Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.

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In the weeks before Donald J. Trump took office, lawyers joining his administration gathered at a law firm near the Capitol, where Donald F. McGahn II, the soon-to-be White House counsel, filled a white board with a secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges.

Mr. McGahn, instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy, according to two people familiar with the effort: Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings and where Democratic senators up for re-election next year in states won by Mr. Trump — like Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania — could be pressured not to block his nominees. And to speed them through confirmation, avoid clogging the Senate with too many nominees for the district courts, where legal philosophy is less crucial.

Nearly a year later, that plan is coming to fruition. Mr. Trump has already appointed eight appellate judges, the most this early in a presidency since Richard M. Nixon, and on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a ninth appellate nominee — Mr. Trump’s deputy White House counsel, Gregory Katsas — to the floor.

Republicans are systematically filling appellate seats they held open during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office with a particularly conservative group of judges with life tenure. Democrats — who in late 2013 abolished the ability of 41 lawmakers to block such nominees with a filibuster, then quickly lost control of the Senate — have scant power to stop them.

More from The New York Times

Posted by Libergirl, who says who cares about his tweeting…this is what is going on that will effect all of us.



Senate Approves Change to Filibuster Rule After Repeated Republican Blocks

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Cruz will speak until he can’t stand…his fellow Repubs already can’t stand ’em

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Amid reports he was going to deliver remarks for an extended period of time, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) came to the Senate floor Tuesday and proclaimed his intention to speak “until I am no longer able to stand.”

Image:Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Cruz is spearheading an effort to block a House-passed government spending bill until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) agrees to a 60-vote threshold for any motion that removes language defunding Obamacare. Under Senate procedure, Cruz is technically limited in how long he may speak before the initial vote to invoke cloture on Wednesday, so his remarks would fall short of a “true” fillibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined other leaders and criticized the plan on the floor earlier Tuesday.

“I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare,” McConnell said. “All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded, and none of us want that. That would be the results of filibustering.”

From Talking Points Memo including live video of speech

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Texas abortion bill fails to pass after epic filibuster

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