President Trump Gets A Chance To Nominate Another Powerful Judge

( – Republicans are getting another opportunity to hand pick a member of what is often referred to as the second most powerful court in the country.

Following the retirement of Judge Thomas B. Griffith, there is a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Washington, D.C., Circuit. And while that vacancy was only recently created, conservatives are moving quick to create a list of frontrunners for the position.

Among the people who have been named as possible successors are Claire Murray, the acting associate attorney general; Kate Todd, the deputy White House counsel; and Justin Walker, a U.S. district judge who has worked on other judicial confirmations for Trump and his administration. Those are just some names, though, as a more formal list is likely to be created in coming days.

Still, these three possibilities are all strong candidates in their own right.

Murray is highly regarded within the Trump administration and has been seen as a strong possibility for the federal bench in the future. Todd is the former chief counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation Center. And Walker was a professor at the University of Louisville School of Law before he was appointed to a federal trial court in Kentucky last year.

Trump has had good fortune when it comes to appointing judges to prominent positions. He already was able to nominate two justices to the Supreme Court — Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 — and now he and his administration will have another chance to nominate a judge to a powerful court.

The path to getting a nominee for the position confirmed is not likely to be an easy one, though. As Mike Davis, of the Article III Project — an independent group that supports the president’s judicial nominees — pointed out:

“Unless there is a Supreme Court vacancy, this will be the most contentious judicial confirmation fight before the November election. President Trump has done a phenomenal job finding and credentialing a huge bench of potential D.C. Circuit nominees.”

The Democrats are likely to push back against any nominee to this court, potentially without much of a real reason, but instead just to put up a fight. In the end, it’s unlikely they will succeed, but they will certainly try as hard as they can.

Trump’s success in getting judges confirmed to both the Supreme Court and other levels of the judicial branch is likely something that he will tout as he continues his re-election pitch. It is part of his conservative agenda, one that he is proud of, and one that his supporters have admired.

No matter who ends up being selected and nominated for the post, they are certain to bring with them loads of legal experience, plenty of credentials and a viewpoint that matches closely with that of the president’s.