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Blog of the Legal Times: Williams Mullen partner Jimmie Reyna is scheduled to get a Senate vote today on his nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
The Hill: This week, a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a plan to reduce the number of Senate confirmed slots by 200, and to make an additional 250 slots subject to an expedited confirmation process
Blog of the Legal Times: “Senate Republicans sharply questioned Solicitor General nominee Donald Verrilli Jr. on Wednesday over the Obama administration’s decision in February to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.”
Mario Diaz writes at Townhall: So Republican Senators should stop playing “nice” on judicial nominations. Unlike Democrats, who opposed President Bush’s nominees because of their race (see Miguel Estrada), Republicans have been fairly tame in dealing with the steady stream of radical political operatives and ideologues the President has sent them. From judges who believe that praying in the name of Jesus violates the Constitution, but praying in the name of Allah is okay (David Hamilton), to believing a Latino judge makes better decisions than white judges (Sonia Sotomayor), to believing using filters to protect children from obscene materials in public libraries violates “freedom of speech” (Edward Chen), to believing judges should create a constitutional right to welfare (Goodwin Liu), to supporting the rationing of medical services by ranks (Caitlin Halligan), to selecting judges because they are homosexuals (J. Paul Oetken), we have seen it all.
The Hill: At about 6 p.m., the Senate unanimously approved President Obama’s nomination of Mae D’Agostino to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York. The vote was 88-0. D’Agostino was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee on March 3.
Blog of the Legal Times: Two nominees for the federal bench, both with ties to large law firms, each has a net worth in seven figures, according to financial disclosure reports they submitted to the U.S. Senate.
Washington Post: “DuMont, an appellate specialist, to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit . . . There is no evidence that Mr. DuMont’s sexual orientation has played a role in the delays. We certainly hope it hasn’t.”
LifeNews: The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on pro-abortion federal appeals court nominee Goodwin Liu, whom President Barack Obama picked for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Miami Herald: The candidate, Don Haase of Valdez, also admitted under questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that his official resume failed to disclose his leadership role in Eagle Forum Alaska, which advocates for social conservative issues.
Des Moines Register: “Iowa’s three new Supreme Court justices said they are prepared to campaign in 2012 when they face a retention vote.”
LifeNews: “Demonstrating allegiance to the pro-abortion agenda, Stephen Six successfully captured the attention of President Obama and recently received a judicial nomination to the Federal Appeals Court. That’s bad news for America and here’s why: Mr. Six is notorious for using political powers to protect the abortion industry.”
WCFCourier.com: Gov. Terry Branstad picked Zager, Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Edward Mansfield of Des Moines and private attorney Thomas Waterman of Pleasant Valley to replace three Supreme Court Justices who were voted out during November retention elections because of a ruling on same-sex marriage.
Blog of the Legal Times: “The District of Columbia Judicial Nominating Commission announced today that it is seeking applications from members of the D.C. Bar interested in filling a judicial vacancy on the D.C. Superior Court.”
The Commercial Appeal: “A federal judge from Memphis who has been nominated to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals breezed through her confirmation hearing before a congressional panel on Wednesday.”
Blog of the Legal Times: The Senate voted unanimously today to confirm Washington litigator Amy Berman Jackson to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Kansas City Star Editorial: “Gov. Sam Brownback has thrown his support behind a bill that would jettison a judicial nominating process that has served Kansas well for more than 50 years and replace it with political appointments of judges.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “No Republican senators were present to question the two nominees, Paul Engelmayer and J. Paul Oetken, and the two Democrats in attendance called themselves strong supporters.”
LifeNews: President Barack Obama has nominated former Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six as a judge on the Federal Appeals Court in Denver. Six was involved in obstructing the prosecution of Planned Parenthood on 107 criminal charges and, according to some, tied the hands of the prosecutor in the 2009 criminal case against George Tiller.
Blog of the Legal Times: “The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote late today on the nomination of James “Jeb” Boasberg for U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.”
One News Now: State Representative Dwayne Alons submitted two bills to change the system. “The first one would be to do more of a selection process like the federal model,” he describes, “where the governor would select a name to fill a vacancy on the appellate court as well as the district courts. And then the Senate would confirm with a super majority — two-third’s vote.” . . . The second bill would establish a term limit for judges, plus a retention vote by the public.
John Ingold writes at the Denver Post: “The departure of the longest-serving active judge on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals gives President Barack Obama the chance to even the panel.”
Hartford Courant: Judge Lubbie Harper told his life story Friday to the legislature’s judiciary committee, which later approved his nomination to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
NJ.com: “One week. That’s how long Michael Patrick Carroll lasted as a Superior Court nominee. Gov. Chris Christie, who has previously gone to the mat with Democrats to battle for his choices, quietly yanked the Republican assemblyman’s nomination to become a judge today.”
