President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Steven Menashi, was confirmed by the Senate Thursday after surviving what many Republicans and conservative media say has been a left-wing smear campaign.
Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted:
Despite left-wing interest groups and Senate Democrats employing their tired, smear-campaign playbook yet again, Steven Menashi is now rightfully Judge Menashi. The left’s smear train is running out of steam; it sputters along but it isn’t getting anywhere.
Despite left-wing interest groups and Senate Democrats employing their tired, smear-campaign playbook yet again, Steven Menashi is now rightfully Judge Menashi. The left's smear train is running out of steam; it sputters along but it isn’t getting anywhere. 1/3
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) November 14, 2019
Menashi, 40, was confirmed by the Senate, 51-41. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined with Democrats in opposing his confirmation to the federal appeals court based in New York.
According to the Washington Times, Collins said Menashi’s writings about women, LGBT advocates, and diversity led her to question his judicial character. She also questioned his refusal to respond to questions about his previous work in the Trump administration to develop immigration policies:
His reluctance to answer questions about the family separation policy made it difficult for me to assess his record and impeded my constitutional duty to evaluate his fitness to serve as a judge.
As the Washington Examiner reported, Menashi’s confirmation flips the Second Circuit appeals court to one having a majority of judges who were appointed by Republican presidents:
The 2nd Circuit is the second federal appeals court Trump has remade to have a majority of judges appointed by GOP presidents. In March, the president flipped the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with the confirmation of Paul Matey.
Trump is also close to shifting the balance of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to majority Republican-appointed judges, with the Senate expected to vote on the nominations of Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa in the coming days. He has also brought the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered to be the country’s most liberal, closer to parity.
Senate Democrats vehemently opposed Menashi’s nomination and fought to kill it.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, referred to Menashi as “one of the most contemptible nominees to come before the Senate” during his tenure and a “disgrace to the seat once held by the great Thurgood Marshall,” reported the Examiner.
Severino, however, has been equally vocal about left-wing media joining with Democrats to smear Menashi.
Last week, she called out an attempt by the New York Times to kill his nomination by publishing an article that claimed Menashi “helped devise an Education Department plan to use Social Security data to deny students debt relief, an effort that a judge ruled violated privacy laws.”
The story “amounts to yet another hit job against Steve Menashi” and is part of a series of “baseless smears against Menashi [that] have been unrelenting,” said Severino in a statement.
In August, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow was also criticized for falsely accusing Menashi of racism.
“Maddow is guilty of smearing him as a racist based on distortions of his writings so egregious that it is clear she either never read the articles she cites; did not understand them; or — worst of all — read them, understood them, and misconstrued them,” wrote Breitbart senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak.
Trump has now appointed more than 150 judges to the federal bench.