Upcoming nominations for the week of 11/19/18 (focusing, of course, on judicial nominations)

4:30 p.m. Senator McConnell filed cloture on the following nominations

  • Stephen Alexander Vaden to be the General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture
  • Karen Kelley to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  • Thomas Farr to be US District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Jonathan Kobes to be US Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit.
  • Kathleen Kraninger to be Director for the CFPB.

Thomas Farr to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina is going to be a question mark and I personally OPPOSE his confirmation. No amount of time can erase the stench of what he tried to pull on behalf of Jess Helms back in the 1980’s. And on top of that, he was involved part and parcel in the North Carolina Legislature’s recent redistricting follies. He is simply too toxic for the federal bench. His confirmation is not guaranteed, particularly with Senator Flake’s current stance on judicial nominees.

I should note that this seat has been vacant since December 31, 2005, approaching 13 full years. And I would rather see it stay vacant ANOTHER 13 years than to see Farr confirmed.

Jonathan Kobes to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit is also a problematic nomination. He received a Not Qualified rating from the ABA, with a substantial majority voting Not Qualified and a minority voting Qualified. While Kobes does have a respectable resume, his actual courtroom experience is very light. Due to the fact that much of his work has been “in house”, he was unable to provide a substantial sampling of his legal writings and thus the Not Qualified rating.

I am up in the air on this one. Most likely, he is competent to do this job based on his career progression, but it would be nice to have some concrete evidence. Unfortunately, Kobes is between a rock and a hard place on that issue. Most likely, he will be confirmed.

Fortunately, most of the judicial nominees to follow are of high quality and free of controversy for the most part.