LifeNews: “President Barack Obama has nominated a pro-abortion former Kansas state attorney general to serve on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, setting up another battle over abortion and a top judicial pick.”
LJWorld.com: “Lawrence resident and former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six was nominated Wednesday by President Obama to serve on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Des Moines Register: “Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a lawyer to the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission who is suing the commission on behalf of several Iowans. Branstad chose William R. Gustoff of Des Moines to serve on the commission, which selects the finalists for vacancies on the Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court.”
Tulsa World: “The Senate passed a measure Tuesday that would require Senate confirmation of the appointments of judges across the state. Senate Bill 621 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City, passed by a vote of 30-14 and heads to the House.”
The Hill: The Senate on Monday night confirmed three district judgeships, which led Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) to boast that the GOP has approved nearly one-fifth of President Obama’s judicial nominations in just a few short weeks.
“Late last week, the Kansas state House of Representatives passed a law that would change the way the state selects its appeals court judges, scaling back a system that has given disproportionate power to lawyers and pushed state courts to the left.”
Washington Post: “The brilliant professor, who turned just 40 in October, testified that he would not allow his academic musings to interfere with the duties of a lower-court judge to follow precedent. He should be confirmed and given the opportunity to demonstrate that he can do that.”
CNN: “From her chambers in Phoenix, Arizona, the chief judge of federal judicial District of Arizona warns a bulging criminal caseload is being exacerbated by three unfilled bench seats, which the Obama administration and the Senate have, until recently, shown little urgency to address.”
Politico: “Liu, 39, has captured the hopes of liberals who see him as one of Obama’s few bold judicial picks, someone with the intellect and youth for the circuit court bench, a traditional stepping stone to the Supreme Court. But Republicans have argued that he lacks any judicial experience, his legal writings are proof of his intention to legislate from the bench, and his criticism of Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito after he was nominated to the court revealed an inexperienced social activist who has no place on a federal bench.”
Ed Whelan writes at National Review Online: “It’s an odd thing: On the one hand, many folks on the Left (and many other supporters of same-sex marriage) maintain that only an irrational bigot could fail to accept the (absurd) proposition that the Constitution is properly interpreted as conferring a right to same-sex marriage. On the other hand, these same folks engage in extraordinary gymnastics to deny the concrete evidence that various of Obama’s judicial nominees favor invention of a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
GlobeGazette.com: “With the Iowa Supreme Court set to return to its full complement of seven members, some are wondering whether efforts to oust justices who supported a gay marriage ruling will resume.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The Senate Judiciary Committee gave notice today that it will hold a second confirmation hearing for Liu . . . Obama nominated Liu a year ago to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.”
Iowa Independent: “House Republicans have answered Branstad’s wish with House Joint Resolution 12, which would throw out the current judicial selection method and replace it with the federal system.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “James Graves Jr. is expected to make history today when he becomes the first African American from Mississippi to be confirmed for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.”
Thomas A. Saenz writes at the LA Times: “Thomas A. Saenz, a nationally known Latino civil rights lawyer who led the fight against Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that would have barred illegal immigrants from public services, is among the top candidates Gov. Jerry Brown is considering for the California Supreme Court, according to judges and law professors who have been consulted about the selection.”
Star Advertiser: “Despite the opinion by the head of the state agency that administers Hawaii’s open-records law, Gov. Neil Abercrombie will not release the names of candidates to the Hawaii Supreme Court.”
Des Moines Register: “The list of nine finalists for the court includes five judges, three private attorneys and a University of Iowa law professor. Scholars and court-watchers say the group reflects a mix of legal experience from trial and appellate courts, academia and judgeships.”
Christian Post: “President Obama has sent his nomination for the position of Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom to the Senate to be approved, the White House announced Monday.”
Star Advertiser: “The state Senate could vote as early as next week on Family Court Judge Sabrina McKenna’s appointment to the Hawaii Supreme Court following the unanimous approval of her nomination yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Tulsa World: “The White House enlisted surrogates to validate its pick to fill a vacant judicial slot in Tulsa, but it remained unclear whether that would be enough to rescue one of the few American Indians selected for the federal bench in U.S. history. Questions still surround a process that triggered immediate opposition to the nomination of Arvo Mikkanen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Among the nominations are two candidates for spots on the bench of Washington’s federal trial court. Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia Superior Court and Amy Jackson, a partner at Washington-based Trout Cacheris, have both been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “Edward Davila, a Santa Clara Superior Court judge nominated by President Obama to the federal court in San Jose, won unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday for the second time in three months.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Caitlin Halligan followed an often-used script today during her confirmation hearing for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, telling a Senate committee that if confirmed, she would defer to Supreme Court precedent and to the Framers’ intent. But her hour-long testimony made clear that Republicans are laying the ground for possible opposition to her nomination.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The District of Columbia’s judicial nomination commission today recommended to the White House three Washington lawyers who are vying to fill a vacancy on the D.C. Court of Appeals. The commission recommended Corinne Ann Beckwith, Todd Kim and Walter Smith Jr. . . . ”
Blog of the Legal Times: “In a rare public appearance, White House Counsel Robert Bauer pleaded today for senators to allow confirmation votes on more of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is recommending a Day Pitney partner and a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner for vacancies on the busy federal bench in Manhattan.”
