Update on September 15: On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 to confirm Judge Lucy Koh to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Republican Sens. Grassley, Hatch, Graham, and Flake voted with the Democrats to confirm her. Meanwhile, Senator Hatch lectures conservatives on the importance of voting for Republicans to block lower court judges.
Why fight Obama’s dangerous refugee plan when you can just confirm more of his liberal judges? That appears to be the attitude of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa (D, 68%) in using the final days of the committee’s time before the election to further Obama’s agenda instead of saving the country from it.
As the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over immigration, Senator Grassley could be leading the fight to defund Obama’s imminent and dangerous increase in refugees and his numerous violations of immigration law. Instead, Grassley is planning to hold a committee vote on an appellate court nominee for Obama: the same Obama who has immutably remade the district and appellate courts. Grassley’s biggest concern is to grant the president more chances to pack the courts, even after the traditional shutoff for presidential nominees in the months leading up to a new election, known as the “Thurmond Rule,” has taken effect.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will conduct a vote on Lucy Haeran Koh to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Florence Y. Pan to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. It would be offensive enough to gratuitously give Obama more judicial nominees even if Republicans were doing good work in other areas on the committee. But the fact that Grassley has refused to mark up a bill offered by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) that would strip citizenship from ISIS fighters (S. 247), despite promising a committee vote for months, makes the gesture to the Left all the more insulting.
Grassley has time to promote Obama’s jailbreak agenda and confirm liberal judges, but lacks the will to advance one of the most common sense pieces of legislation in the Senate, one that would provide Republicans with a critical contrast to their opponents headed into the election.
Is there any wonder why Obama’s approval rating is so high, even though his domestic and foreign policy is a disaster and Obamacare, his signature accomplishment, is collapsing? Republicans spend their time codifying his agenda instead of exposing its failures.
Obama has already appointed 55 of the 179 active judges for the United States Courts of Appeals and 268 judges to the United States district courts out of 673 positions. Democrat-appointees hold a majority on 9 of the 13 circuits, including a 7-4 majority on the all-important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Further, a number of the Republican appointees are not full originalists, which makes the Eight Circuit the only remaining reliable circuit for sanity with the Fifth Circuit close behind depending on the panel. Why in the world would Grassley spend the final days of this legislative session giving Obama an increased legacy on the judiciary?
One could suggest the Ninth Circuit is already permanently insufferable and the appointment of a new liberal would be no worse than beating a dead horse. But there is significance in filling this vacant seat with an originalist because the individual who retired was Judge Harry Pregerson, perhaps the impetus for turning this circuit into a Kangaroo court since the Carter days. As I note in chapter five of Stolen Sovereignty, Judge Pregerson was instrumental in making the Ninth Circuit a sanctuary appeals court for illegal aliens and declaring war on Arizona for protecting state sovereignty. It would be nice to have a Republican president turn over the seat of such a rancid judicial tyrant.
Moreover, if this nomination is allowed to go through, Obama would have gotten his eighth pick to the Ninth Circuit. Also, the Ninth Circuit would become the only appeals court without a single vacancy. The notion that there is somehow a judicial emergency to pressure Republicans into confirming this judge is unfounded.
Ms. Koh, who is now a district judge in the Northern District of California, is well in line with the culture of Obama’s judicial appointments. In law school, she wrote that minority judges are well adept to siding with minorities but “still need to maintain the disguise of ‘objectivity’” and have “got to get more clever and say, look, we’re just as neutral as any sixty-year-old white man.”
Anyone who has followed our series of articles on the lower courts and the Fourteenth Amendment understands that the codification of the Democrat racial agenda into the Fourteenth Amendment is the single biggest threat to our system of governance. Clearly, Judge Koh is a champion of those non-judicious ethos.
The decision to confirm another judge to the District court for District of Columbia is equally as incomprehensible. Democrats now have 11 of the 12 active seats on the court and Obama has appointed nine of them!
Between Grassley’s refusal to consider vital anti-terror legislation, his capricious turnaround on reducing sentences for federal drug traffickers, and his late push for more Obama judges makes it clear, he is unfit to serve in this pivotal position at such a critical juncture.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.