Trump nominates slate of judges to federal appeals courts
One judge will fill Gorsuch’s spot in circuit court
President Trump announced a new round of 11 judicial nominations Wednesday, including three nominees for highprofile federal appeals courts.
One of the nominees, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison H. Eid, is being tapped by the president to fill a vacancy on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created when Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed for the Supreme Court in April.
Judge Eid was on Mr. Trump’s list of conservative potential Supreme Court nominees that he presented to voters during the presidential campaign last year. She has served on Colorado’s high court since 2006, and previously was the state’s solicitor general.
“These nominations follow the successful nomination and confirmation of associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, the successful nomination and confirmation of Judge Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky to serve as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the nomination of numerous candidates to other judgeships,” the White House said in a statement.
Mr. Trump also nominated U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Erickson of North Dakota to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and said he intends to nominate University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Stephanos Bibas to serve on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Erickson has served on the district court since 2003.
The White House called Mr. Bibas, director of the university’s Supreme Court Clinic, “one of the nation”s leading experts in criminal law and procedure.” He has argued six cases before the Supreme Court, taught at the University of Chicago Law School and served from 1998 to 2000 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
At least two of the nominees, Judge Eid and Mr. Bibas, are listed as legal “experts” by the conservative Federalist Society, which has advised Mr. Trump on judicial nominations. Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, called the latest wave of nominees “a fantastic list.”
“Many of the nominees are well known in the conservative legal movement and have shown commitment to principled and evenhanded application of the law throughout their careers,” she said. “For the many Americans whose top concern in November was electing a president who would put committed constitutionalists to the courts, this is another major victory.”
With those three nominations, Mr. Trump has 11 federal appeals court vacancies remaining to fill. Five other circuit court nominees are awaiting confirmation hearings.
“President Trump continues to put forward superlative judicial nominees with sterling credentials and impressive intellects,” said Jonathan Adler, director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. “It’s especially notable that President Trump continues to pick current and former academics for the appellate bench — more so than any recent president. This will only magnify the impact his nominees are likely to have on the federal courts.”
The president also announced his intention Wednesday to nominate eight candidates for other judicial posts. They are:
● Michael P. Allen of Florida to serve as a judge on the U.S Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is a law professor and director of the Veterans Law Institute at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. The White House called him “a recognized expert on the law of veterans’ benefits.”
● Claria Horn Boom of Kentucky to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. Currently a partner in the Lexington office of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Ms. Horn Bloom also served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and before that, practiced at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia.
● Dabney L. Friedrich of Washington, D.C., to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Friedrich most recently served as a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She also served as an associate counsel to the president during the George W. Bush administration, and as chief crime counsel to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican. She also has worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice, and as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California.
● Timothy J. Kelly of Washington, D.C., to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Kelly is chief counsel for national security and senior crime counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican. Earlier in his career, he spent a decade as a federal prosecutor.
● Trevor N. McFadden of Virginia to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. McFadden is a deputy assistant Attorney General in the criminal division of the Department of Justice.
● Amanda L. Meredith of Virginia to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Ms. Meredith is deputy staff director and general counsel of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She previously served as general counsel to the Veterans’ Affairs panel.
● Stephen S. Schwartz of Virginia to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He is a partner at Schaerr Duncan LLP in D.C, where he litigates civil, constitutional, and administrative law matters in federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Mr. Schwartz previously served as counsel at Cause of Action, a public interest law firm based in Washington.
● Joseph L. Toth of Wisconsin to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Mr. Toth is a veteran of the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Navy. In 2011, he served as a field officer in the Rule of Law Field Force Afghanistan, where he was stationed with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division in the Zhari District of Afghanistan. While there, the White House said, Mr. Toth “partnered with Afghan prosecutors to establish the rule of law in the district where the Taliban was formed, and he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his service.”
In addition, the president is expected to announce the nomination of Claria Horn Boom of Kentucky to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. Currently a partner in the Lexington office of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Ms. Horn Bloom also served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and before that, practiced at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia.