One of the most important responsibilities of a president is the nomination of federal judges, ranging from district court judges to Supreme Court justices. They serve for life once approved by the U.S. Senate, and therefore, they continue having a lasting impact on public policy long after a president’s term has ended.

Irrespective of political affiliations, almost all judicial nominees are highly qualified, meaning they have demonstrated a knowledge of the law, temperament, and impartiality, all necessary in meting out justice. Despite President Trump’s boast that he was nominating only the best and most qualified candidates, he is failing miserably.

Exhibit A: Lawyer Matthew Peterson was nominated for a federal judgeship for a Washington D.C. district court. Two weeks ago, Peterson appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and when questioned by Sen. John Kennedy, Republican from Louisiana, Peterson admitted he’d never tried a case before a federal or state court jury, never tried a case before a federal or state court judge, never argued any sort of pretrial motions in a federal or state court, and had never taken any deposition (an out of court pretrial questioning of a witness under oath). Much to the dismay of Sen. Kennedy, Peterson was also unfamiliar with several established legal doctrines that most third year law students would know. Fortunately, after his disastrous public hearing, Peterson withdrew his name from consideration before the Judiciary Committee put his nomination to the vote.

Exhibit B: Brett Talley was nominated for an Alabama federal district court judgeship. The American Bar Association rated Talley as “unanimously unqualified.” Here’s why. Like Peterson, Talley has never tried a case despite being a lawyer since 2007. In 2011, Talley posted in a University of Alabama online fan message board a vigorous defense of the early KKK. Imagine being a minority, Muslim, or Jewish defendant or litigant in a court where the judge is a big fan of the historical KKK. And when asked by the Senate to list professional organizations to which he belonged, Talley proudly listed the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group. Fortunately, for America, his nomination was also recently withdrawn, so now Talley can go back to doing what he really enjoys, being a real life Ghostbuster.

Exhibit C: Jeff Mateer was nominated for an East Texas federal court judgeship. His nomination collapsed after it was disclosed that he believed transgendered children were evidence of “Satan’s plan.” He has argued that legalized gay marriage would lead to “bestiality.” Mateer has also been a strong supporter of “conversion therapy,” the junk science that homosexuals can be converted into heterosexuals with intensive therapy. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Pediatric Association have deemed conversion therapy to be “mentally harmful.”

Federal courts aren’t the place for rigid Taliban style religious ideologues. And, federal courts aren’t the place for on the job training, or as Sen. Kennedy eloquently told a New Orleans TV station, “just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge.”

Roberto Torres is an attorney at law in Galveston and writes columns from a progressive perspective.

(53) comments

Doyle Beard

And now here's hypocrite Roberto

Cary Semar

When I saw your comment, I went back to Torres column to see if there was anything there that proclaims him a hypocrite, i.e., one whose stated beliefs are different from his practices. It is clear that you disagree with Mr. Torres, but it is not clear why you call him a hypocrite. To insult someone without apparent cause or justification is known as a gratuitous insult. You could argue that Mr. Torres insulted the president, but he gave his reasons. Why don't you give yours?

Carlos Ponce

Cary, see my post below. Roberto Torres is a hypocrite: okay for Democrats to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who never argued a case before any court but if a REPUBLICAN did it....... Roberto has different standards for those who sit to the right of the political spectrum. Sounds like HYPOCRISY to me. And if you keep up with Roberto's columns this is his modus operandi.

Gary Miller

Trump's worst choices are better than Obama's best choices.

Carlos Ponce

So never having tried a case is reason for disqualification. Interesting.
Can anyone name the Solicitor General appointed by Barack Obama who "never argued a case before any court" prior to her nomination in 2009? Hint: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama in 2010 noted that she "never tried a case before a jury" when nominated for the US Supreme Court but "argued her first appellate case just nine months ago". Appellate case- hmmm. Amazing leap. Another Hint: She now sits on the US Supreme Court.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062801859.html

PD Hyatt

Roberto is like all of the progressive liberal demon-crats who destest that the Hildabeast got her butt whipped by a nobody in politics.... Pres. Trump has done more in nominating good judges in 1 year than the fool Obama did in his 8 years of folly....

