Welcome Your Newest Federal Judge, It's This Batsh*t 33-Year-Old Who Will Live Forever
Yesterday, a 33-year-old woman who has never tried a case was given a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. She has only been out of law school for eight years.
Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, wife of Trump stooge Chad Mizelle, graduated college in 2009 and law school in 2012. She has practiced law for a total of four (4) years.
Now, she is a United States District Court judge for the Middle District of Florida.
The lame duck Senate confirmed Mizelle on Wednesday, by a party-line vote of 49 - 41.
With this confirmation, Mitch McConnell upended a 123-year-old Senate tradition of declining to confirm appointments by a president who lost reelection.
The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated Mizelle "Not Qualified" to serve as a federal judge. Specifically, the committee noted that Mizelle wasn't admitted to practice law in Florida until 2012, "represent[ing] a rather marked departure from the 12 year minimum" it recommends for federal judicial nominees, writing
A nominee's limited experience may be offset by the breadth and depth of the nominee's experience over the course of her or his career. Nominees with fewer than 12 years but with substantial trial or courtroom experience and/or compensating accomplishments in the field of law, can be and have been found qualified by our Committee.
She is the eighth Trump judge to be confirmed to the federal bench despite a "not qualified" rating.
Mizelle is now a trial court judge, despite having no trial experience since passing the bar.
Since her admission to the bar Ms. Mizelle has not tried a case, civil or criminal, as lead or co-counsel. Of her four distinguished federal clerkships, one clerkship was in the trial court. That year, plus her 10 months at a reputable law firm and approximately three years in government practice translates into 5 years of experience in the trial courts.
Therefore, to the ABA, she "does not meet the requisite minimum standard of experience necessary to perform the responsibilities required by the high office of a federal trial judge."
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights also opposed Mizelle's confirmation, noting her "stunning lack of legal experience" and calling her a "right-wing extremist" who "has been put forward not only because she is an ultraconservative ideologue, but also because she is a Trump loyalist, having worked in the Trump Justice Department to dismantle many critical civil rights protections."
It is deeply disturbing that someone like Ms. Mizelle – who was involved in many of the Trump administration's most egregious civil rights rollbacks – would be rewarded for these actions with a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.
Mizelle is, naturally, a member of the Federalist Society, a rightwing extremist group that has become the GOP's farm system for future judges. At a Fed Soc event this year, she called accused sexual predator Clarence Thomas "the greatest living American[.]" Like the Leadership Conference noted, this "paints a highly disturbing picture of her own legal views and judicial philosophy."
While a member of the Trump regime's DOJ, Mizelle focused on attacking civil rights. As noted by the Leadership Conference, while she served in the Trump DOJ as Counsel to the Associate General —the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department — the DOJ:
* rescinded Title IX guidance that had provided critical legal protections for transgender students;
* dropped the federal government's longstanding position that a Texas voter ID law under legal challenge was intentionally racially discriminatory;
* argued that it should be easier for Ohio to purge registered voters from its rolls – again reversing a longstanding position by the federal government;
* sent letters to 44 states demanding extensive voter information that could be used to purge voters from voter rolls;
* asserted that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity – a position subsequently rejected by the Supreme Court;
* filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that businesses have a right to discriminate against LGBTQ customers;
* filed a brief asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against President Trump's transgender military ban;
* issued sweeping religious liberty guidance to federal agencies to create a license to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals;
* wrote a letter to the Census Bureau requesting they insert a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census form;
* argued in court that the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional;
* opposed legally permissible admissions policies that colleges and universities use to expand educational opportunity for students of all backgrounds; and
* filed a statement of interest opposing a consent decree negotiated by the Chicago Mayor and Illinois Attorney General to overhaul the Chicago Police Department.
And the happy couple is BFFs with Trump's favorite Nazi, Stephen Miller.
So that's all just great.
Kathryn Mizelle is the 227th Trump nominee nominee to receive a lifetime seat the federal bench.
We have got to win the Senate and start fixing our federal courts.
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