The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee for the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday.
Seattle attorney Eric Miller, was confirmed along party lines (53-46) as the latest 9th Circuit judge, and, in what Fox News calls a “historic snub,” the White House ignored input from the judge’s home-state Democratic senators.
The aggressive and unprecedented move to bypass the traditional “blue slip” consultation process and plow ahead with the confirmation comes as the Trump administration seeks to systematically erode left-wing dominance on the key appellate court, which Trump has called “disgraceful” and politically biased.
With a sprawling purview representing nine Western states, the appellate court has long been a thorn in the side of the Trump White House, with rulings against his travel ban policy and limits on funding to “sanctuary cities.” A lawsuit is currently pending before the 9th Circuit concerning Trump’s emergency declaration over border security — and Trump had sarcastically predicted that Democrats would purposefully file suit in the San Francisco-based appellate court to improve their odds.
Miller is a former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and prior to his confirmation, was the appellate chairman of the law firm Perkins Coie.
President Trump has been extremely critical of the Ninth Circuit and recently slammed the court as a “disgrace.”
Speaking to reporters in November, he said, “You go to Ninth Circuit and it’s a disgrace, and I’m going to put in a major complaint. Because you cannot win, if you’re us, a case in the Ninth Circuit. Every case gets filed in the Ninth Circuit. … We get beaten, and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court — like the travel ban — and we won. We’re gonna have to look at that.”