UPDATED 8:10 AM PT — Friday, May 7, 2020
A D.C. Circuit Court nominee recently faced pressure from Democrats during his confirmation hearing. On Wednesday, D.C. Appeals Court nominee Justin Walker was grilled by Senate Democrats who expressed doubt over his qualifications.
Democrats raised concerns over Walker’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act as well as his ties to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
A Kavanaugh protégé, Walker was once also an intern in McConnell’s’ office and the Senate majority leader has expressed his enthusiasm over seeing him confirmed to the bench. However, Democrats have cited concerns over Walker’s previous trial experience, which they deemed lacking.
Today I introduced fellow Kentuckian Judge Justin Walker to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee before its hearing on his nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Read more here: https://t.co/QtFhFcCMBu pic.twitter.com/Bp2gtN6pvP
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 6, 2020
Democrats also accused McConnell of reconvening the Senate solely to confirm Walker. They argued coronavirus pandemic issues should take priority. On the other hand, Senate Republicans have argued that it’s the chamber’s responsibility to be in Washington to confirm nominees.
“In his short time on the bench, Judge Walker – just 37-years-old – has had virtually none of the experience one would expect of a district court judge before elevation to the circuit,” stated Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “He has not presided over any bench or jury trials, he has written opinions in only 12 total cases.”
Meanwhile, analysts have predicted Walker’s confirmation will be the most important judicial fight in the Senate this year as the D.C. Circuit Court is widely viewed as one of the most powerful in the nation.