Republicans Face Major Blow and No Longer Get to Handpick Judges

( – The federal judiciary policymaking body implemented a new policy last Tuesday that would halt so-called “venue shopping” by states, businesses, and activists that file lawsuits against the federal government that seek to find a sympathetic judge likely to take their cases and rule in their favor, Reuters reported.

While state attorneys general and activist groups from both political parties have long taken advantage of venue shopping, the United States Judicial Conference’s decision was prompted by demands by Democrat lawmakers and activists seeking to stop conservatives from successfully blocking the Biden administration’s agenda in court.

Under the new policy, lawsuits to block federal or state laws would be randomly assigned a judge throughout a federal court system rather than judges from a specific division or district.

Sixth Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Sutton, the chairman of the Judicial Conference’s executive committee, said the revised policy was made following a “plethora” of statewide and national injunctions being issued by specific judges.

Not everyone in the judiciary supports the policy change.

Two conservative judges from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges Edith Jones and James Ho, criticized the change on Wednesday.

In a March 13 statement, Judge Ho said federal judges were bound by laws enacted by the US Congress and should not “bend the rules in response to political pressure.”

District Judge Jones warned that the new policy would spawn “many complications.” She noted that since the complaints about so-called “venue shopping” began in the “patent docket” rather than federal cases, the policy change “appears to conflict with that law.”

Chief Judge Randy Crane of the US District for the Southern District of Texas said the policy change presented questions that would need to be answered before the change was implemented by the federal judiciary. He suggested that given the timing of the change, “certain political interests” were behind it.

However, Judge Sutton defended the move, saying it made sense to ensure that plaintiffs seeking injunctions would be heard by a variety of judges rather than their cases remaining within a couple of specific courthouses.

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