Not Good: Senate Judiciary Committee Pauses Judicial Nominations for Impeachment Trial


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., gives opening remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

The impeachment trial may now be causing another casualty that we really can’t afford.

One of the greatest achievements of the Trump presidency in combination with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate Judiciary Committee has been the approval of a ton of judicial nominations to the federal bench. Neither rain nor snow (cocaine) nor dark of night has kept Cocaine Mitch from his appointed rounds of getting them pushed through at record pace. As we have seen, this has wrought an enormous change already, bringing greater Constitutional sanity back to the judiciary.

But Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has been demanding that the Senate Judiciary Committee stop advancing any of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees while he is under impeachment.

“The Senate should not be advancing any judicial nominees at a time when this body is considering removing from office the man who nominates them,” Harris declared.

Now, of course, the answer to that should be a flat-out no. Not to mention that all the Democrats who are/were running for president or have made previous statements in favor of impeachment are inherently conflicted and should recuse themselves, by the Democrats’ own “rules.” When will she be arguing that?

Harris was joined by others, who similarly pushed to stop the approval of judicial nominees.

From Bloomberg:

Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat and Judiciary committee member, criticized the decision to hold a meeting after the articles of impeachment were walked over to the Senate on Wednesday, saying it didn’t align with precedent.

“In contrast to our meeting today, during the Clinton impeachment process, this committee did not vote on any judicial nominees or hold any judicial nomination hearing once the articles of impeachment were transmitted to the Senate,” Hirono said.

More than two dozen liberal-leaning groups signed a letter to Senate leadership requesting a pause on the nominations during impeachment trial proceedings.

The problem, as a practical matter, is that it’s the Senate Judiciary Committee that handles both impeachments and judicial nominations. So whether or not you want to accede to Harris and the other liberals, that creates a logistical issue.

Now Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, appears to indicated that they will not be continuing on nominations until after the impeachment trial is over.

“We’ll see you after impeachment,” Graham said Thursday before adjourning a committee meeting for several judicial nominees who included Trump’s pick for a Atlanta-based appeals court, Andrew Brasher.

It is still unclear, however, if nominees on the floor will move forward during periods when senators aren’t engaged in the trial, which is set to start on Jan. 21.

There has been some talk of it possibly running about two weeks. But if they go to witnesses, it could take much longer and that would give Democrats another way to muck up the works in what’s already a huge travesty.

Graham needs to get it done in the two weeks and/or find a work around so they don’t stop their main goal.