Gary Scoggin

"demon-crats" Good one. Did you make that up yourself?

Cary Semar

Do not underestimate us demon-crats or our determination. We would not have come here all the way from Hell to fight for something we did not strongly believe in.

Diane Turski

You could have stopped after "miserably" and still been correct. This is a failed presidency that in my opinion should be ended ASAP to protect the country from him and his ruling class appointees.

Doyle Beard

another one joins the hypocrite club

Cary Semar

Oh, they have a hypocrite club? Since you are keeping the roster, that makes you the president.

Carlos Ponce

Diane, have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Enjoy the blessings our Lord has provided and while you're at it enjoy the accomplishments this administration has provided so far: a booming economy, lower unemployment rate, lower taxes in the upcoming year for the majority of Americans, lower encroachment rate from those illegally entering this country, etc., etc., etc. Things are getting better! America is being made GREAT again! Now turn that frown upside down! [beam]

Mike Meador

NOT Carlos......NOT Carlos.....[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Mike Meador

[thumbdown][thumbdown][thumbdown]

Mike Meador

[thumbdown][thumbdown][thumbdown]

Josh Butler

Yawwwwwn. Trump derangement syndrome is real.

Jim Forsythe

 Sessions was confirmed as attorney general, and said in 2010,  that she "never tried a case before a jury and should be disqualified . He is part of Presidents Trump group, and should have help him understand that it was not a good idea. .  If someone should  be disqualified in 2010 for not being qualified , should the same standard, not apply in 2017 

Carlos Ponce

Does mean Jim is okay with the SCOTUS member being asked to step down IF THE SAME STANDARDS ARE TO BE APPLIED??????

Jim Forsythe

I would prefer that they have Judicial Experience

We have a committee to screen judges . If they are confirm by the Senate, they are seated.

The same standards are being applied as the three choose not continue or their nomination's were withdrawn by the White house .
She was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63–37.

At least 41 Supreme Court Justices had no prior Judicial Experience, Before Becoming Justices.
William Rehnquist, Lewis Powell, Abe Fortas ,Byron White, Arthur Goldberg, Earl Warren are just a few with no Judicial  experience.

Republican's were calling for them to step down .
Peterson withdrew his name from consideration before the Judiciary Committee put his nomination to the vote.
(Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican) Kennedy said after the hearing that he hoped Petersen's nomination would be withdrawn.
"I'm hoping the White House will pull down Mr. Petersen," Kennedy said. "I don't wanna see him suffer."
 Kennedy, a Republican whom backed Trump during his campaign, was the senator who led the charge against Petersen
White House withdraws Jeff Mateer nomination
Brett J. Talley, President Trump’s choice to be a federal judge in Alabama, has withdrawn from consideration, a White House official said Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has moved quickly to approve Trump’s proposed judges, but he said Monday that he would not hold a hearing for Mateer and would oppose confirming Talley in the full Senate.


Carlos Ponce

"At least 41 Supreme Court Justices had no prior Judicial Experience," So Roberto pointing out that some of Trump's nominees have "no Judicial Experience" is not an issue for you.
Since Roberto is a lawyer sounds like this is just an issue of ENVY on his part.[rolleyes]

Jim Forsythe

I would prefer that they have Judicial Experience

Gary Miller

Trump's next two SCOUS appointments should be conservative law school graduates. Constitution doesn't require more than that, job doesn't need more since knowledge of the law is all that is required.

Carlos Ponce

"The American Bar Association rated Talley as 'unanimously unqualified'.”
ABA's opinion was not used by President George W. Bush in his nominations. The ABA despite claims to being politically unbiased has promoted many "Progressive Left" ideas among their members. But they did find Neil Gorsuch qualified.

Jarvis Buckley

These liberals are going to drive themselves crazy over the next 7 years. Then Ivanka will be our next president. The first woman president.
Life is good.👍

Robert Braeking

I just wonder why judge nominations need to be confirmed by the Senate? Duh! I also wonder why ol' Beto could not come up with more examples from the many nominations made?

