In Other News…

“Trey Gowdy is the right person for the job. He has a long history of demanding accountability, upholding transparency, and relentlessly pursuing the truth.”  — Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

While we are all alternately fascinated, repulsed, engrossed, and confused by the Comey news and subsequent opinionating of late regarding President Trump and the Russians, a few other developments have occurred that you may have missed. Hard to believe, I know. For example,…

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

Trey Gowdy (R-SC), conservative bulldog and pain-in-the-butt to many, has been chosen to replace the outgoing Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He beat out Steve Russell (R-OK), who probably would have been a fine choice, too, though he is more junior and not as conservative as Gowdy.

Gowdy, who has been in Congress since Jan. 2011, is best known for his straight-shooter impartiality and dogged determination as Chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. He has served on other committees, too, where he demonstrates conservative positions on defense, economic, and social issues (including pro-life and healthcare), with an emphasis on constitutionality. Some tried to get him to run for Speaker of the House a couple years back, but he declined and instead supported Paul Ryan. He was later considered for Attorney General and recently as replacement for James Comey as FBI Director. (He said he wanted to stay in Congress.)

The purpose of the House Oversight Committee (aka the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) is the primary investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the most influential and powerful committees in the House. It has broad jurisdiction and its chairman is “one of only three committee chairmen in the House with the authority to issue subpoenas without a committee vote or consultation with the ranking member.” Being chair of this committee is one of the most powerful and important positions in Congress, and I can’t think of anyone more trustworthy to wield such power in a responsible manner than Trey Gowdy.

Assuming the House Republican Conference votes him in officially this Tuesday (6/13/2017), Gowdy will assume the chairmanship on July 1.

The other bit of under-the-radar-yet-significant news from this past week that I wanted to bring to your attention involves the Judiciary Branch. Namely, the President has nominated several federal judges, three of whom will serve on influential circuit courts of appeal. As per the Washington Times,

“Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison H. Eid, is being tapped by the president to fill a vacancy on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created when Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed for the Supreme Court in April…. Mr. Trump also nominated U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Erickson of North Dakota for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and said he intends to nominate University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Stephanos Bibas to serve on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals….”

A White House statement pointed out that “[t]hese nominations follow the successful nomination and confirmation of associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, the successful nomination and confirmation of Judge Amul R. Thapar of Kentucky to serve as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the nomination of numerous candidates to other judgeships.”

The appointment of such judges/justices to district and appellate court positions was touted by some during the presidential campaigns as at least as important and impactful as naming someone to SCOTUS, if not more so. They are needed to help rein in the leftist judicial activism that has taken over the lower courts in certain areas. Fortunately, it looks as if Trump is following through on his promise, with various legal scholars voicing their approval.

“It’s a fantastic list…. Many of the nominees are well known in the conservative legal movement and have shown commitment to principled and evenhanded application of the law throughout their careers. For the many Americans whose top concern in November was electing a president who would put committed constitutionalists to the courts, this is another major victory.”  — Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network

“President Trump continues to put forward superlative judicial nominees with sterling credentials and impressive intellects. It’s especially notable that President Trump continues to pick current and former academics for the appellate bench — more so than any recent president. This will only magnify the impact his nominees are likely to have on the federal courts.”  — Jonathan Adler, director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

This is very good news, indeed. Let’s just hope that the Senate can confirm these candidates without too much hassle from the “progressives”.

(See the WT article for names and brief details on the nominees. Guy Benson’s Townhall article has additional info, particularly in re Justice Eid.)

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