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About those Republican judges

Summary:
Defenders of President Trump will often acknowledge his faults, but then point to his selection of judges. I’ve never been impressed by that argument, as I prefer good judges to “conservative” judges. Most of all, I prefer judges that do not protect corrupt officials that appointed them. And Trump seems to be falling short on even that basic requirement. After the Warren Harding scandals, Congress passed a law giving lawmakers the authority to investigate anyone’s tax return, in order to reduce corruption in the executive branch. President Trump is in clear violation of that law, refusing to turn over his tax returns to Congress. So how are Trump-appointed judges responding? Here’s the Washington Post: Another judge on the D.C. district court, Trevor McFadden, a

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Defenders of President Trump will often acknowledge his faults, but then point to his selection of judges. I’ve never been impressed by that argument, as I prefer good judges to “conservative” judges. Most of all, I prefer judges that do not protect corrupt officials that appointed them. And Trump seems to be falling short on even that basic requirement.

After the Warren Harding scandals, Congress passed a law giving lawmakers the authority to investigate anyone’s tax return, in order to reduce corruption in the executive branch. President Trump is in clear violation of that law, refusing to turn over his tax returns to Congress. So how are Trump-appointed judges responding? Here’s the Washington Post:

Another judge on the D.C. district court, Trevor McFadden, a Trump transition volunteer and Trump DOJ official before Trump appointed him to the court, has been similarly unhurried.

The House Ways & Means committee filed a lawsuit on July 2 requiring Trump to release his tax returns. The law is unequivocal; it says tax officials “shall” provide returns to the committee on request. But McFadden, who previously ruled against the House over Trump’s use of emergency funds for the border wall, still hasn’t heard arguments in the tax matter, 139 days after the suit was filed. Though not dismissing the case, he rejected the House’s request to expedite it.

Compare that with a similar suit over Trump’s taxes filed in the same court by the House Oversight Committee. Judge Amit Mehta (an Obama appointee) ruled in that case 28 days after it was filed.

McFadden is young and ambitious, and he benefits from not antagonizing Trump. Delay could be the safest option — because ruling in Trump’s favor would require some dubious legal reasoning.

Conservatives like to claim that their judges follow the letter of the law and are strong supporters of the checks and balances in our Constitution.  Yet this judge believes that presidents should be able to spend money on projects that Congress has refused to authorize, and refuses to enforce a very clear and straightforward law aimed at ferreting out corruption.

Another Republican judge is also helping Trump to run out the clock:

At this writing, Leon has yet to dismiss the now-meaningless suit. Why? My sources offer two explanations — neither benign. He may be keeping the case active so he’ll be assigned any other impeachment-related cases when filed. Or Leon, who led House GOP investigations of President Bill Clinton before George W. Bush appointed him to the court, recognizes the law does not support Trump’s monarchical view of absolute immunity from congressional inquiry — and therefore the best way to help Trump is to run out the clock on impeachment.

I agree with conservative critics who complain that “liberal” judges occasionally try to legislate from the bench.  Unfortunately, I see no evidence that “conservative” judges are any better.  We don’t need liberal or conservative judges; we need judges who are rational, unbiased, dispassionate and non-corrupt.

About those Republican judges
Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment". In May 2012, Chicago Fed President Charles L. Evans became the first sitting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to endorse the idea.

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