confirm Federal Judicial Nominees

For the last eight years, we had a president who said a criterion for lifetime judicial positions was not a person’s dedication to applying the law equally, giving every litigant a fair shake, and ruling based on the actual meaning of our Constitution and laws — but rather on their bias toward certain groups or ideologies over others. The so-called “empathy standard” is great standard if you’re the party in the case for whom the judge has empathy. It’s not so great if you’re the other person.

But the American people have now elected a president who takes quite a different view.

President Trump has done a terrific job of nominating judges who are committed to ensuring that the courts perform their intended function in our system of government. I have stated many times the Senate’s determination to confirm the president’s judicial nominees, regardless of the often-mindless partisan obstruction we’ve been seeing from across the aisle. It did not stop us from advancing several nominees this past week. It will not stop us from confirming several more next week.

I just took action to set up votes on four more well-qualified nominees for our nation’s Circuit Courts: Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett, nominee for the Seventh Circuit, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, nominee for the Sixth Circuit, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid, nominee for the Tenth Circuit, and University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephanos Bibas, nominee for the Third Circuit. By confirming these nominees, we can take a big step toward ensuring that our nation’s appellate courts interpret and apply the law based on what it actually says, not what a judge wishes it might say.

We’ll take up the Barrett nomination on Monday. Amy Barrett is a professor of law at one of our nation’s premier law schools. Notre Dame happens to be a Catholic university. Amy Barrett happens to be a nominee who is Catholic — and who speaks freely and openly about her faith and its importance to her. For some on the Left, that seems to be a disqualifying factor for her nomination. They seem to have forgotten we do not have religious tests for office in this country. Amy Barrett is going to make an outstanding federal Circuit Court judge. We’re going to confirm her. I say the same for Ms. Larsen, Ms. Eid, and Mr. Bibas.

Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley has done an excellent job of reviewing judicial nominations and reporting them to the full Senate. Democratic obstruction will likely mean that we’ll have to take more of the Senate’s time to get the job done. But we will confirm these nominees. You can count on it.


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