GOP to lift Biden judicial nominees on Second Amendment, allowing ‘dangerous’ criminals out on bail
Some of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees will face criticism from Republicans at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today over their record of letting criminals out on bail and their legal theories about the Second Amendment.
Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will preside over hearings for six of Biden’s judicial nominees, just a handful of dozens of nominees Democrats hope to confirm in the lame-duck Congress before nominations expire next year Several of those candidates are expected to be rejected by Republican lawmakers.
Judge Jonathan James Gray, who was appointed to the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, last year granted bail to a man accused of embezzling $2 million and whom the government considered a flight risk because for his history of domestic violence, gun use, a DUI conviction and lying and hiding from federal agents, according to a Republican committee aide. Another judge later overturned Grey’s decision and ordered that the criminal be detained while awaiting trial.
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In at least two other cases, Gray released “dangerous” defendants on bail, according to the aide.
A second candidate today is Judge Ramon Reyes, who was nominated for the Eastern District of New York. Republicans say that on at least three occasions, Reyes ordered the release of criminals on bond, only to have another judge overturn those decisions and put the criminals back behind bars while they awaited trial.
Republicans are also expected to target Julia Kobick, the Massachusetts deputy attorney general who is nominated to the Massachusetts District Court. In 2016, Kobick supported the conviction of a Massachusetts woman in 2016 for possessing a stun gun that she used to defend herself from her violent ex-boyfriend.
Kobick argued that the woman, Jaime Caetano, should go to prison for violating Massachusetts gun laws and argued that the Second Amendment did not apply since stun guns were not invented in 1789.
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The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which unanimously rejected Kobick’s argument, calling it “frivolous.”
In a concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said that “Caetano’s encounter with his violent ex-boyfriend illustrates the connection between these fundamental rights: By arming himself, Caetano was able to protect himself from a physical threat that orders of estrangement had proved useless to prevent”.
“And commendably, she did so using a weapon that posed little, if any, danger of permanently harming herself or the father of her children,” Alito added.
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Also before the committee today is Judge Todd Edelman, who was nominated to the US District Court in Washington, DC This month, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, criticized Edelman for freeing a convict. criminal in 2020, who later that year was involved in the murder of a 10-year-old boy in Washington and pleaded guilty in connection with that crime.