Archive for the 'Judicial Nominations' Category
Gov. Scott Walker “is positioned to further tip the balance within the judicial branch” by appointing “a reckless partisan” to fill a vacancy, a Madison.com editorial says.
The editorial argues for reforms to maintain impartial courts that include public financing of judicial elections and removal of a governor’s authority to appoint Supreme Court justices.
As an alternative route to avoid partisanship, four groups recently urged Walker not to appoint one of three declared candidates for the court next year to fill the vacancy (see Gavel Grab). Naming one of the candidates now would would “exacerbate the shrill partisan and mean-spirited tone for the upcoming election,” the groups said. Read more
The Senate voted 69-21 to confirm President Obama’s nomination of Dale Drozd as a judge for the Eastern District of California. The judgeship has been vacant for 1,069 days, according to Huffington Post, and was deemed a “judicial emergency.”
It was the seventh confirmation of a judicial nominee this year. The Huffington Post article repeated a criticism that Republicans in control of the Senate are slow-walking judicial nominees for partisan gain. Republicans say that overall, the president is getting his nominees confirmed at a regular pace. Read more
Three people, including two sitting judges, have applied to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court created by the recent death of Justice Patrick Crooks.
Those who applied for the vacancy are Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley, Dane County Circuit Judge Jim Troupis and Madison lawyer Claude Covelli, the Associated Press reported. Bradley’s interest in the post was made public earlier; she is one of three declared candidates seeking election to the seat in 2016.
A Walker spokesman said the governor will talk to candidates for the appointment after hearing recommendations of those who conduct a first round of interviews, including his deputy legal counsel, the chair of the Judicial Selection Advisory Committee and a former committee member.
With the Senate having confirmed only a handful of judicial nominees so far this year at the hands of Republicans who “have virtually shut down the confirmation process, we are headed to a judicial vacancy crisis,” Sen. Patrick Leahy said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Leahy is senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the committee’s Republican chairman, has countered that the committee has been doing its job holding nomination hearings and that foes have distorted the actual track record of the Senate, in Republican hands since January. Read more
For Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy with an already declared candidate would give that person an advantage in next year’s election, and he should leave the seat open for now, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial says.
Alternatively, if the governor feels he must make an appointment, he ought to name a justice who would not be a candidate next year, the editorial adds. It concludes:
“Maybe the state should change the way it selects justices; we’ve argued that. But right now, Wisconsin voters still make that choice — and Walker should allow them to make that choice without giving an advantage to one candidate.”
At Madison.com, Chris Rickert has a political analysis of the latest developments, titled “Hope for Scott Walker’s opponents, if not for Supreme Court elections.”
Across the country, numerous federal court judges are spread thin, facing a backlog of cases, calling on semiretired judges for help and wondering if they will ever get reinforcements, a lengthy Huffington Post article says.
Jennifer Bendery’s article is chock full of data about vacant judgeships, high caseloads, deemed “judicial emergencies” and partisan politics in Washington over filling the vacancies. It also gives a glimpse of the impact of vacancies on people who use the courts: “The problem is, when court seats go unfilled, cases get seriously delayed and regular people suffer. In a civil case, that means someone suing an employer for discrimination will wait years to go before a judge. In a criminal case, that means defendants can finish their jail terms before their case is even resolved.” Read more
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Joan Larsen, University of Michigan special counsel to the dean for student and graduate activities, to a vacancy on the state Supreme Court.
Larsen once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. She was deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush from January 2002 to May 2003, according to a Detroit Free Press article.
It was Snyder’s third appointment to the high court, and his first appointment of a woman to that court. She was named to fill a vacancy created by the recent resignation of Justice Mary Beth Kelly.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is weighing appointment to the state Supreme Court of a candidate running for the court next year, it was reported by the Associated Press, based on a Twitter message sent by the governor. The appointment would fill a vacancy created by the death of Justice N. Patrick Crooks.
The AP said Walker is “sending signals” that he might appoint state Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley. At the same time, another declared candidate, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Donald, said Walker should only appoint someone who would step aside after next year’s election, to make way for the election winner, if indeed Walker appoints a justice now. Read more
With Gov. Scott Walker seeking applicants for a vacant judgeship on the state Supreme Court, four groups are urging him not to appoint one of three declared candidates running in next year’s election.
Naming one of the candidates now would would “exacerbate the shrill partisan and mean-spirited tone for the upcoming election,” the groups said in a letter, according to the Associated Press. They are Common Cause in Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Wisconsin Voices.
The vacancy resulted from the recent death of Justice N. Patrick Crooks, who was not planning to run for a new term next year. Walker announced on Monday his interest in hearing from applicants for the post, with a deadline of Friday for applications, according to a separate AP article.
A Wall Street Journal article is bringing renewed scrutiny to the way Supreme Court justices are selected in New York, highlighting accusations that the party convention process can often be “opaque and undemocratic.”
The article focuses on the recent nomination for the state Supreme Court, by judicial delegates for the Democratic Party, of Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson. He was transformed quickly into a court nominee from a candidate for re-election “without a vote being cast,” the newspaper said. It presented two sides about the way judges are selected for the Supreme Court through the party convention method:
“’To say it is an election is a joke,’ said Michael Cardozo, who served as New York City’s chief legal officer under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and for years led efforts to change the process. ‘You are playing right into the party bosses’ hands, completely.’” Read more