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Trump taps White House lawyer for federal appeals court

The Hill logo The Hill 8/14/2019 Tal Axelrod
a man wearing a suit and tie: Trump taps White House lawyer for federal appeals court © The Hill Trump taps White House lawyer for federal appeals court

President Trump Wednesday tapped Steven Menashi, a White House lawyer, to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Menashi currently works as a special assistant and senior associate counsel to the president. Prior to joining the White House, he served as acting general counsel at the Department of Education, taught law at George Mason University and worked in private practice.

Menashi's recommendation was announced along with five nominations for district court judgeships, two nominations for U.S. attorney and two for U.S. marshal.

"This is an outstanding slate of judicial nominees. President Trump continues delivering on his promise to appoint excellent judges who will base their decisions on the law and the Constitution," Judicial Crisis Network Chief Counsel and Policy Director Carrie Severino said of the six judgeship nominees.

"A judge's job is to apply the law, not make the law, and I'm confident that nominees Menashi, Dishman, Marston, Myers, Pitlyk, and Singhal will do just that."

The Trump White House and Republicans in Congress have put a premium on nominating and approving a record number of federal judges, using the party's majority in the Senate to fill openings on the federal bench at a breakneck pace that helps animate the conservative base.

In a sign of the high importance the GOP places on judgeships, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) implemented the "nuclear option" on Senate rules earlier this year to allow Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority rather than having to reach a 60-vote threshold.

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