Trump Picks McConnell Favorite for DC Appeals Court
April 4, 2020 | by James G. Dalton
President Donald Trump said he is picking Justin Walker, an ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to serve on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
CNN noted the pick is expected to touch off controversy. Last year Walker was confirmed for a spot on a district court in Kentucky despite the American Bar Association giving him a “not qualified” rating.
Law.com said he received the rare rating over his lack of experience and never having been a counsel during trial. And it noted Senate Democrats had also raised concerns about his experience.
CNN said that during the confirmation hearing, McConnell had said Walker was “unquestionably the most outstanding nomination that I’ve ever recommended to presidents to serve on the bench in Kentucky.”
Walker had served as clerk to then-Justice Anthony Kennedy and later to Brett Kavanaugh when the justice had served as a lower court judge. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
“We are thrilled with President Trump’s nomination of Judge Justin Walker to serve on the D.C. Circuit, a key federal appellate court that protects all Americans from the arbitrary, harmful government actions by Washington’s out-of-control administrative state,” said Mike Davis, who runs a group called the Article 3 Project in support of Trump’s nominees.