John K. Bush

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John Kenneth Bush
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Assumed office
July 21, 2017
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byDanny Julian Boggs
Personal details
John Kenneth Bush

(1964-08-24) August 24, 1964 (age 54)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S.
EducationVanderbilt University (BA)
Harvard Law School (JD)

John Kenneth Bush (born August 24, 1964) is an American attorney and United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.[1][2] Bush graduated from Harvard Law School and practiced in Washington, D.C. and Louisville, Kentucky, where he served as president of the local branch of the Federalist Society. In 2017, he was nominated to a seat on the Sixth Circuit court by President Donald Trump. During his confirmation hearings, it came to light that Bush had authored pseudonymous blog posts in which he disparaged gay rights, compared abortion to slavery, and linked to articles on right-wing conspiracy theory websites.[2][3][4] He was confirmed by the Senate on a party-line vote of 51–47 on July 20, 2017.[5]

Education and career[edit]

Bush received his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in 1986 from Vanderbilt University and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 1989 from Harvard Law School.[6] After graduating from law school, Bush served as a law clerk to Judge J. Smith Henley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He practiced law at the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., before taking a job at Bingham Greenebaum Doll in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a partner at the firm and co-chair of the firm's litigation department before becoming a judge. Bush specialized in complex litigation, including antitrust, securities, financial institutions, insurance, intellectual property, and product liability disputes. He has extensive litigation experience in state and federal courts in many jurisdictions and in arbitration proceedings.[7][8][9] Bush is chairman of the Louisville chapter of the Federalist Society.[10][11][12]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On May 8, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Bush to the seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated by Judge Danny Julian Boggs, who took senior status on February 28, 2017.[7][8][13] A hearing on his nomination before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary was held on June 14, 2017.[14] On a questionnaire submitted to the committee, Bush acknowledged that between 2007 and 2016, he had pseudonymously authored approximately 400 blog posts on Elephants in the Bluegrass, a blog founded by his wife, Bridget.[3] His blog posts espoused expressed opposition to gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, public financing of political campaigns, and the idea of trying terrorists in civilian courts.[15][4] Bush also compared abortion to slavery, and citing media reports containing "birther" falsehoods about Barack Obama's citizenship.[4][2][16][17] When questioned about his blogging during his judicial nomination process, Bush said that "my personal views are irrelevant to the position for which I have been nominated" and that "blogging is a political activity. It is not appropriate to bring politics to the bench."[18][11][12] On July 19, 2017, the Senate voted in favor of cloture by a vote of 51–48, and on the following day voted 51–47 to confirm him.[19] He received his judicial commission on July 21, 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Attorney John K Bush - Lawyer in Louisville KY".
  2. ^ a b c Totenberg, Nina (July 20, 2017). "Conservative Political Blogger Confirmed For Seat On Federal Appeals Court". NPR.
  3. ^ a b Wolfson, Andrew (May 24, 2017). "Using pen name, judicial nominee wrote slavery and abortion are our 'greatest tragedies'". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Wolfson, Andrew (June 28, 2017). "Trump's judicial nominee from Louisville ducks questions about his controversial blog posts". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Wolfson, Andrew (July 20, 2017). "Louisville attorney John Bush confirmed 51-47 for seat on federal court of appeals". USA Today.
  6. ^ Severino, Carrie (May 7, 2017). "Bench Memos: Who is John K. Bush?". National Review. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Liptak, Adam (May 7, 2017). "Trump to Announce Slate of Conservative Federal Court Nominees" – via
  8. ^ a b "President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Candidate Nominations". White House, Office of Press Secretary. May 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "John Kenneth Bush Lawyer Profile on".
  10. ^ Wolfson, Andrew (May 9, 2017). "President Trump taps Louisville conservative John K. Bush for court". Louisville Courier-Journal. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: John Kenneth Bush" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-07-05. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  12. ^ a b U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary (June 21, 2017). "Questions from Senator Feinstein" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-29. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "Nine Nominations Sent to the Senate Today". The White House. May 8, 2017. Archived from the original on May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  14. ^ "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary" Nominations: June 14, 2017".
  15. ^ Tillman, Zoe (May 19, 2017). "One Of Trump's Judicial Nominees Blogged Under A Pen Name That Ted Cruz Was A "Sore Loser"". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Min Kim, Seung (November 17, 2017). "Trump's judge picks: 'Not qualified,' prolific bloggers". Politico. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Senate Confirms Judge Who Equated Abortion With Slavery". Fortune. Associated Press. July 20, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Senators Grill Trump Judicial Nominees On Provocative Blog Posts".
  19. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress - 1st Session".

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Danny Julian Boggs
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit