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A New Front in the Judicial War

Kicking off the new year with a partisan fight left over from 2017, the White House on Friday resubmitted the names of 21 candidates for federal judgeships who didn’t get confirmation hearings before the Senate calendar ran out in December.

The list, which includes nominees from Alabama to Oregon, should be confirmed because those states, and several others, “are suffering from judicial emergencies,” according to a White House statement. “The President looks forward to the swift confirmation of these nominees.”

Almost immediately, however, liberal interest groups slammed President Donald Trump for recycling a group of what they say are unqualified, out-of-the-mainstream candidates for “rubber stamp” confirmations – even after several unfit candidates were forced to withdraw under embarrassing circumstances just months ago.

“Republicans are faced with a fundamental choice: given the glaring lack of vetting of these individuals, will they once again try to force these nominees through the judiciary committee without adequate consideration?” Marge Baker, executive vice president of People For the American Way, said in a statement.

The left is zeroing in on one candidate in particular: Thomas Farr, a North Carolina attorney and former Senate aide who also represented the GOP in redistricting and voter ID cases. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination on a party-line vote, but never got a full Senate confirmation vote; when Senate Democrats refused to give Farr’s nomination the unanimous consent needed to carry it over to 2018, requiring a renewal.