Roberto Torres

I'm limited to 500 words

Josh Butler

I think Nikki Haley will have a shot.

David Doe

Trump has nominated 38 judges and 3 don't meet your criteria so it's a failure.
You must have missed some math classes in elementary school my man.
Lets also remember that Trump has signed more Bills into law than the previous 3 Presidents. Nice Try.

Jim Forsythe

If a President is measured by the number of bill passed, then FDR is the best President of all time
It's a good thing that this is not how most, grade a President.! 

By his 200th day in office on August 7, Trump had signed 44 bills into law.
Stretching back to 1953, the average number of laws presidents signed in their first 200 days was 111.
Most presidents have signed more legislation than Trump by the  200-day point
Bills signed at the 200-day point in a Presidents term.
Trump    44 bills
Obama   46 bills
Bush      25 bills
Clinton   64 bills
Bush      77 bills
Regan    33 bills
Carter   100 bills

President Jimmy Carter signed 70 bills in the first six months, according to an analysis of bills signed by previous White House occupants. Bill Clinton signed 50. George W. Bush signed 20 bills into law. Barack Obama signed 39 bills during the period,
Trump has signed 42 bills into law.

Six months in office , Trump is about average with the lawmaking pace for the past six presidents, who as a group signed an average of 43 bills during the same period. And an analysis of the bills Trump signed shows that about half were minor and inconsequential, passed by Congress with little debate. Among recent presidents, both the total number of bills he signed and the legislation’s substance make Trump about average.
Almost half the other bills Trump has signed into law are ceremonial or routine. The president includes in his count laws like the one to rename the federal courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee, after Fred Thompson, the actor and former senator who died in 2015. Even the Republican leadership in the Senate does not count those kinds of bills when they tally their legislative achievements.

.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, look at how many bills FDR signed that were overturned by SCOTUS.

Jim Forsythe

How many?

Jim Forsythe

The question was "Lets also remember that Trump has signed more Bills into law than the previous 3 Presidents"is
The answer is that Trump did not have the most bills signed into law> He is just average in signing bills.

Carlos Ponce

It depends on what time period you're speaking of.
From April 6 Washington Post
"Trump has signed twice as many bills as Obama had at this point"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/04/06/trumps-legislative-accomplishments-quantified/?utm_term=.96cc0f5327bf

Doyle Beard

Seems like Roberto is a miserable failure as usual.

Jim Forsythe

In the first 100 days of his first full term, Truman signed 55 bills. The president with the highest count since then is Trump with 28.
None of the bills,Trump has signed so far are major pieces of legislation.  (April 2017)

13 bills had to be signed in the first 100 days.
The most notable bills Trump has signed are a set of 13 that reverse Obama-era regulations on a range of issues including on internet privacy and gun control. While that was a goal for Republican lawmakers, it’s important to note these bills made it to Trump’s desk through a process made possible by the Congressional Review Act, which became law in 1996. The act gives Congress a narrow window to reverse regulations, so these 13 bills had to get through Congress within Trump’s first 100 days.
The first 100 days is "not necessarily an accurate reflection of how effective a president is going to be in leading Congress,"

Since that time, he has slowed down. The second 100 days, he  signed, 16 bills.

Bills signed at the 200-day point in a Presidents term.
Trump    44 bills
Obama   46 bills
Bush      25 bills
Clinton   64 bills
Bush      77 bills
Regan    33 bills
Carter   100 bills

Carlos Ponce

Like I posted, it depends on the time period. You select 100 and 200 days. Can you give a daily summary of bills signed beginning with day one for each president listed? Think of that Super Bowl where New England was behind Atlanta 21-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Atlanta won, right????? No, they did not.
Okay get started, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4..................

Jim Forsythe

100 days in office is a milestone in a Presidency, 200 days is the next. Most do not measure the 217 day.
If you want to list each day, go ahead, but why?
Of the 10 most recent presidents who took office after an election (not a resignation or death), Trump is in last place in terms of legislation signed by this point in his first year.
Barack Obama,  had 118 by this point in 2009. 

