Judge John Lee – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Judge John Lee has been sitting on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for the last decade. He is now poised for elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Background

John Zihun Lee was born in Aachen, Germany on March 30, 1968. Lee attended Harvard College, getting an A.B. in 1989. He continued on to Harvard Law School, getting his J.D. in 1992.

After graduating law school, Lee joined the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1994, Lee moved to Chicago to become an Associate with Mayer Brown. In 1996, Lee moved to Grippo & Elden LLC. In 1999, Lee became an Associate at Freeborn & Peters LLC, where he became a Partner in 2001.

On November 10, 2011, Lee was nominated by President Barack Obama for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated by Judge David Coar. Lee was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on May 7, 2012. He serves as a federal district judge today.

History of the Seat

Lee has been nominated for a Illinois seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. This seat opened when Judge Diane Wood indicated her intention to take senior status upon confirmation of a successor.

Legal Career

Lee began his legal career at the Department of Justice, focusing on environmental cases in the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits. In 1994, he moved to Chicago to join Mayer Brown and has been in private practice since, working primarily on antitrust, employment, and tort cases.

Among the most notable cases he has handled, Lee represented McDonald’s in a trademark and copyright dispute involving a license to produce toys along the Bratz toy line. McDonald’s Corp. v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., 03-C-1026 (N.D. Ill.) (Gettleman, J.). Lee also represented defendants in a price fixing lawsuit involving the sulfuric acid industry. In re Sulfuric Acid Antitrust Litig., 03-CV-4576 (N.D. Ill.) (Holderman, J.).

Political Activity

Lee has two political contributions to his name, one to President Obama and one to Durbin, both in the 2008 cycle.

Jurisprudence & Reversals

Lee has served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for the last ten years. Among the notable cases that Lee has presided over, Lee declined to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the closure of 49 Chicago elementary schools, ruling that there was no evidence supporting a disproportionate impact on students with disabilities. See Lauren Fitzpatrick, Case Closed: Ruling Means Schools Won’t Reopen, Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. 16, 2013. Other notable decisions are summarized below.

Edmonds Sentencings

In 2016, Lee presided over sentencings for Hasan Edmonds and Jonas Edmonds, cousins charged with plotting to attack a National Guard base. See Jon Seidel, Hasan Edmonds Gets 30 Years For Plot On National Guard Base, Chicago Sun-Times, Sept. 20, 2016. Lee sentenced Hasan to 30 years in prison, and Jonas to 21 years, stating from the bench that their actions reflected “utter hatred and disdain for this country.” See id.

Stay-at-Home COVID Orders

In 2020, Lee ruled against one of the earliest lawsuits challenging Covid-19 stay-at-home orders under the First Amendment, ruling that the rights of the plaintiff church were not violated given Supreme Court precedent in the Jacobsen and Prince cases. See Ben Pope, U.S. District Judge Rules Pritzker’s Stay-At-Home Order Constitutional, Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2020.

Opinions by Designation

In addition to his time as a district court judge, Lee has sat by designation on occasion with the Seventh Circuit. While on the court, Lee has authored a number of opinions, generally unanimous ones. See, e.g., Judson Atkinson Candies Inc. v. Kenray Assocs., 719 F.3d 635 (7th Cir. 2013).

One notable exception was in Henry v. Hulett. In that decision, a 2-1 panel of the Seventh Circuit rejected a civil rights suit brought by inmates in an Illinois prison who were subjected to strip and body cavity searches. See 930 F.3d 836 (7th Cir. 2019). However, in dissent, Lee disagreed with the majority that the strip searches were permissible because the prisoners themselves were required to conduct the body cavity searches. See id. at 839 (Lee, J., dissenting). The Seventh Circuit then took the case en banc and overturned the panel decision, largely agreeing with Lee’s reasoning. See Henry v. Hulett, 969 F.3d 769 (7th Cir. 2020) (en banc).

Reversals

In his time on the bench, Lee has generally seen his rulings affirmed by the Seventh Circuit. However, they have reversed Lee in a handful of cases. For example, in Addison Automatics, Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 731 F.3d 740 (7th Cir. 2013), the Seventh Circuit reversed Lee’s decision to remand a class action suit to state court. Similarly, the Seventh Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment to a union in a breach of duty of fair representation suit. See Rupcich v. UFCW Int’l Union Local 881, 833 F.3d 847 (7th Cir. 2016).

Overall Assessment

Lee comes to the confirmation process with a long judicial paper trail. With this tenure as a federal judge, Lee’s qualifications for the appellate bench are unquestionable.

However, Lee’s rulings upholding Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders are likely to draw particular scrutiny, especially as COVID-19 restrictions are significantly more controversial today. While Lee is still strongly favored for confirmation, his confirmation is unlikely to mirror his unanimous approval in 2012.

87 Comments

  1. While judge Lee is unquestionably qualified, a solid judge, has a pretty progressive & brings diversity as the first AAPI judge on the 7th circuit, his age being 54 makes this a poor pick. Jennifer Nou would have been a progressive AAPI nominee that is a dozen years younger. While John Rapporport is a white man, he too would have been a solid progressive a dozen years younger.

    Hell even the district court nominee Nancy Maldonado would have been a better pick as she too would have been the first Hispanic on the circuit & is 7 years younger. This was the most disappointing of the small batch of 5 new nominees after waiting 82 days for a new batch.

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  2. Given the politics that have emerged around COVID, I don’t think Lee getting an easy confirmation is a sure thing.
    Also as you said his age is another reason I’m not thrilled with this pick.
    We need nominees in their 40’s with 50 or 51 being the highest age you go.

