ACRU

Judiciary Committee Sends Katsas Nom for D.C. Circuit to Senate Floor

Courts - Justice statue from below

This column by ACRU General Counsel Ken Klukowski was published November 12, 2017 by Breitbart.

WASHINGTON, DC—-The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday sent President Donald Trump’s nomination of Greg Katsas for a prestigious federal appeals court to the full Senate floor for a confirmation vote.

Katsas is exceptionally well-respected as an elite D.C. lawyer, who is currently serving as deputy White House counsel. President Trump nominated him on September 7 to fill the only open seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, generally considered the most respected of the powerful appellate courts and a farm team for future Supreme Court justices. The current vacancy was created when Judge Janice Rogers Brown took senior status (i.e., semi-retired status) in August.

Age 53, Katsas is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, who later served as a law clerk for the federal appeals courts, and then for Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court. He served for eight years at the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush, including as the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s Civil Division. He spent the Obama years as a partner at powerhouse law firm Jones Day.

“Greg is brilliant, unfailingly kind, and humble,” said Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network, the flagship organization for confirming originalist federal judges. “He has earned the respect of his peers, across the political spectrum, and I know he will continue to do so on the bench.”

President Trump has made 18 nominations thus far to the 13 federal appeals courts, out of a total of 27 appellate vacancies so far into his young presidency. Eight nominations have been confirmed thus far. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 to advance Katsas’s nomination to the full Senate for a final confirmation vote, positioning him to become the ninth appellate judge.

Katsas has a sterling public record, so Democrats’ votes against his nomination are considered pure partisan bickering, rather than substantive opposition.