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MD: Governor O’Malley Appoints Judges to the Court of Appeals, Court of Special Appeals, Circuit Courts
Governor O’Malley’s Blog: Governor Martin O’Malley announced today the appointment of Robert N. (“Bob”) McDonald, the Chief Counsel of Opinions and Advice for the Office of the Attorney General, to the Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court.
Danny Hays at The Washington Post: Those ideas have been roundly criticized across the political spectrum, but the notion at the core of Gingrich’s criticism — that the court is an inherently political institution, not merely an objective arbiter of justice — is embraced by much of the public.
News from The Associated Press: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says rival Newt Gingrich’s idea to send Capitol Police or U.S. marshals to bring judges before lawmakers to explain their decisions is neither practical nor constitutional.
The Hill: Republican senators have asked President Obama not to recess appoint his two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Politico: President Barack Obama has been under immense pressure from the left to install Richard Cordray as head of a new consumer watchdog agency as soon as the Senate closes its doors for the holidays. He won’t be able to.
NewsOK.com: Opposition from Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe effectively kills chances for Arvo Mikkanen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, who would have been the only American Indian on the federal bench.
LaTimes.com: Christen was opposed by some religious and anti-abortion groups because of her previous work as an attorney for Planned Parenthood and in battling Big Oil after the Exxon Valdez spill.
The Hill: Issues of judicial jurisprudence took a surprisingly prominent position in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, with candidates questioning how far Congress should go to rein in courts if they go too far.
Tulsa World: A beleaguered process that repeatedly has failed to put Oklahomans in key federal positions reportedly has produced a potential nominee to fill a year-old vacancy on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Robert Bacharach, a federal magistrate in Oklahoma City, is being vetted for the post, according to sources familiar with the process.
Alan E. Sears on the Hugh Hewitt Show: Judicial appointments are a President’s longest lasting legacy
The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: In spite of being given two names, President Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for Judge Kermit Lipez on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Hill: Consumer groups are calling on President Obama to seize rarely-used powers in the Constitution to make a recess appointee out of consumer financial watchdog nominee Richard Cordray.
The Blog of Legal Times: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved by voice vote the nomination of Kathryn Keneally for the top tax-enforcement post at the U.S. Justice Department, sending the nominee to the full Senate for consideration.
The Blog of Legal Times: Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Senate Judiciary Committee Republican, said in a written statement released before the vote that he had concerns about her time as New York solicitor general, noting a suit in which she argued that gun manufacturers were public nuisances.
EENEWS.net: A lawyer President Obama nominated to serve on the appeals court that handles most of the legal challenges to environmental regulations faces a make-or-break procedural vote in the Senate today. The nomination of Caitlin Halligan . . .
Boston Globe Editorial on the Halligan nomination to the D.C. Circuit : “Outrage machine grinds away”
Editorials – The Boston Globe: Discrediting Perfectly qualified nominees to the federal judiciary is a dreary, familiar business – one whose latest target is Caitlin Halligan, a former New York solicitor general who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Ever since President Obama nominated her for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals last year, critics have been combing her record for evidence of dangerous radicalism.
Senate Republicans on Tuesday successfully filibustered the nomination of pro-abortion judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Roberts on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered to be the nation’s second most important court.
Senate Democrats: This evening Senator Reid filed cloture on the nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia
4th Circuit: Conservative federal appeals court shifts left: Recent opinions reveal a possible liberal leaning
he federal appellate court that covers Maryland has for years been considered one of the more right-leaning in the nation, finding that women can be banned from a military institute, that the FDA can’t regulate tobacco and that confessions count even when suspects haven’t been read their rights, among other conservative opinions.
Thomson Reuters: U.S. Senators on Friday brokered an agreement to take up five judicial nominees after the Senate returns from its Thanksgiving break.
The Blog of Legal Times: Roy McLeese III, a veteran appellate attorney in Washington, was nominated Thursday to a slot on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
The Blog of Legal Times: President Barack Obama on Monday withdrew the nomination of a U.S. magistrate judge whom he tapped for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
The Denver Post: The three men vying to be Colorado’s next state Supreme Court justice hail from all points of the political compass, though none considers himself politically active.
