Courts

Biden's Judicial Picks Should Include Lawyers Who Battled the Government in Court

The incoming president can bring some much-needed professional diversity to the federal bench.

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Libertarians are sure to be unhappy with plenty of incoming President Joe Biden's judicial picks. But there is one glimmer of hope on the courtroom front. The Huffington Post reports that the Biden team is looking to bring some much-needed professional diversity to the federal bench:

In a letter obtained by HuffPost, Biden's incoming White House counsel Dana Remus tells Democratic senators to try to find public defenders and civil rights attorneys in their states who they think would be a good fit for a federal judgeship.

"With respect to U.S. District Court positions, we are particularly focused on nominating individuals whose legal experiences have been historically underrepresented on the federal bench, including those who are public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, and those who represent Americans in every walk of life," reads the Dec. 22 letter.

That is welcome news. As Cato Institute criminal justice scholar Clark Neily has pointed out, there is a "wild imbalance" on the federal bench "between judges who used to represent the government in court and judges who used to challenge the government in court." Given that "nearly every court case pitting a lone citizen against the state represents a David-versus-Goliath fight for justice," Neily noted, "to further stack the deck with judges who are far more likely to have earned their spurs representing Goliath than David is unfair to individual litigants and a bad look for the justice system as a whole."

This is one point on which libertarians and progressives can agree. "The federal courts have largely become peopled with lawyers who are former prosecutors, which has entirely skewed the lens through which the law is seen. Public defenders have essentially been shut out," Sherrilyn Ifill, the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, told an interviewer last month. "I'm not interested in a lot of Black prosecutors being appointed to the federal bench," she continued. "I'm not interested in cosmetic diversity. I'm interested in substantive diversity."

To say the least, Joe Biden is not the most promising figure from the standpoint of criminal justice reform. During his long career in politics, he stood out as an inveterate drug warrior and law enforcement booster. But it is never too late to make amends. If Biden is even remotely serious about pursuing criminal justice reform, one positive thing he can do as president is to nominate more judges whose experience includes battling the government in court.

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  1. Libertarians for Social Justice. Grand.

    1. The incoming president can bring some much-needed professional diversity to the federal bench.

      Selection on the basis of race?
      Sounds racist.

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            1. Public defenders are more statist than prosecutors in many ways.

              Most of them are very progressive, and they thus tend to support welfare, hate-speech regulations, regulations of business, and government redistribution of wealth.

    2. You prefer Libertarians For Bigoted, Authoritarian Immigration Policies?

      Libertarians For Statist Womb Management?

      Libertarians For Torture And The Death Penalty?

      Libertarians For Big-Government Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics?

      Libertarians For Militarized, Bigoted Police?

      Libertarians For Government Funding Of Censorship-Shackled, Nonsense-Teaching Clinger Schools?

      Libertarians For Abusive Policing?

      Libertarians For Massive Military Spending?

      1. Libertarians for voting in a 50 year swamp creature.

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      2. Someone remind this fool that judges aren’t supposed to make the law or decide cases based on whether they like the defendant or their policy preferences.

        I kid. Of course, this would only confuse a liberal since they can’t see two inches past whatever GRAVE INJUNCTIVE OF THE DAY needs to be immediately rectified (nearly always via more government red tape), whatever the means, whatever the consequences, and regardless of the actual law.

        And don’t expect them to remember what they did yesterday either….

        Protections for the accused are a ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, except for cops and “white Hispanics.”

        Free speech is an ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, unless the speaker is conservative.

        Ending corporate welfare is an ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, unless it’s “green.”

        Taking down slumlords is an ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, unless the slum is government housing.

        Limiting campaign contributions is an ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, unless it’s a union or Soros SuperPAC.

        Requiring a license to drive, get married, get a job, get a passport, get food stamps, or engage in any conceivable form of economic activity is an ABSOLUTE MORAL IMPERATIVE, but you can’t ask a voter to see their ID.

        Fucking liberals…

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  2. “public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, and those who represent Americans in every walk of life”

    OK, public defenders sounds cool, but “civil rights and legal aid attorneys”? Chances are they many of them have experience fighting the government in court because they claimed the government *wasn’t doing enough* about this or that. So in that case, instead of speaking about fighting the government in court, we can speak of using on part of the government (courts) to make other parts (executive and administrative) more activist.

    1. The last thing we need is social workers legislating from the bench.

      1. Yet you wholeheartedly supported a candidate who will appoint droves of people who will enthusiastically do just that.

        1. Yet nobody has ever produced even a sarcastic statement taken out of context to that effect.

          1. You attacked Trump 100% of the time, and defended any criticism of Biden 100% of the time. But please go ahead with your semantical game where you claim you never supported Biden.

      2. “The last thing we need is social workers legislating from the bench.”

        Not to mention how busy they’ll be policing.

      3. FFS, yes, this.

        retarded article.