"My answer was to  David Doe's statement "also remember that Trump has signed more Bills into law than the previous 3 Presidents. Nice Try."  If you want to place a time period to it , go ahead.

Carlos Ponce

100 and 200 days are arbitrary numbers.

Jim Forsythe

Use what ever makes you happy. But the 100-day standard is for gauging presidential effectiveness.
If you want to be different , do so. It has been used by the public, the media, and scholars as a gauge of presidential success and activism since Franklin D. Roosevelt pioneered the 100-day concept when he took office in 1933. He was faced with the calamity of the Depression—and he moved with unprecedented dispatch to address the problem.

Carlos Ponce

It really depends on the time and date the assertion was made.

Jim Forsythe

"the assertion was made" on  December 27, 2017 
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump visited a fire station in West Palm Beach, Florida. 
Ignoring the facts. Trump stated
"We have signed more legislation than anybody -- we broke the record of Harry Truman."
Not even close. Trump says this a lot. But repeating it doesn't make it true. Trump signed 96 pieces of legislation in 2017. Truman signed more than 250. 
He also said , the same speech.
  "We have more legislation passed, including the record -- was Harry Truman. That's a long time ago. And we broke that record. So we have a lot done."
For some reason, he has the need to believe, that he has the most of all time! 

His first year was a easy one compared to what looks will be a year that passing legislation, will be more difficult.
With a 51-49 Senate, working together with the Democrats will be necessary to pass some of the bills. Some will require 60 yes votes, to pass.

Carlos Ponce

"Trump has signed 2,233 pages of legislation so far during his tenure — more than a thousand pages fewer than Barack Obama, but more than several former presidents to this point over the last half century, according to GovTrack."
http://www.kboi.com/news/fact-check-trump-incorrectly-claims-hes-signed-more-legislation-than-anybody/
Remember he said LEGISLATION, not BILLS.
So he missed it by one.

Jim Forsythe

Trump is turning out fewer number of bills, with more pages, and you think that is a good thing?
Unless Trump signs each page , he was talking about the number of bills.
  " we have more legislation passed" and "we have signed more legislation than anybody" does not mean , we have more pages passed or we have more pages signed.
December 27, 2017 ,
"You know, one of the things that people don't understand -- we have signed more legislation than anybody -- we broke the record of Harry Truman," Trump told the first responders.
"I believe we have -- and you'll have to ask those folks, but I think they know the real answer -- we have more legislation passed, including -- the record was Harry Truman. That's a long time ago. And we broke that record," Trump continued incorrectly.

It's unclear why Trump singled out Harry Truman's track record ushering legislation through Congress. Though, for the record, Truman signed 126 bills into law in just his first 100 days, and the Truman Presidential Library and Museum estimated in a tweet that he signed between 240 and 250 during his first year in office.

Definition of legislation (does not say, number of pages.)
1 : the action of legislating; specifically : the exercise of the power and function of making rules (such as laws) that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization
the major function of Congress is legislation
2 : the enactments of a legislator or a legislative body
legislation to help distressed homeowners
3 : a matter of business for or under consideration by a legislative body
She proposed new legislation to protect the environment.

Carlos Ponce

"Trump is turning out fewer number of bills, with more pages, and you think that is a good thing?"
Sometimes a bill goes to the president with multiple pieces of legislation. To produce each individually and have each await his signature is not the way things are done.

Jim Forsythe

Each President has the number of bills he signed recorded. To try to increase this total by twisting meanings , is not honest.
Was Lincoln a great President, because of the number of bills he passed? 
If we rate the quality of a Presidency  by the number of bills passed, is just wrong.
Here is the list of the last seven Presidents, including Trump, and the order they would be after 200 days.
1)Carter 100 bills  2) Bush 77 bills  3) Clinton 64 bills  4) Obama 46 bills  5) Trump 44 bills 6 ) Regan 33 bills  7) Bush 25 bills
No one would rate a President, by the number of bills he passed, as to how well he has done. All that this proves, is he passed fewer or more bills.
President Trump is number 5 out 7 on the list of Presidents, as to the total number of bills passed. If you count just the number passed , it makes Carter number one.
Bills signed at the 200-day point in a Presidents term.
Trump    44 bills
Obama   46 bills
Bush      25 bills
Clinton   64 bills
Bush      77 bills
Regan    33 bills
Carter   100 bills

,

Carlos Ponce

"To try to increase this total by twisting meanings , is not honest."
GovTrack came up with the numbers. Not Trump, not me. Trump stated LEGISLATION, . You read it as BILLS. Who's not being honest here?