Joe Nocera at the NY Times: The rejection of a Supreme Court nominee is unusual but not unheard of (see Clement Haynsworth Jr.). But rarely has a failed nominee had the pedigree — and intellectual firepower — of Bork.
San Francisco Chronicle: U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer says he will transfer to senior status with a limited caseload by the end of the year, creating another vacancy on the federal bench in San Francisco.
The Blog of Legal Times: The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission released the names Wednesday morning of 20 applicants vying for retiring Judge Joan Zeldon’s seat on the District of Columbia Superior Court bench.
St. Louis American: Gov. Jay Nixon made history today by appointing Judge George W. Draper III to the Missouri Supreme Court. Draper will be the second African American in Missouri to serve on the state’s highest court.
The Globe and Mail: Legal experts predict that a hearing on Wednesday to screen Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver and Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis will likely be neither illuminating nor satisfying to anyone craving a transparent process.
LaTimes.com: The choice of Paul Watford for the overburdened federal appeals court draws praise from both sides of the political aisle. Some see a smoother path for him to Senate confirmation.
The Blog of Legal Times: “It will certainly take time as vacancies occur to have a judiciary that does have more diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and that certainly includes a diverse pool of women on the bench,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, in an interview Wednesday.
The Blog of Legal Times: Noting the pending nomination of a sitting magistrate judge, D.C. Superior Court is advertising the position in anticipation of the potential new vacancy.
Reuters: The Senate on Monday approved six nominees to fill judicial vacancies, addressing a backlog of 27 judicial nominees that were pending before the chamber.
Trail Blazers Blog: And, in the Western District, Robert Pitman, a federal magistrate in San Antonio, becomes the state’s first openly gay chief federal prosecutor.
The Blog of Legal Times: Senate leaders have come to an agreement to consider 10 judicial nominees during the next several weeks, stepping up the rate that senators have been considering judges in recent months.
Reuters: Several states that appoint judges are considering a switch to an elected bench, despite growing criticism from judges about the influence of money in judicial elections. One of the most active is Tennessee, where conservative legislators believe that appointed judges are out of touch with the electorate and unaccountable to voters.
The Blog of Legal Times: Public Defender Service attorneys Corinne Beckwith and Catharine Easterly appeared before a Senate committee Friday morning to testify on their nominations to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Chron.com blog: Chief Justice John Roberts has publicly called for an end to Senate gridlock in judicial appointments. In his 2010 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary he summarized his concerns about judicial vacancies . . . [see the chart]
The Blog of Legal Times: The three candidates recommended to the White House are Roy McLeese III, chief of the appellate division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz; and private practice attorney Geoffrey Klineberg.
NY Nominee Wins Senate Judiciary Support Despite Controversy over Use of Public School Facilities by Religious Students
The Blog of Legal Times: One nominee, Jesse Furman, the deputy chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, faced tough questions during his confirmation hearing. Republican senators asked about opinion columns he wrote in college, which he disavowed, and a brief he wrote in private practice about the use of public school facilities by religious students. Furman said he would follow precedent in establishment-clause cases if confirmed.
The Washington Post: More than 70 percent of Obama’s confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were “non-traditional,” or nominees who were not white males.
Bert Brandenburg ChicagoTribune.com: These days, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is looking a lot like Congress: fractious, dysfunctional and awash in special-interest cash. The Wisconsin story has important implications for courts in the Midwest and around the country.
Ed Whalen at EPPC: In developing their positions on Supreme Court appointments and the Department of Justice, presidential candidates should 1) welcome the battle over the Supreme Court, 2) determine to fight hard for high-quality justices, 3) frame the argument for why abortion policy should be restored to the democratic processes, 4) support the Defense of Marriage Act, and 5) commit to select senior legal leaders who fully embrace their goals and priorities.
