Edward Whelan Articles

The Senate and the Courts

The federal judiciary will follow the election returns.
Sep 29, 2014

With little fanfare, President Obama has enjoyed remarkable success in his project to remake the federal courts in his own ideological image. How much more he achieves during his final two years in office depends in large part on whether Republicans win control of the Senate this November.

Obama’s success is most marked in the federal courts of appeals, the intermediate level of the national judicial hierarchy. When Obama took office, only 1 of the 13 appellate courts had a majority of Democratic appointees. Now 9 do.

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Falling Down on the Job

State AGs shirk their duty to defend state laws.
Feb 17, 2014

Last month, just 12 days after taking office as Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring abandoned his state’s defense of its marriage laws in a federal lawsuit brought by same-sex couples. Switching sides to join forces with the same-sex couples, Herring explained that he had concluded that the state constitutional provision and statute “denying the right to marry to same-sex couples” violate the federal Constitution. Further, he wants Virginia to be “on the right side of history.”

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