Biden Abandons Judge That He Nominated

( – It seems some judges are too soft on crime even for President Biden. One of his nominees for the Washington, DC US District Court has been coming under pressure from Senate Republicans. The Democrats still have the numbers to push the nomination through anyway — but now Biden has backed away from it.

Since 2010, Judge Todd E Edelman has been an associate judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 2016, former president Barack Obama nominated him to the US District Court for DC, but that nomination expired before he was confirmed. Then, in July 2022, President Biden nominated him again for the same court.

This turned out to be controversial because, between the two nominations, Edelman tried Christian Wingfield for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. This happened in 2020, during the pandemic, and Wingfield’s lawyer asked the court to release his client. Edelman agreed and released him on an ankle monitor. Then, days later, Wingfield was part of a gang that shot an 11-year-old boy dead at a 4th of July party. Although he didn’t fire the gun himself, he was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

With this record of leniency, Edelman wasn’t a popular choice with GOP senators. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) slammed “radical, activist judges like Judge Edelman,” blaming them for the surge in violent crime across the US, and called his nomination “reckless.” At Edelman’s November 2022 Senate hearing Blackburn reminded him that, a week before he released Wingfield, another judge had refused a similar request because he was assessed as a danger to the community.

Her arguments persuaded enough senators that Edelman didn’t get the votes to proceed to a full Senate confirmation — and the Senate Judiciary Committee had a Dem majority, so at least one Democrat refused to back him. That led to his nomination lapsing, and Biden hasn’t renewed it. That likely ends Edelman’s hopes of being promoted to the District Court. The White House isn’t commenting on the lapsed nomination, but Blackburn said she’s pleased Biden has now seen sense.

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