Posted May 8, 2017 2:24 PM
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Administration packs courts with conservatives

By Vivian Salama
Associated Press writer

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will name nearly a dozen federal judges as nominees for key posts today as President Donald Trump works to pack the nation’s federal courts with more conservative voices.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that among the candidates are individuals previously named on Trump’s list of 21 possible picks for Supreme Court justice.

Trump will nominate Joan Larsen, who currently serves on Michigan’s Supreme Court, to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and David Stras, a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court bench, to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

Spicer said that another eight nominees would be named later today.

The announcement comes less than a month after Trump’s final pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed as justice to the nation’s highest court, restoring the court’s conservative tilt.

While appeals courts tends to have a lower public profile, its role in adjudicating many of the orders and laws put forth by this administration will be significant.

Trump’s earliest efforts to implement his agenda were dramatically derailed by the courts, which pushed back against his proposed travel ban and his order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities” that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his immigration ban, Trump emphatically tweeted last February “SEE YOU IN COURT!”

The administration vowed that it would reappeal the block and either revise its original executive order or write a new one from scratch. But while a revised ban was later released, that too was blocked by the courts.

Trump said last month that he is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit, a federal appeals court that covers Western states and which has long been a target of Republicans.

It would take congressional action to break up the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans have introduced bills this year to do just that.

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