Despite the usual chorus of objections from the left, the Senate has confirmed President Trump’ pick for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 9th Circuit, well known and notorious for its rulings against the Trump agenda, now has a more balanced set of judges thanks to President Trump.
On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Kenneth Lee, who represents President Trump’s 40th circuit justice nomination, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
This comes despite the objections of Democrat Senators like Kamala Harris from California, who also happens to be running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Throughout President Trump’s 1st term, the left has looked to challenge and obstruct his court nominees, which have often lead to heated hearings and high-profile drama, as was the case with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
According to The Hill:
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.
In a 1995 article, he questioned why a women would keep working for a man who had assaulted her, writing that if “a lecherous professor grabs a student’s breast, the last thing she would do is continue to accompany him on another trip – let alone four more trips – just so she can hold on to a part-time job.”Lee apologized for his writings on sexual assault, saying during his confirmation hearing that at the time he didn’t understand workplace dynamics.
Democrats faced long odds for defeating Lee’s nomination. With a 53 seats, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can lose as many as three GOP senators and still confirm a nominee by letting Vice President Pence break a tie.McConnell views circuit court judges as his top priority and said in 2017 that he didn’t believe opposition from a home-state senator should be enough to effectively veto an appeals court pick.
“In addition to a ‘unanimously well qualified’ rating from the ABA and a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Lee has earned the especially high esteem of one of our own colleagues. The junior Senator from Arkansas attended law school with the nominee,” McConnell said of Lee, referring to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed President Trump’s 40th circuit judge nominee, Kenneth Lee, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The confirmation came despite objections from California Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, who did not return the traditional “blue slip” on Lee.
Throughout the Trump administration, Democrats have repeatedly sought to challenge and prevent his nominees, leading to contentious, high-profile battles such as the case of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Other outlets and social media users tweeted the news of Lee’s confirmation:
The Senate has confirmed Kenneth Lee to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appealshttps://t.co/e7PRxQKnL3
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 16, 2019
Another Democrat smear campaign failed today. Korean immigrant Kenneth Lee was confirmed by Senate Republicans to the 9th Circuit Court in spite of Democrats’ efforts to ruin his life and career. He is Trump's 40th appeals court nominee to be confirmed. pic.twitter.com/HyFda1orrW
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) May 16, 2019