Senators Continue to Block Qualified Judicial Appointees

President Trump has attempted to realign the courts around the Constitution after decades of judges who adhered to a “judicial activism” approach. In his first 200 days, President Trump appointed more judges than either President Obama, Bush, or Clinton did in that time period. Although President Trump has been effective in appointing qualified and respected candidates, the Senate has been agonizingly slow to confirm these judges.

Appointed over three months ago, three nominees have yet to even receive a hearing due to senators refusing to hand in their “blue slips.” This process enables senators to obstruct and play politics rather than doing their jobs in an already slow-moving Congress. A quick look at these nominees show there is no reason for Democrats to continue preventing these nominees from serving on the federal bench.

Allison Eid

Raised by a single mother in Spokane, Washington, Allison Eid has risen from modest means to become one of the most prominent legal scholars and judges in Colorado. Eid’s determination and work ethic led her to attend Stanford University and the University of Chicago Law School. After clerkships with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Eid moved to Colorado to practice law.

After a brief stint in private practice, Eid became a tenured professor at the University of Colorado Law School and was subsequently appointed the state’s solicitor general. One year later, she became a member of the Colorado Supreme Court. A former colleague stated that this impressive resume isn’t the only factor making her a great nominee for the Tenth Circuit:

“Her experiences and her character are what set her apart. The challenges she faced — particularly in her childhood — forged an unsurpassed work ethic and sense of empathy. Eid commits her full mental energy and attention to each case, carefully mastering every legal and factual detail in order to conduct a rigorous analysis dictated ultimately by the law.”

Stephanos Bibas

As one of the country’s top criminal-law scholars, Stephanos Bibas will bring a superb legal insight to the federal bench. Bibas’ education is second to none. Graduating from Columbia University at the age of 19, Bibas went on to receive a Master’s Degree at Oxford University and law degree from Yale Law School – where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Equally impressive as his education, Bibas’ career is highlighted by his criminal justice scholarship and six appearances before the Supreme Court. Bibas’ academic work has also influenced the Supreme Court and was cited by Justice Scalia in the majority opinion of Blakely v. Washington – which reaffirmed citizens’ due process rights.

121 law professors from around the country wrote to the Senate judiciary committee urging his confirmation to the Third Circuit. One of his colleagues stated Bibas’ approach that he would bring to the bench:

“He is not dogmatic; he is committed to evidence, facts, and logic. He is deeply invested in collegiality, and he values diverse perspectives. He has intellectual and personal qualities—integrity, compassion, and diligence—we should hope for in our federal judges.” 

David Stras

The support across the political spectrum for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras is near deafening. Championing Stras’ apolitical approach to deciding a case, over 100 Minnesota lawyers and 6 former Minnesota Supreme Court Justices declared that Stras is, “not only a top-notch jurist, but as a judge who decides cases without regard to political affiliation or party lines.”

Upon graduating from the University of Kansas School of Law, Stras clerked for judges from the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts, as well as clerking for Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. After these impressive clerkships, Stras became a law professor at the University of Minnesota. His academic work appeared in multiple prominent academic journals and he also received the Stanely V. Kinyon Tenure Track Teacher of the Year.

Justice David Stras would be great addition to the Eight Circuit. In addition to the broad support and impeccable background, Stras’ judicial philosophy reflects the Founding Fathers’ belief of what a judge should be. Stras states:

“I remain mindful that the role of a judge is a limited one, and that judges can’t solve every problem. But at the same time, judges play a crucial role in safeguarding liberty and protecting the rights of all citizens.”

These nominees are clearly qualified and fit to serve on the federal bench, but senators are playing political games with their confirmations. If certain senators are not willing to put partisan politics aside, then the Senate needs to do what’s best for all Americans – eliminate the blue slip process.

Preventing these qualified nominees from serving on the federal bench is not only doing a disservice to their constituents, but those who sacrificed to protect this country and the liberties enshrined in the Constitution.

Tell your senator to take a stand against obstruction and abandon the blue-slips here.