The Senate has voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee Scott Rash to the U.S. District Court for Arizona.
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz., voted in favor of confirmation. The vote Tuesday was 74 to 20.
Rash, nominated on Sept. 12, 2019, will fill one of Arizona’s two vacant district court seats. That seat previously was held by Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson, who assumed senior status on April 6, 2018.
Trump on March 4, 2019, nominated John Charles Hinderaker to fill the second vacant seat, which was previously held by Judge Raner Collins. Hinderaker’s nomination is still pending.
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Both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have made the judicial confirmation process a priority. The Senate so far has confirmed 193 of Trump’s nominees to the federal bench. By comparison, former President Barack Obama got 137 federal judges confirmed during his eight years in the White House.
Compared to other states, Arizona’s U.S. court appointees under Trump have gone smoothly, said Carl Tobias, the Williams Chair in Law at the University of Richmond School of Law and who specializes in federal judicial selection.
“In Arizona, there haven’t been a lot of controversial nominees. Arizona has a split delegation and before that you had McCain and Flake who brought forward strong nominees,” said Tobias. “If senators work together like Sinema and McSally have and get mainstream, strong nominees, then that’s good for Arizona.”
For U.S. appeals and district court nominees, home-state senators develop a process for choosing nominees. After consultation with home-state senators, the president selects the nominee, who then must be confirmed by the Senate.
In a written statement, Sinema told The Arizona Republic that she would work across the aisle to advance qualified judicial nominees.
“I evaluate every nominee based on whether he or she is professionally qualified, believes in the role of an independent judiciary, and can be trusted to faithfully interpret and uphold the rule of law,” Sinema said. “I believe both Judge Rash and Judge Hinderaker meet these criteria and I am glad they will fill Arizona’s judicial vacancies.”
McSally also praised Rash, saying he is “widely respected in the Tucson legal community.”
Rash is a graduate of the University of Arizona and the UA College of Law. He has served as an assistant Arizona attorney general. He was also a shareholder at the Tucson law firm Gabroy, Rollman and Bossé.
Former Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Rash to the Pima County Superior Court. He has been a member of the Federalist Society since 2018.
Besides Rash, Trump has added four judges to the U.S. District Court of Arizona: Dominic W. Lanza, Susan Brnovich and Michael Liburdi.