According to Debra Cassens Weiss, reporting for the American Bar Association Journal, the
Judicial Conference of the United States on Tuesday recommended that Congress create 79 new judgeships, including two on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco.
The proposal recommends creation of 77 new district court judgeships and two appellate judgeships. It also proposes that nine temporary district judgeships be converted to permanent status. The breakdown is here.
The proposal would give California the most new district court judgeships—30 in all. It would also add 11 new judges in Florida and 12 new judges in Texas.
If enacted, this plan would place 79 new Far Left liberal Democrat judges on the federal bench in the target states. The effect of this plan would be like planting two dozen car bombs in Texas and Florida, where they will blow-up voter ID, religious liberty and the right-to-life in two of the freest and most constitutionally conservative states in the nation, which are also key parts of the Republican electoral coalition.
Or maybe 23 toxic waste dumps would be a better analogy, since these appointments would pollute the relatively conservative Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and tip the balance in the California-centered Ninth Circuit back to a Far Left progressive majority.
Oddly enough, this pressing need did not surface until Democrats controlled who would be appointed and where the new judges would be based.
In any event, the effect of this plan would be to undo the results of the one area where former President Trump and his nemesis, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, were able to agree and get things done – the confirmation of dozens of more conservative federal judges.
In the Ninth Circuit, Trump appointed the successors to the late Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Harry Pregerson, two of the most liberal circuit judges in the nation, and because of Trump’s success in filling vacancies in the Ninth Circuit, the San Francisco-based circuit, long dominated by Democratic appointees, shifted to the right, with an even more pronounced tilt expected in the years ahead.
By the end of his term Trump named 10 judges to the Ninth Circuit — more than one-third of its active judges according to reporting by the Los Angeles Times.
The Ninth Circuit court has been dominated by Democratic appointees for decades. In 1978, a federal law created 10 new judgeships on the court, allowing President Jimmy Carter to fill them all. Thus, with Democratic nominees heavily outnumbering Republicans, there were usually enough votes to overturn conservative decisions by three-judge panels.
President Trump “flipped” the Eleventh Circuit in 2019, giving Republican-appointed judges a majority over their colleagues appointed by Democrats. As Bloomberg Law noted, the realignment on the Eleventh Circuit may be important for election law cases, which frequently arise in the three states it covers: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
One of Trump's key appointments to the Eleventh Circuit was Andrew Brasher, former solicitor general of Alabama, who signed Alabama’s amicus brief to support a conservative position in the landmark Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder. He argued congressional renewal of that law was not constitutional in that brief. And the high court ultimately ruled 5-4 that a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was unlawful.
Lest you think we are being overdramatic here's what Georgia's newly elected Leftwing Democrat Senators Warnock and Ossoff have in mind for the Eleventh Circuit when they created an advisory panel to help recommend candidates for the federal judicial positions.
The commission's leader is Far Left Democrat Leah Ward Sears, a former Georgia Supreme Court chief justice who is now a partner at the corporate law firm Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP. She was the first woman on the state high court and the first African-American woman to serve as chief justice on any state's supreme court.
Diversity would be a top priority in a state where about 80% of judges are white men, she said. She also hinted at countering former President Donald Trump's impact after he appointed judges who were 84% white, 76% male and often conservative. His six picks for Georgia were five white men and one Hispanic man
"Making sure that the judiciary remains balanced is an important goal of mine, not just in terms of race and gender and all of that diversity and inclusion, but in terms of philosophies," Sears told Law360 on Wednesday. "We should never have it skewed in either direction, and I thought it got kind of skewed in the last four years."
In the Fifth Circuit, Trump's appointments, according to interviews conducted by The Texas Tribune with experts and lawyers who practice before the Court, “shifted an already right-leaning court toward a more monolithic brand of conservatism. These are judges, experts say, whose views are less hidden and whose outcomes are easier to predict… The court was already mostly conservatives; but these conservatives, experts say, are something different.”
If the Fifth Circuit is a focal point of the federal bench, wrote Emma Platoff of the Texas Tribune, then its focal point might be James C. Ho, “who has the support from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and worked under then-Attorney General Abbott. Ho had never served as a judge before his investiture this year. But he has already begun to draw national attention for his sharp rhetoric.”
“In his very first writing for the court, Ho dissented from 12 of his new colleagues, writing a scathing 11 pages admonishing them for letting stand a campaign finance decision he said seriously eroded free speech protections.”
“The Fifth Circuit had upheld an Austin campaign donation limit — a maximum individual contribution of $350 to a city council candidate. His opinion seemed to challenge all restrictions on campaign donations, arguing that “if you don’t like big money in politics, then you should oppose big government in our lives.”
“If there is too much money in politics, it’s because there’s too much government,” Ho wrote. A cash-flooded campaign system, he added, is “the inevitable result of a government that would be unrecognizable to our Founders.”
And just a month ago, Trump-appointed Judge Drew Tipton put an indefinite nationwide halt to President Joe Biden’s 100-day ban on deportations. Tipton wrote in his order that Texas would incur costs for detaining immigrants within the state. “Texas' claimed injury from unanticipated detention costs is sufficiently concrete and imminent. The harm is concrete or de facto because Texas incurs real financial costs in detaining criminal aliens,” Judge Tipton wrote.
The ruling, reported Julián Aguilar of the Texas Tribune, is a victory for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who sued to block Biden’s order three days into the Biden administration. Paxton’s office argued the state would face financial harm if undocumented immigrants were released into the state because of costs associated with health care and education, and he said the moratorium would also lure others to Texas.
The chances a Biden appointee to the Fifth Circuit would issue such a ruling, let alone make it nationwide is zilch – which is of course exactly why Democrats want to pollute the conservative majorities in the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits with two dozen new Far Left progressives and tilt the Ninth Circuit back to its historical majority of whacky Far Left progressives.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard is (1-866-220-0044) we urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Representative and Senators; tell them you oppose the Democrat plan to plant two dozen Far Left progressive judges to harry the conservative states of Florida and Texas.
James C. Ho
Judge Drew Tipton