GOP to grill Biden justice nominees on Second Amendment, allowing ‘dangerous’ felons out on bail
Some of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees will face criticism from Republicans at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for their record on bailing criminals and their Second Amendment legal theories.
Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will preside over the hearing of six of Biden’s judicial nominees, just a handful of the dozens of nominees Democrats hope to confirm to the lame Congress before the nominations expire the next day. next year. Several of these candidates are expected to be turned down by Republican lawmakers.
Judge Jonathan James Grey, who was appointed to the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, last year granted bail to a man accused of embezzling $2million who the government considered a risk on the run due to his history of domestic violence, use of weapons, 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 held pending 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 felons on bail, only for another judge to overturn those rulings and put the felons back behind bars to await trial.
Republicans are also expected to target Julia Kobick, the Massachusetts assistant general counsel who is appointed to the Massachusetts District Court. In 2016, Kobick supported a Massachusetts woman’s 2016 conviction for possession of a stun gun she used to defend herself against her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Kobick argued that the woman, Jaime Caetano, should go to jail 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 and called it « frivolous ».
In a concurring opinion, Judge Samuel Alito said that « Caetano’s encounter with her abusive ex-boyfriend illustrates the connection between these fundamental rights: by arming himself, Caetano was able to protect himself against a physical threat that the restraining orders had proven useless to warn. »
« And, commendably, she did so using a weapon that posed little or no danger of permanently harming herself or the father of her children, » Alito added.
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Also before the committee today, Judge Todd Edelman, who was the nominee for U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. This month, Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., grilled Edelman for freeing a convict criminal in 2020 who later that year was implicated in the murder of a 10-year-old boy in Washington and pleaded guilty to that crime.