President Trump continues 9th Circuit makeover

Over objections of Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, Senate votes 52-45 to confirm Kenneth Lee to the influential appeals court

Kenneth Lee has been confirmed as a member of the 9th circuit. (image from Alliance for Justice)

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed a controversial nominee to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over the objections of both home-state senators.

Senators voted 52-45 on Kenneth Lee’s nomination to the influential appeals court, giving President Trump his 40th circuit judge since taking office.

Lee’s confirmation came despite neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, nor Sen. Kamala Harris(D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential contender, returning a blue slip on his nomination.

The blue-slip rule — a precedent upheld by Senate tradition — has historically allowed a home-state senator to stop a lower-court nominee by refusing to return the blue slip to the Judiciary Committee. How strictly the precedent is upheld is decided by the committee chairman, and enforcement has varied depending on who wields the gavel.

Lee is the fifth appeals judge this year to be confirmed without a blue slip returned from both home-state senators. Before 2019, no appeals judge had been confirmed without a blue slip returned from at least one home-state senator.

Feinstein said the vote on Lee marked the first time that the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s blue slip has been ignored.

“Lee repeatedly failed to turn over more than 75 controversial writings and submitted many only after we identified them. Lee took controversial positions in these writings on race, civil rights and voting rights. His lack of candor with the committee should concern all senators,” Feinstein wrote in a tweet.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked Lee ahead of the vote, saying he is an example of a Trump nominee who wants to “turn the clock backwards.”

“His past writings reveal shocking positions on race and diversity, affirmative action, educational opportunity, women’s reproductive freedom. He once wrote that multiculturalism is a ‘malodorous sickness’ and that sexism … to be ‘irrelevant pouting.’ That’s a man who should be on the bench?” Schumer asked.

Lee has come under fire for his college writings on issues such as sexual assault and AIDS.

In a 1994 law review article, he wrote that “a scientific explanation exists for the higher incidence of AIDS in the gay community. Homosexuals are more promiscuous than heterosexuals, and thus their risk factor increases exponentially.”

During his confirmation hearing, Lee said he was “embarrassed” by the article.

Full story at The Hill.

Comments

  1. Ignoring traditions can frequently turn around to bite when the shoe is on the other foot.

    • Mike m. that has been done all along. The Dred Scott decisions (pro slavery,) put in by the Supreme Court was overturned by a later court.

      As for me, I like what Abraham Lincoln said, “As I would not be a slave, I would not own one.” That to me follows the Golden Rule. Even indentured servants in the Old Testament were later freed after their debts had been paid.

  2. anonymous says

    Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today congratulated Judge Kenneth Lee on his confirmation to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and thanked the Senate GOP for confirming Lee.
    “President Trump’s judicial nominees have been restoring balance to the nation’s federal court system, and Judge Lee’s confirmation continues that process,” Father Pavone said. “He is more than qualified for the federal bench and I have no doubt he will be a fair and impartial interpreter of the U.S. Constitution and our laws. I also would like to thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and all the Senate Republicans for refusing to allow the Democrats’ obstructionism to keep Judge Lee off the bench.”

  3. Thank God for Kenneth Lee!

  4. Dred Scott was not a tradition

  5. Mike m, the blue slip was a STUPID tradition. There’s no constitutional requirement that a nominee meet the approval of both home state senators. So, out with that dumb practice. Besides, the California senators are die-hard leftists who shouldn’t have veto power over the president, who has sole nomination authority granted to him by the constitution, and the Senate, as a whole body, confirms or not. Let’s follow the constitution instead of the Left’s dumb traditions and ideologies.

  6. Deacon Craig Anderson says

    Unfortunately, both of our senators called Mr. Trump names, insulted and mocked him, and said he should be impeached (without noting impeachable offenses). Then, they’re outraged when he doesn’t extend a traditional courtesy to them. Courtesy is a “two-way street.” Can’t we all dial down the rhetoric and have serious, honest discussions about the issues of the day?

  7. Amy Parr says

    If Feinstein and Harris objected, he must be right for the job!

  8. May God make you holy Kenneth Lee, and be good David Lee, wherever you are. My prayers are to some day see the both of you in that heavenly lea where flowers unbelievably exquisite, by lakes crystal clear, send waves of their intoxicating perfume eternally through the air.

  9. Anonymous says

    I’m thankful to God, for the good work of President Trump!

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