Biden Administration to Nominate Federal Judge for Western District of Arkansas

The Biden-Harris Administration will soon nominate a federal district judge to fill a vacancy in Arkansas’ Western District.

U.S. District Judge Paul Holmes, III, of Fort Smith took Senior Status effective November 10, 2021.

Senior Status is a form of semiretirement for federal judges. It means the president will need to nominate a new judge to fill the position full time.

There are currently some 77 judicial vacancy in America and more than two dozens nominees pending before congress.

As of last week, President Biden has not nominated anyone to fill Judge Holmes’ position on the court.

U.S. District Court nominations rarely receive very much attention, but they are critical judicial positions.

When a state law is challenged in federal court, district judges are the first to hear the case. Right now many of the district judges in Arkansas — including U.S. District Judges Paul Holmes, James Moody, and Kristine Baker — are Obama appointees.

Because our district courts lean to the left, Arkansas often loses court cases over abortion and other social issues at the lower level, but we get better rulings from the more conservative judges on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

It doesn’t look like those dynamics are going to change under President Biden. However, it will be interesting to see who he nominates to replace Judge Holmes in the coming weeks.

Lawsuit Shows Importance of Lower Courts, Government Offices

U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky (above) is presiding over the case.

With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, all eyes turn to the U.S. Supreme Court and the race for the presidency this November.

Every time a seat on the nation’s high court is vacated, Americans are reminded of a simple fact: Elections really do have consequences.

That’s especially true of presidential elections, because the president is responsible for nominating federal judges and appointing men and women to lead government agencies.

There’s no denying that the U.S. Supreme Court has tremendous power. But the truth is the nation’s district courts and appeals courts arguably are just as important — if not more so.

For example, right now the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Kroger store in Conway, Arkansas over alleged religious discrimination.

According a complaint the EEOC filed last week, the Kroger store disciplined — and eventually fired — two employees who declined to wear a rainbow insignia on their store aprons.

The rainbow insignia is widely understood to be a symbol of gay pride, and the two employees both profess to be Christians who object to homosexual behavior.

The U.S. government’s lawsuit against the store argues that discipling and firing the employees ultimately amounts to religious discrimination under federal law.

The case is currently before U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky.

President Trump nominated Judge Rudofsky in July of 2019, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him last November.

Judge Rudofsky no doubt will give the case a very fair hearing.

It’s difficult to imagine the Obama Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission taking up a case like this one a few years ago.

From 2013 – 2016, the Obama Administration issued directive after directive promoting a pro-LGBT agenda — often at the expense of religious liberty.

The Trump Administration’s EEOC is standing up for religious liberty in this lawsuit, and one of President Trump’s judicial nominees is presiding over the case.

This lawsuit may never land before the U.S. Supreme Court, but it still could impact how businesses in America treat their employees’ religious beliefs and how future courts handle religious discrimination cases.

Cases like these often don’t get the attention they deserve, but they can affect Americans for years to come.

U.S. Senate Confirms Arkansas’ Lee Rudofsky as Federal Judge

On Thursday the U.S. Senate confirmed former state Solicitor General Lee Rudofsky to serve as a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

President Trump nominated Mr. Rudofsky last July to fill the position following the retirement of federal Judge Leon Holmes.

Mr. Rudofsky is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School, and he has experience with constitutional law.

As Solicitor General for the State of Arkansas, Mr. Rudofsky defended state laws and policies in court — including policies that protect taxpayers from subsidizing abortionists like Planned Parenthood.