John Bush, the Little Rock native lawyer appointed by Donald Trump to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals over widespread criticism given his harshly ideological past, has started his appellate career with a bang.

From Slate, an article headlined “An awful ruling from one of Trump’s worst judicial appointees”:

Donald Trump has nominated a number of egregiously unqualified and objectionable people to the federal judiciary, but thus far only one truly outrageous nominee has been confirmed.

John K. Bush, who serves on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is a former blogger who spread birther conspiracies, used the word faggot in a speech, and urged Congress to “gag” “Mama Pelosi.” He nevertheless received unanimous Republican support in the Senate.

On Wednesday, Bush handed down his first published opinion in a constitutional case, Peffer v. Stephens. He used the occasion to create a new rule that guts the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In an astonishingly broad decision, Bush held that if a suspect may have used his home computer in commission of a crime, law enforcement officials have probable cause to search his entire house. Most of Trump’s judicial appointees share a similar jurisprudential philosophy. Bush’s ruling provides an early warning that these judges will not be eager to stand up for Americans’ right to privacy.

John Wesley Hall, a Little Rock defense lawyer who alerted me to the decision, has written about Bush’s opinion on his widely read blog on 4th Amendment (search and seizure) issues.


A computer, like a gun, is usually kept in the home, and a search warrant for a computer establishes nexus to search defendant’s house[!, really?]. 

Bad as Bush is — and that’s bad — he’s not the worst of Trump’s judges and Senate Republicans are waving them through at breakneck speed.