365Gay.com: This week, the Obama administration filled two high-ranking positions with openly gay appointees and nominated a third for a federal judgeship [J. Paul Oetke] in New York.”
“Gov. Terry Branstad is planning an hour-long interview with each of the nine nominees for three seats on the Iowa Supreme Court, but said he doesn’t intend to ask them about the case that created those vacancies.”
Des Moines Register: “Onwuachi-Willig, who joined the law school faculty in 2006, told the state judicial nominating commission Tuesday that she had not yet finished the process for joining the Iowa bar, but was close.”
Honolulu Star Advertiser: “McKenna talked last week about being gay in the hopes that others will recognize that sexual orientation should not be a bar in achieving their goals.”
Des Moines Register: “Some members of the state panel that nominates finalists to the Iowa Supreme Court suggested this week they will consider applicants from outside the Des Moines area as a way to add geographic diversity to the bench.”
White House: “Today, President Obama nominated Judge Henry F. Floyd for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit . . . Judge Henry F. Floyd is a distinguished jurist without over 18 years of judicial experience. For the past seven years, he has served as a U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina.” | Judgepedia.
Politico: “Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, already exercising his expanded authority in the new Congress, says he is helping broker a bipartisan push to confirm a slew of federal judges and has kicked off plans to empower younger senators.”
The Blog of LegalTimes: “Leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee are in discussions about whether to hold second confirmation hearings for some of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, aides say.”
Des Moines Register: “A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit that claimed lawyer members of the state group that nominates people to become Iowa Supreme Court justices should be chosen by voters.”
New Jersey News Room: “Noteworthy is the nomination of Sohail Mohammed of Clifton to a Superior Court judgeship in Passaic County. Mohammed was counsel to many detainees picked up by federal authorities in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mohammed gained the respect of authorities for trying to improve communications between them and the Muslim community after Sept. 11, 2001.”
NJ.com: “But now Rivera-Soto says he will vote on cases where Stern does not affect the outcome. That includes situations like the decision on a property dispute released Wednesday, where the vote was 6-1 vote — with Rivera-Soto dissenting.”
Southern California Appellate News: “Using the same resources, I’ve compiled possible successors to Justice Carlos Moreno. I’ve already introduced five of them, with extended bios. The complete Short List is her . . . ”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Newly elected GOP Sen. Ron Johnson [from Wisconsin] said Friday he should have been consulted before the White House resubmitted the nominations of Louis Butler and Victoria Nourse for federal judgeships and is at this time opposed to their confirmation.”
The Blog of Legal Times: “Senators spent little time during the past two years focusing on lower-court nominees for the federal judiciary. But as they convened today for the start of the 112th Congress, Senate Democrats have the issue on their minds.”
SCOTUSblog: “Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., with a not-so-subtle suggestion that the Senate should stop playing politics with nominations of judges to the federal courts, on Friday called for a ‘long-term solution to this recurring problem.’ In another notable feature of his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, the Chief Justice notified Congress that the Court itself, through belt-tightening, will be asking for less money in its new budget than it did last year. The text of the report can be read here.”
The Hill: “President Obama used a recess appointment Wednesday to name James Cole as deputy attorney general. Cole’s nomination to the second-ranking post at the Department of Justice had been held up over objections from Republicans, who raised concerns over his tenure as an independent monitor of insurance giant AIG between 2005 and 2009. The federal government bailed out the company in 2008.”
The Oklahoman: “The Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission submitted the nominees Tuesday to Gov. Brad Henry after a daylong session of interviewing 14 finalists. In addition to Askins, the nominees are Judge John Fischer, of Oklahoma City, whom Henry appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, and Oklahoma County District Judge Noma Gurich, of Oklahoma City.”
Washington Times: “President Obama won two Supreme Court nominations in his first Congress, but his overall stamp on the federal judiciary has been muted as fights over judges have taken a lower profile than in recent years.”
Orin Kerr writing at The Volokh Conspiracy: “Nineteen judicial nominees have been confirmed in the last week. By my count, those nineteen confirmations include five circuit court confirmations: 1) Mary Murguia for the Ninth Circuit; 2) Scott Matheson Jr. for the Tenth Circuit; 3) Kathleen O’Malley for the Federal Circuit; 4) Raymond Lohier Jr. for the Second Circuit; and 5) Albert Diaz for the Fourth Circuit.”