SDNY – The Continuing Saga

Looks like Trump’s people assumed Lindsey Graham would rubber-stamp Clayton’s nomination to SDNY without, ya know, actually checking in with Graham. Graham, so far, says he’ll follow the standard process of waiting for blue slips from Gillibrand and Schumer.
Personally, I give this above even chances of sticking even after someone explains to Trump what a blue slip is. Trump wants the short-term win, but Graham seems to be looking at long-term strategy. Graham is up for reelection this year … but the presidential race will drive turnout. I can’t see Trump voters abstaining in the Senate race … so Graham can afford some voter outrage from the MAGA extremists. Some centrists could find presidential interference off-putting, and conservative Dems and liberal Repubs would constitute the votes actually up-for-grabs. But, beyond Graham’s possible continued tenure — at *some* point, Democrats will be in charge again, and a lot of Senate traditions cede a significant amount of power to the minority. Upend those traditions for a quick win today, you harm yourself in the future.


Who can actually fire a US Attorney appointed under 28 U.S. Code § 546 (d) is an interesting question. The text says “district court for such district may appoint a United States attorney to serve until the vacancy is filled”. Filling the position through the ordinary nomination, Senate approval, AG appointment process is an obvious path to replace the person appointed to the position. It’s possible the district court could appoint someone else — letter of the law, I don’t think so. Don’t see anyone else in the list, though. Certainly not AG.