Judge calls for investigation into whether McConnell pressured judge to retire

A federal judge is calling for an investigation to find out whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November Trump's Teflon problem: Nothing sticks, including the 'wins' Senate Republican says lawmakers can't 'boil down' what a Court nominee would do in one case like Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Ky.) pressured a Washington, D.C., federal judge to retire so the senator could nominate judge Justin Walker, a 38-year-old Kentucky federal judge who was confirmed for his current role in October. 

Demand Justice, a progressive judicial watchdog group, requested a postponement of Wednesday’s scheduled hearing on the nomination of Walker. 

“The hearing on Walker’s nomination should not go forward until we know the truth about what ethical lines Mitch McConnell crossed to get Walker this seat," Demand Justice said in a statement. “McConnell should come clean about whether and when he contacted Judge Thomas Griffith prior to his sudden retirement.” 

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On Friday, Sri Srinivasan, the chief justice of the court to which Walker has been nominated, issued a public order asking U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to transfer to another circuit after Demand Justice’s allegation.  

The New York Times has reported that McConnell has allegedly pressured judges to retire in time for President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE to fill their vacancies this term. A spokesperson for McConnell’s office told The Hill that the senator, “looks forward to watching Judge Walker’s confirmation hearing this week.”

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham neck and neck with challenger in South Carolina Senate race: poll Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election MORE (R-S.C.) a letter last week urging him to delay the hearing, which will come two days after the Senate returns from a five-week recess. Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' Biden refuses to say whether he would support expanding Supreme Court Schumer says Trump tweet shows court pick meant to kill off ObamaCare MORE (D-N.Y.) has brought up concerns about Walker's qualifications. 

"The rumor is he wants to put a judge on the calendar whose claim to fame seems to be that he worked for [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)] as a staffer. ... The ABA [American Bar Association] rated him unqualified," Schumer said Monday during an interview with "Morning Joe.”

At the time of his October confirmation, the ABA rated Walker "not qualified," saying that the "Standing Committee believes that Mr. Walker does not presently have the requisite trial or litigation experience or its equivalent."