SCOTUS has confirmed new circuit assignments that result in conservative judges having jurisdiction over nearly all states, key to Trump’s victory.
Following the death of Justice SCOTUS Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, President Trump has appointed Amy Coney Barrett to replace her in court. With a new justice at SCOTUS, it was also necessary to reorganize the control of the circuit courts.
Each SCOTUS judge presides over one or more of the 13 American judicial circuits as a circuit justice. As SCOTUSblog explains:
A circuit judge is primarily responsible for emergency requests (for example, a request to block an execution or to allow him to proceed) from the geographical area covered by his circuit, as well as more mundane matters, such as extension requests. filing deadlines. However, judges can and often do refer important urgent requests to the court as a whole – a role that has grown in importance in recent years with the sharp increase in activity on the court’s “side role”.
SCOTUS ‘so-called “shadow role” for the circuits is particularly important in cases related to the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, where President Trump and his campaign team are challenging many of the early results in some key states. Justice Alito granted such an emergency stay on the parallel role regarding the Pennsylvania election.
The late Judge Ginsburg having presided over the very busy 2nd Circuit, which includes New York, Vermont and Connecticut, Sonia Sotomayor was asked to replace her, after Judge Breyer served as a provisional meeting. As a result, Sotomayor ceded the 6th and 10th Circuit to judges Kavanaugh and Gorsuch respectively.
With Kavanaugh now in charge of the 6th Circuit, the conservative judges now hold emergency jurisdiction over 4 of the 5 states key to President Trump’s victory. Kavanaugh’s new placement, which gives him jurisdiction over Michigan, is the only change of party. Pennsylvania and Georgia remain under the jurisdiction of Justices Alito and Thomas respectively, while Barrett stepped in to replace Kavanaugh in the 7th Circuit, which includes Wisconsin.
The only contested state that does not have a conservative justice in charge is Arizona, which falls under the famed 9th Liberal Circuit, where Judge Kagan remains in charge.
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