        1. Hey, everyone wants a piece of the pie.

          That’s why they wanted to get rid of Trump – get back to the business of government.

    2. My thoughts too. It’s just code words to bring in social justice attorneys. Someone noticed there aren’t very many social justice prosecutors and district attorneys, and of teh few there are, Kamala is an excellent case in point.

      1. It’s code for bringing in more attorneys who want more government.

        Negotiated settlements, consent decrees, etc being much less time consuming for judges (and a way to avoid all those pesky Trump appointments to boot.)

    3. That’s the grift, right there. You’d think Reason would recognize it, if they weren’t so busy publishing “orange man bad” articles.

      1. Gaslighting takes many forms.

    4. Civil rights lawyers are very pro-government coercion. They are the people who sue businesses for not having a politically-correct workforce (known as “disparate impact law”). They also sue businesses and schools for allowing politically-incorrect speech (known as “hostile work environment” or “hostile learning environment”), especially in places like New York City where speech that is legal under federal law is nevertheless deemed a “hostile environment” under municipal law (because New York City defines even some isolated instances of offensive speech as illegal “hostile environments” for protected class members). Reason’s Robby Soave wrote earlier about how New York City defines the use of the term “illegal alien” — which is a legal term used in the U.S. Code — as “racial harassment” or “discriminatory harassment.”

  3. He’s not serious about pursuing criminal justice reform so this article is moot.

    1. at least not anything that could help a White criminal.

  4. “I’m not interested in a lot of Black prosecutors being appointed to the federal bench,” she continued. “I’m not interested in cosmetic diversity. I’m interested in substantive diversity.”

    Wow. Someone at the NAACP didn’t get the memo.

    1. Oh, but she did.

      By “substantive diversity”, she means she wants people ideologically on her side regardless of skin color.

      In other words, she is saying that she opposes black conservatives.

  5. I’ll settle for lawyers who are faithful to the Constitution, wherever they come from.

    1. The Constitution allows slavery as a punishment for crimes. It allows robbery as taxation. It allows government to initiate force. It’s crap.

      1. Start a campaign to amend the constitution or go fucking live somewhere else if you don’t like it.

      2. Hey everyone, IceTrey has some issues with the Constitution, so let’s just ignore it or pretend like those parts aren’t’ there. Cool?

        Coming soon: statutory laws we can ignore because IceTrey doesn’t like them.

      3. and without it our government would already be much worse

      4. The Constitution allows slavery as a punishment for crimes. It allows robbery as taxation. It allows government to initiate force. It’s crap.

        I don’t get it. In a libertarian society, you’d live under pretty much the same rules. The difference between a libertarian society and the society we have is that in a libertarian society, people agree voluntarily to live under such rules and have a choice to opt out more easily.

        The only society that I know of that doesn’t have such rules is utopian communism, and that is not realizable.

    2. I get what you’re saying Unicorn, but….

      Practically speaking, regardless of how the election turns out in GA tomorrow, a POTUS Biden will get very few judges confirmed. Why? For starters, not a single blue slip will be turned in from a Team R senator. Next, where there are district court nominees, every single one will require a hearing, followed by a cloture vote prior to confirmation. Personally, I don’t think there will be a single circuit court judge confirmed.

      And before any judges can seriously be considered, the cabinet will need to be confirmed. That confirmation hearing process will not be fast. It will be nasty, because that is the behavior normalized by Team D for the last four years. Now they’ll be the recipients.

      The judicial ‘substantive diversity issue’ will need to wait for Biden and Harris to be gone, because sure as hell….neither one of them will do anything to address it.

  6. Before Biden won the Democrat nomination, he promised to release a list of “black women” that he’d nominate for the SCOTUS.

    But Biden never released that list, and nobody in the left wing propaganda machine (including Reason) ever requested the list from Biden, nor did any of them inform Americans of Biden’s lie (like many other lies by Biden).

    1. So why didn’t this article mention that Biden promised to nominate a black woman for the SCOTUS?

      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/problem-biden-s-pledge-black-woman-justice-n1200826

  7. This article is a joke. Does anyone seriously believe Biden, or his handlers, will appoint anyone based on merit and concern for upholding the constitution?

    1. Absolutely they will appoint based on concern for upholding the Constitution. If you’ve got any, you’re eliminated from consideration…

      1. zing!

      2. Touché.

      3. LOL

    2. “…and concern for upholding the constitution?”

      Sure he will. Problem is it will be the living, breathing constitution which lives to put its foot on the neck of We the People. The only Original Sin the progs believe in is that which they insist exists in the US Constitution.

  8. “Sherrilyn Ifill, the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, told an interviewer last month. “I’m not interested in a lot of Black prosecutors being appointed to the federal bench,” she continued. “I’m not interested in cosmetic diversity. I’m interested in substantive diversity.”

    Great. Now do academia!

    1. “Substantive diversity” means “woke, leftists judges regardless of skin color”.

