SANTA FE – The Democratic Senators of New Mexico have postponed court approvals for two US District Court vacancies until after the November 3rd election. They say the president politicized the process so they will wait for the voters to speak.
Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, using their home-state consultative agency, suspended the review of two possible lifelong dates in response to a White House press conference – prior to the death of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18 – in which Trump appealed the authority of the president over hundreds of recent and future federal judge appointments as a rally to political supporters. They confirmed their decision on Thursday.
The US District Court in New Mexico has relied on judges to be visited to ease pressure on its robust files on immigration and drug trafficking cases. One of three vacancies was filled by Republican Judge Kea W. Riggs last year, and Heinrich and Udall had early signaled support for Trump nominee Fred Federici, a U.S. assistant attorney, and Albuquerque-based civil lawyer Brenda Saiz.
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Trump has urged the Senate to immediately consider his upcoming nomination as Conservative successor to the undisputed leader of the liberal wing of the court, despite his Republican leaders rejecting the Supreme Court appointment of Democratic President Barack Obama in election year 2016.
“Just a few weeks before the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the president insisted on politicizing the process of appointing judicial officers in his remarks at a barely veiled campaign event in the White House,” said Heinrich and Udall in a joint Explanation. “Given the proximity to the elections, we will interrupt the process and continue to work swiftly to fill these vacancies once the American people have spoken.”
At his event in the White House on September 9, Trump announced the names of 20 potential future Supreme Court candidates and warned of a growing movement of the radical left that the Supreme Court might use to remove “the words” under God “from the To remove pledges of allegiance “and” Give new protection to anarchists, rioters, violent criminals and terrorists.
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In a previous appointment affecting New Mexico in 2017, Trump paved the way for former Roswell attorney Joel Carson to join the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, replacing Paul Joseph Kelly.
Steve Pearce, leader of the Republican Party, praised Federici and Saiz as highly qualified candidates and lamented the senators’ decision. “It looks like political reasons, they’re just going to keep them frozen,” Pearce said.
The move leaves a tiny window of time for Senate confirmation before the process is rolled back at the beginning of 2021. Supervision would be partially left to Udall’s successor, who will retire at the end of the year – either Democratic US Representative Ben Ray Luján or former Republican television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti.