2 judicial nominees rated as 'not qualified' among group of 17 to advance to the Senate

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The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced to the Senate 17 judicial nominees—including two who received “not qualified” ratings from the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

U.S. News & World Report described the 17 as an “abnormally large group.” Liberal interest groups have charged that Republicans grouped together so many nominees for consideration in one session to avoid public scrutiny, according to the Hill and the Huffington Post.

Groups, such as the Alliance for Justice, sent people to the hearings with T-shirts reading “#MonsterMarkup” to protest.

Among those approved were “not qualified”-rated nominees Holly Lou Teeter and U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Goodwin. Teeter, a federal prosecutor, is nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Goodwin is nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

The ABA committee said it didn’t believe Teeter had the requisite trial experience. The committee said it had concerns about Goodwin’s “work habits, including his frequent absence from the courthouse until mid-afternoon.”

The group also included controversial nominees Thomas Farr—a lawyer for the campaign of former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms who defended a North Carolina voter ID law held to be unconstitutional—and Kyle Duncan, who wrote legal briefs opposing same-sex marriage. Farr is nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina and Duncan is nominated to the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Teeter, Goodwin, Farr and Duncan were among 21 people renominated by President Donald Trump on Jan. 8 after their judicial nominations expired in 2017, the Huffington Post reported last week.

Also winning committee approval were two other federal appellate nominees: Elizabeth Branch for the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and David Stras for the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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