Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition

Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition
© Greg Nash
President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE's pick for an influential circuit court is in jeopardy over Republican opposition to the nomination. 
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee is leaving Judge Halil Suleyman Ozerden's nomination off its agenda for a Thursday business meeting where five other judicial nominations are expected to get a vote, according to a committee notice sent out on Monday. 
 
The decision to leave him off the weekly agenda was made "at the request of the WH," a committee aide told The Hill, using an abbreviation for the White House. 
 
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The committee aide directed questions about the status of the nomination to the administration. Spokespeople for the White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision, or on whether Trump was planning to withdraw Ozerden's nomination.
 
But the decision comes as a vote on Ozerden's nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been held over in the Judiciary Committee five times, most recently last Thursday. 
 
 
The seeming limbo comes less than a week after Graham initially predicted that Ozerden would make it through the committee. 
 
Ozerden had drawn opposition from two GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee: Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOh, Canada: Should the US emulate Canada's National Health Service? Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Trump says he'll sign order with 'road to citizenship' for DACA recipients MORE (Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyESPN suspends NBA reporter after profane email to Hawley: report Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski emails Josh Hawley an F-bomb MORE (Mo.). Two other GOP senators, Sens. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (Tenn.) and Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMeadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Chamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection MORE (Neb.), haven't yet announced how they'll vote on Ozerden. 
 
 
But he's garnered criticism from Republicans who question his conservative credentials and his dismissal of a case involving ObamaCare’s birth control mandate. Ozerden is currently a U.S. district judge in Mississippi. 
 
In a 12-10 GOP-controlled panel, Ozerden will need to pick up support from Democrats in order to get through the Judiciary Committee. No Democrats have said they will support him, though Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats MORE (D-Ill.) hasn't announced how he will vote. 
 
But in a potential roadblock to picking up support from Democrats, the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights have both come out against his nomination. 
 
"Judge Ozerden ... has a track record of reflexively dismissing the claims of discrimination victims without letting them have their day in court. He has demonstrated insensitivity to racial justice and LGBTQ equality," the Leadership Conference wrote in a letter last month. 
 
Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said earlier this year that he would support Ozerden's nomination but predicted he wouldn't ultimately be confirmed. 
 
"I don't think the votes are there, no," Kennedy said when asked about opposition from Republicans.
 
GOP leaders view the president’s court picks as their top priority — smashing records for the pace of influential appeals court picks. 
 
But if Ozerden's nomination is withdrawn it wouldn't be the first time GOP opposition has brought down a Trump nominee. 
 
Criticism from GOP senators and conservative outside groups also led Michigan attorney Michael Bogren to ask that his district judge nomination be withdrawn. Two nominees — Ryan Bounds to be a circuit judge and Thomas Farr to be a district judge — withdrew last year after Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill MORE (R-S.C.) warned he couldn’t support them because of their writings related to race.