Congressmen Say Controversial Nominee Must Be Withdrawn, Biden Falls Behind on Confirmations

February 2, 2024
Controversial Nominee | First Liberty Insider

by Jorge Gomez • 5 min read

Federal judges make critical legal decisions about religious freedom. First Liberty continues to monitor judicial nominees and provide Americans with the facts about the ones that have a radical or unacceptable record.

Here’s a quick update on judicial nominations to the federal courts.

Lawmakers Urge Biden to Withdraw Controversial Appellate Court Nominee

Several U.S Representatives are urging President Biden to withdraw Adeel Abdullah Mangi, a judicial nominee for the influential 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a letter to the President, they pointed out Mr. Mangi’s concerning affiliation with the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights—a radical organization that they argue “has a deep history of amplifying antisemitic speech, terrorist propaganda, and anti-American rhetoric.”

“We also find it deeply troubling that he has failed to denounce the Center and its radical ideology,” the 10 Republican Congressmen added. “Given the rise of antisemitism across our nation, we have grave concerns regarding his nomination and impartiality.”

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Mangi’s nomination on a party-line vote last month. He’s waiting on a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.

Senate Republicans hammered Mangi during his confirmation hearing in December. But concern about Mangi’s record isn’t just limited to one side of the political aisle. The Washington Examiner recently explained that “Mangi’s nomination barely survived a party-line vote last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where several Democrats were said to be worried about his fitness for the job.”

Learn More:

First Liberty: Biden Judicial Nominee Linked to Group Promoting Anti-Semitism

Fox News: House members press Biden to withdraw court nominee with ties to 9/11 hijacker sympathizers: ‘Grave concerns’

Washington Examiner: Senate should block radical judicial nominee

ABA Journal: 3rd Circuit judicial nominee opposed for ties to group said to amplify ‘antisemitic speech’ and ‘terrorist propaganda’

Another Biden Nominee Stumped by Senator’s Questions

PJ Media reports that “another Joe Biden judicial nominee has been exposed as completely unqualified for the position she’s been nominated for.”

President Biden nominated Robin M. Meriweather to be a judge on the Court of Federal Claims. She recently got stumped by Sen. John Kennedy after being asked some simple questions about how the Court of Federal Claims works.

Sen. Kennedy started off by asking her how many motions she’d argued in the Court of Federal Claims, forcing her to admit that, despite having argued “hundreds of motions involving complex civil claims in numerous courts, the Court of Federal Claims is not one of those courts.”

He also asked her about the rules for granting a new trial in the Court of Federal Claims. His questioning effectively forced Meriweather to admit she never had any experience with this issue and wasn’t familiar with rules.

Watch the exchange below:

Serious questions have been raised not just about one, but several Biden nominees and their qualifications to serve on the federal bench. Recall that another Biden nominee withdrew from consideration after her nomination was held up when she failed to answer Kennedy’s basic questions about the Constitution.

Learn More:

The Daily Caller: Biden Nominee Freezes Up When Sen. John Kennedy Stumps Her With Question

Senate Confirms Two Nominees, But Biden Still Trails His Predecessor

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed two Biden nominees for trial courts in South Carolina and Indiana, after Republican senators in those states voiced support for their nominations, Reuters reports.

President Biden and Senate Democrats appear to be making some headway in advancing judicial nominees in states with two Republican senators. Even still, Biden is not keeping pace with his predecessor on judicial confirmations. Trump had 187 confirmations at this point in his presidency, compared to Biden’s 171.

A total of 234 judges were confirmed during the Trump years. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said that his goal is to hopefully reach 200.

At the current pace, it seems unlikely that Biden will surpass Trump’s total. There’s doubt he’ll even match it. The Senate would need to confirm at least 63 more judges this year to match or better Trump’s record.

“The rate of Biden confirmations tapered off last year,” The New York Times explains. “That likely put the Trump administration threshold out of reach for Mr. Biden and Democrats in an election year when the Senate will be gone from the Capitol for long stretches.”

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