Judge calls for investigation into whether McConnell pressured judge to retire

Sri Srinivasan, a federal judge appointed by Obama has asked Chief Justice Roberts to assign a formal investigation into whether McConnell unethically pressured a sitting judge to retire so McConnell could install Justin Walker in his place.

Courier Journal reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bid to stack the federal judiciary with conservative judges — including one who is his protege — has run into a hitch.

The chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, often called the nation’s second-most important court — has asked for an investigation to determine whether a judge on that court retired at McConnell’s request to make room for the appointment of Judge Justin Walker of Louisville.

A liberal activist group says in a complaint that Judge Thomas Griffith, who agreed in March to step down, may have engaged in improper “partisan political activity” if he coordinated with McConnell to ensure his successor would be chosen while Republicans still control the White House and the Senate.

“McConnell should come clean about whether and when he contacted Judge Griffith prior to his sudden retirement,” wrote the Washington-based Demand Justice, which says its goal is to prevent the courts from “devolving into a tool of economic and social oppression.”

Sri Srinivasan, the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit, on Friday referred a request for investigation from Demand Justice to Chief Justice John Roberts, so it can be transferred to another circuit for review.

But Demand Justice’s request for a postponement of Walker’s nomination hearing Wednesday at the Senate Judiciary Committee has been rejected by the Republican-controlled panel.

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