Jim Forsythe

From    https://govtrackinsider.com/falling-from-first-to-last-president-trump-has-signed-the-fewest-bills-into-law-by-this-point-in-8945aac6ad54
By his own standard, the President has sunk to last place with 94 bills signed into law by his 336th day in office (today). That’s 8 fewer than President George W. Bush and not even half as many as presidents Bill Clinton (209) and George H.W. Bush (242):
The President has not held the title of signing the most new legislation since his 101st day and has been in the bottom half for most of his presidency:
"Trump says that his administration has had “more legislation passed, including the record was Harry Truman… and we broke that record.” Not true, GovTrack says that Trump has signed the fewest bills into law by this point in any recent president’s first year 

When you go to GOVTrack click on . 
Falling From First to Last: President Trump has signed the fewest bills into law by this point in…
. · GovTrack     
All the above is from GovTrack. No one talks about how many pages the LEGISLATION is. Next you will want to count the number of words.

Carlos Ponce

Bills, bills, bills - That's NOT what the man said. Don't know why you're hung up on bills. Look up LEGISLATION. That's what the man ACTUALLY SAID. SHEESH!!!!!

Jim Forsythe

"Look up LEGISLATION. That's what the man ACTUALLY SAID" no, he said, he passed bills. Other writing story uses legislation and bills in the same vain. But they still talk about passing bills. Trump does not say, he passed legislation.

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS
They have "passing of the most legislation in modern history." by passing bills.
"the President announced he had signed the most bills of any president since Truman" not true.
"the President has sunk to last place with 94 bills signed into law"

From GovTrack , the place you said to go. This is the first part of the story. No where does Trump say , he passed the most legislation. he says bills.
As of today, President Trump has signed the fewest bills into law by this point in any president’s first year at least as far back as President Eisenhower.
Throughout 2017, the President and Republican leaders in Congress have touted their passing of the most legislation in modern history. On his 100th day in office, the President announced he had signed the most bills of any president since Truman — and repeated it many times (it wasn’t entirely true to begin with). House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy recently tweeted that the House of Representatives passed more bills in the President’s first 11 months than in the same time period of the five most recent presidents.
By his own standard, the President has sunk to last place with 94 bills signed into law by his 336th day in office (today). That’s 8 fewer than President George W. Bush and not even half as many as presidents Bill Clinton (209) and George H.W. Bush (242):

Signing bills sent to him by Congress is only one way the President creates law or takes action

Carlos Ponce

Politico:
"It is true that Trump had signed more bills in his first 100 days than any president since Truman....."
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/27/trump-legislation-record-truman-319542
But what did he ACTUALLY SAY RECENTLY, Jim?
The date Jim Forsythe specified was December 27, 2017.
“You know, one of the things that people don’t understand — we have signed more legislation than anybody,” the president said.
LEGISLATION, Jim, LEGISLATION!!!!!!!

Jim Forsythe

The rest of the story, BILLS, If you want to call it something else besides passing a bill , go ahead, but it will still be passing a bill.
“We broke the record of Harry Truman.”(Truman's record is for the most bills passed, not the most legislation) 
It is true that Trump had signed more bills in his first 100 days than any president since Truman, but as Trump nears the anniversary of his Jan. 20 inauguration, he is far removed from his 100th day. And he has now signed the fewest number of bills into law of any first-year president dating back to Dwight Eisenhower, according to a recent report from the website

Carlos Ponce

It looks like Politico put partisanship ahead of editorial integrity.
Looks like the KBOI Fact Check people actually looked up the CORRECT information, that Trump signed 2233 pieces of legislation.

Emile Pope

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

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