Hearings on the nomination of Judge Justin Walker began in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Democratic lawmakers believe that Federal judge Justin Walker, who is a protege of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and an associate of Supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh, does not have enough experience to become a judge of the appeals court in Washington.
Hearings on Walker’s nomination began in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
“After serving just six months on the district court, he is being nominated for a post on the court of appeals for the District of Columbia,” said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “In his short term, Judge Walker, who is only 37 years old, has received almost no experience that is necessary for such a promotion.”
Walker, who has served as a Federal district court judge in Kentucky since October last year, is close to McConnell and actively supported Kavanaugh during Senate hearings on his nomination in 2018.
Walker is running for the post, which is being vacated due to the retirement of Judge Thomas Griffith, appointed under former President George H. W. Bush. Walker’s appointment will not change the ideological balance on the court, where Democratic-appointed judges currently hold 7 of the 11 seats.
Previously a law Professor at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, Walker nevertheless has extensive connections in Washington. He served as an assistant to Kavanaugh on the District of Columbia court of appeals, where he served for 12 years and was an associate of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh succeeded in 2018.
The court of appeals for the District of Columbia is considered the second most important court in the United States, in part because it handles
numerous necessary lawsuits against Federal regulations. Four of the current Supreme Court justices have previously served in this court.
The Senate returned to work on Monday after six weeks of recess, despite concerns about the risk of coronavirus infection. Senators are advised to keep a distance of 2 meters and wear masks, as well as reduce support staff.