The United States Law Week

Trump Pick for Kansas Federal Court Has Recent SCOTUS Success

May 7, 2020, 9:10 PM

Kansas Solicitor General Toby Crouse, who argued and and won two cases for his state at the U.S. Supreme Court this term, is President Donald Trump’s latest pick for a federal trial court seat in the state.

Crouse’s nomination to the U.S. Court for the District of Kansas, announced Thursday, adds to Trump’s more than 40 pending picks in the judicial nomination pipeline.

Crouse secured his first high court win in March when the Supreme Court court ruled 6-3 that U.S. Constitution doesn’t require a state to adopt an insanity test that turns on a defendant’s ability to recognize that his crime was morally wrong.

And in April Crouse won again when the court ruled 8-1 that a police officer doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment by initiating an investigative stop after running a vehicle’s license plate and learning that the registered owner has a revoked driver’s license.

The arguments were his first at the Supreme Court.

Last month though, Crouse lost his bid for reversal of a federal trial court decision to strike down a requirement that Kansans show documentary proof of citizenship before they can register to vote, a policy championed by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The Denver-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling on April 29.

Before becoming the Kansas solicitor general, Crouse worked in private practice. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, clerked for Tenth Circuit Judge Mary Beck Briscoe and for Kansas U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has said he’ll continue to make confirming judges a priority despite the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to Republican control of the Senate, gaining judicial confirmations has been one of Trump’s most successful objectives.

The president has won confirmation of 189 federal district and appellate judges and two Supreme Court appointees during his three years and four months in office.

—With assistance from Jordan Rubin and Kimberly Robinson

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at malder@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com

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