President Donald Trump has nominated seven of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s former clerks for federal appeals courts — all of whom have been confirmed, with an eighth likely to follow, the Daily Caller reported.
“At this point, Justice Thomas is clearly the leading intellectual force on the conservative side of the bench,” said Carrie Severino, a former Thomas clerk who leads the Judicial Crisis Network, an advocacy group supporting Trump’s push to recast the judicial branch.
“His principled approach to the law is very much in the ascendency and those are the kind of judges that this president has pledged for the courts.”
Thomas generally hires law clerks who share his originalist judicial philosophy, the news outlet reported.
The judges are: Judge Allison Rushing, who was confirmed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last Tuesday over opposition from Democrats and civil rights groups, Judge Allison Eid, who took Justice Neil Gorsuch’s seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Jim Ho for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge David Stras for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Eric Miller for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Greg Maggs for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and Judge Greg Katsas for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
According to the Daily Caller, Eid and Stras are already on Trump’s list of possible nominees for any new Supreme Court opening. Judge Margaret Ryan of the Armed Forces appeals court, a Thomas clerk whom former President George W. Bush appointed, is also listed.
Neomi Rao, who clerked for Thomas in the 2001 term, is currently awaiting confirmation to the D.C. Circuit, with a final vote likely this week, the Daily Caller reported.
“Justice Thomas is an exceptional mentor,” Severino told the Daily Caller. “He is someone that doesn’t just view his clerks as a great source of bright young labor for a year, but really as almost members of his family. He takes on a role in helping them and advising them on their careers.”
“He encourages his clerks to get out of Dodge as fast as they can,” she added. “But for those of us who stay [in Washington], he wants to make sure that there’s always someone who will have your back in what can be a very dog-eat-dog town.”
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