      That is, she is telling you that she doesn’t want black conservatives appointed.

  9. Here in Allegheny County (PA), 42 of the 43 judges on the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court are Democrats, while just one is a Republican.

    And yet, Republicans account for more than 40% of registered voters in Allegheny County.

    So why the huge difference? The correct answer is that Democrats have controlled Pittsburgh and Allegheny County political offices since 1934.

  10. Biden will pick corrupt lefturd operatives like Emmet Sullivan. Don’t bother hoping for anything better.

    -jcr

  11. I’m not interested in cosmetic diversity. I’m interested in substantive diversity.

    This person needs to be canceled.

    But, frankly, the government is already well represented. I’d be fine with no former prosecutors find themselves in the robe.

  12. “Biden’s Judicial Picks Should Include Lawyers Who Battled the Government in Court”

    you mean the lawyers whose cases always get dismissed for lack of standing?

  13. we are particularly focused on nominating individuals whose legal experiences have been historically underrepresented on the federal bench, including those who are public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, and those who represent Americans in every walk of life

    Cool, so if you have money you can buy yourself a competent attorney but if you’re poor then the court will saddle you with an underqualified diversity hire. This will be sure to help minorities through the legal system. People will question the abilities of your counsel based purely on their skin color but at least you’ll be represented by someone with the same hair troubles.

    #priorities

  14. This is an interesting idea, but I wonder about the reaction. I have noted lately several district attorney’s have come under scrutiny for suggesting they would not require cash bail or would not enforce some victimless crimes. What happens when a judge he does not need cash bail for poor defendants?

    1. he can set the bail at a low amount, or release the suspect on his own recognizance, just like now. just don’t do away with cash bail for the rest of us.

  15. Ifill is not the person to be quoted on diversity. She favors racial discrimination in college admission by thoroughly implementing affirmative action. “Substantive” diversity does not mean intellectual diversity. It means no non-progressive minority judges, only rubber stamps on progressive issues.

    That means that a straight, white, heterosexual male progressive is preferable to a handicapped, black, lesbian, transsexual, Muslim who supports limited government.

  16. “But it is never too late to make amends. ”

    FFS. Bitme is “nowhere nears” contrite and any suggestion that that
    is a possibility is utter foolishness.

  17. The idea that any Democrat, but esp. Biden, a swamp denizen since 1973, would advance lawyers who have fought the govt on civil liberties issues is so stupid it can only have come from a doctrinaire libertarian.

    If you wonder why Libertarian candidates rarely poll above about 3%, look no farther than this article.

  18. Code for “judges who will rule with equity in mind, rather than the clear meaning of the text of the law, without regard for Constitutional limits”.

  19. A slew of black public defenders would be awesome.

    A bunch of hippies who sued the EPA to get a settlement that wouldn’t pass regulatory muster is something else.

  20. This may come as a shock Damon but Bidens VP is a former prosecutor who like Joe “stood out as an inveterate drug warrior and law enforcement booster”. But somehow these two will usher in our long awaited libertarian moment. The Biden stroking at Reason is just embarrassing.

    1. Does anyone really think Root came up with this idea on his own?

      This is root channeling what great ideas he reads on Mother Jones or Jacobin or Vox.

    2. This article is not “Biden stroking”. It’s an attempt to find a small light within the onrushing dark miasma of the Biden administration.

  21. The Woke court is in session!!!!!!

  22. The only lawyers Biden’s judicial picks will include is left wing radicals that want to change the meaning of the constitution to left wing ideology.

  23. Reason’s naivety is shocking.

    Time to change the mags name to ‘Naive’.

    1. That it all seemingly runs in one direction says it is not naivety.

  24. A couple generations ago such issues were a strong suit of democrats, now they are the worse of the 2 parties on such issues.

  25. Civil rights lawyers and public defenders tend to be politically correct progressives who support expanded government coercion. They tend to support hate-speech regulations, expanded regulation of business, rent control, and other restrictions on individual freedom. Civil rights lawyers got New York City to define using the term “illegal alien” as a form of discriminatory harassment in violation of municipal law, even though the term “illegal alien” is used in the United States Code, as the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh has noted. Reason itself wrote about how New York City is doing that, at the expense of the First Amendment.

    1. And Reason approves. That’s the New Libertarianism for you!

      1. Reason imputes motives and then judges accordingly. Biden is assumed to have good intent, while Trump, even when doing objectively libertarian things is still despised. Meanwhile progressive statist outcomes are, at most, an opportunity for “both sides” or blaming the opposition for not being ideal.

  26. With the likely loss of the Georgia Senate seats (Warnock won, Osseffe in lead) the Republicans have lost their opportunity for horse trading. That said President Biden may be more deferential to local Senators and if Republican Senator propose a lawyer who fought the government President Biden might listen. If those fights were about civil rights, women rights, or environment I would not expect to get much cooperation.

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