LifeNews.com: Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a National Review writer, wrote an essay for Public Discourse as part of its 2012 Election Symposium. The article has Whelan saying the GOP nominee should “welcome the battle over the Supreme Court, determine to fight hard for high-quality justices, frame the argument for why abortion policy should be restored to the democratic processes and commit to select senior legal leaders who fully embrace their goals and priorities.”
Reuters: With the Senate set to vote on just one judicial nominee as it returns to work on Tuesday, President Obama faces an uphill fight to get federal judges approved and ease a backlog of cases in the courts.
The Commercial Appeal: The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Memphis federal judge Bernice Bouie Donald to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rhodes, Charles W. (Rocky), Navigating the Path of the Supreme Appointment (July 20, 2011). Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1890734 Nominees to the Supreme Court historically boasted political backgrounds as congressmen, governors, …
. . . Although Liu said he believed that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, he also said publicly that Proposition 8 was a valid amendment to the state Constitution, a position the California Supreme Court majority later took in a 6-1 ruling. Moreno was the only justice willing to strike down the 2008 ballot measure . . .
San Jose Mercury News: For all the controversy that has swirled around UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu the past two years, his confirmation hearing Wednesday for a spot on the California Supreme Court appears as if it will be a downright lovefest.
Goodwin Liu, the UC Berkeley law professor nominated to the state Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown, drew raves Monday from a State Bar panel, which praised his “brilliant intellect … impartiality, integrity, collegiality, and a work ethic second to none.”
ABA Journal: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told law students on Monday that the Supreme Court confirmation process has become so partisan that she probably would not be confirmed if the vote were held today.
Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review : The Republican House is blocking a Senate recess by holding pro forma sessions, and thus blocking the president from making recess appointments.
Ed Whelan at Public Discourse: In developing their positions on Supreme Court appointments and the Department of Justice, presidential candidates should 1) welcome the battle over the Supreme Court, 2) determine to fight hard for high-quality justices, 3) frame the argument for why abortion policy should be restored to the democratic processes, 4) support the Defense of Marriage Act, and 5) commit to select senior legal leaders who fully embrace their goals and priorities.
WUWM: One measure lawmakers may debate would let voters decide whether to eliminate state Supreme Court elections, and instead have justices appointed to the bench. As WUWM’s Ann-Elise Henzl reports, the idea stems from concerns about recent judicial elections.
The Blog of Legal Times: The White House is ramping up its information campaign on President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, ahead of a possible push this fall to confirm more judges.
The Washington Post: Just before leaving town for the August recess, senators confirmed four of President Obama’s judicial nominees. The disappointing news is that they left 20 perfectly qualified nominees languishing on the floor without a vote.
Houston Chronicle: A South Texas judge from Corpus Christi was one of only four judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate before its month-long recess, leaving nearly two dozen still waiting confirmation, officials said Wednesday.
NYTimes.com: President Obama made history when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. He did it again with his second nominee, Elena Kagan, raising the number of women on the nation’s highest court to three.
The Commercial Appeal: U.S. Dist. Judge Bernice B. Donald will get a confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate on Sept. 6, the first day Congress reconvenes after its five week summer recess, a Senate staffer confirmed this morning.
WSFA 12 News Montgomery, AL :
Virginia: House, Senate elevate two appellate judges to Supreme Court; one is first black female justice
The Washington Post: Cleo Powell was elected by unanimous votes in the House and the Senate along with Elizabeth A. McClanahan. Both are being elevated from the Virginia Court of Appeals.
San Francisco Chronicle: A state commission has scheduled an Aug. 31 confirmation hearing in San Francisco for Goodwin Liu, a UC Berkeley law professor nominated Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court.
Most troubling is Liu’s support of same-sex marriage and opposition to Proposition 8, which will be before the Court this fall. He was one of 59 legal professionals who signed a joint statement released by the No on 8 campaign during the initiative campaign, wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times following the election, and filed a friend-of-the-court brief backing the challenge to Proposition 8.