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  3. I hope the WH is not to start nominating all centrists just to avoid discharge votes…..No circuit nominee will get more than 3-4 GOP votes, the only 2 who got 60+ were for the Federal Circuit (patent law court basically)

    Discharge votes take extra time but is worth it…..Much better to spend few hours extra to confirm great nominee as opposed to the hurry up confirmation for lousy centrist nominees

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    • @Mitch

      I would agree, judge Lee is a traditional pick other Democrat president’s would pick. I think that’s why we are upset. Biden needs to continue doing better then past president’s. After 4 years of Trump plus no guarantee to hold the senate after the midterms, average isn’t gonna cut it.

      If Lee was nominated to the 7th circuit during the Obama presidency, I would probably give him an A-. At best I can give this a C today.

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  4. Schumer filed cloture on one district court judge and 2 executive nominees…

    There must be a reason Andre Mathis has not been brought to floor yet?

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    • Most circuit court cloture votes should be on Thursday’s so the weekends can be used to kill the 30 hour post cloture time required. That’s why he should have filed cloture on Mathis & Davis right after the KBJ vote.

      District court nominees can be processed the day of so he’s probably trying to clear the easy ones during the week.He’s not using his time wisely at all.

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  5. Excerpt from Sen Schumer on senate floor today: hopefully that means he’ll clear up the calendar

    ” THE SENATE GAVELS IN FOR THE START OF A FIVE-WEEK WORK PERIOD, AND THERE’S MUCH, MUCH THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE PEOPLE WANT US AND NEED US TO WORK ON IN ORDER TO LOWER COSTS AND IMPROVE THEIR DAILY LIVES. THAT WILL BE ONE OF OUR PRIMARY FOCUSES. THE SENATE WILL CONTINUE TO CONFIRM PRESIDENT BIDEN’S ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL NOMINEES”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. With the recently renewed attention on Trump-appointed District Judge Kathryn Kimballl Mizelle’s (1987) “not qualified rating”, I’ve been wondering if Raph Graybill (1989) remains a possibility for Sidney Thomas’s 9th Circuit Montana seat. Mizelle had 8 years of legal experience at the time of her nomination while the ABA typically requires 12 years to receive a qualified rating. The ABA also noted that she had never tried a case (her seat is a trial court). Raph Graybill is 7 years out of law school at this point and also has a Rhodes Scholarship-sponsored Master’s from Oxford University. Not sure if he has been involved in any trials (not that that matters as much for an appellate seat), but he has argued before the Supreme Court. If Graybill isn’t picked, I think Anthony Johnstone is the next best option. While he is older (1973), he is significantly younger than Sidney Thomas an is an American Constitution Society member.

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    • Yep, seems like the White House has settled on a strategy of announcing a five nominee batch exactly one month before they’d be due for their hearing. I guess they want to avoid having many nominees hanging in limbo for months waiting for hearings while they’d be vulnerable to attack. At least we can maybe now expect a batch every two- three weeks or so, depending on when there are recesses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well good good gooooooooooood morning. Today we have nominations hearing & wake up to great news from @Rick. I am very pleased. As for the nominees themselves, this is a MUCH better batch then the last two (If you count Stephanie Davis as a “batch”). I will go down the list of each nominee.

        Lara E. Montecalvo (c. 1974) – This is a SOLID pick. She’s the only one of the five nominees today I haven’t discussed on previous post. I’m leaning towards giving her an A.

        Sarah Merriam (1971) – This is my least favorite pick of the five today for several reasons. I actually was afraid she was going to get one of the two 2nd circuit court seats. I put a list of nominees I don’t want to see nominated on the “Looking Beyond the Supreme Court – the Administration Reaches a Crucial Time on Judges” post on this site. The only reason I did not include Merriam on the list was because she was just confirmed six months ago to the district court & I didn’t think she would be selected.

        As I mentioned in previous post, I am not a fan of nominating any district court judges to the circuit court unless they are young & progressive enough to be considered for SCOTUS for at the very least a second Biden term. I do not believe she passes that test. Also, she isn’t even the best choice out of the three district court nominees Biden picked for Connecticut.

        I’m happy with her public defender background but ultimately her helped manage the campaigns of two Democratic U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Chris Dodd her previous work helping manage the campaigns of two Democratic U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Chris Dodd probably put her over the top of better choices. Between her being in her low 50’s, the time we will have to waste on backfilling her district court seat & there being better picks for the seat, the best I could give this nomination is a B-.

        Elizabeth Hanes (c. 1978) – As mentioned on previous post on this site, this was the best nominee out of the two women recommended. I would have been disappointed if Biden chose the other. Between her being in her mid 40’s, her being a sitting judge & her public defender record, I give this nominee an A.

        Anne M. Nardacci (c. 1976) – No surprise here as her recommendation was announced months ago. I couldn’t find too much of a progressive background in her record over the months of me looking her up. I’ll give some deference since she works at a firm for David Boies. I’ll give this nominee a B for now but may change my grade upon further review.

        Ana C. Reyes (c. 1974) – I have been researching Reyes for the better part of half a year & was not able to find anything to progressive in her background. She’s not a bad pick but there certainly were better options but with the need for Biden to increase Hispanic nominees, I can understand why she got the nomination. I would have been much happier if Christina Rodriguez was announced for the 2nd circuit today instead of Reyes for the seat. I will give this nominee a B for now.

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  7. Judge Sarah Merriam
    This is an idiosyncratic peeve of mine, I know, but I would prefer that Biden didn’t nominee anyone who has been confirmed in less than a year. Doing so doubly wastes valuable SJC and senate floor time by:
    1 – processing the short-served nomination in the first place
    2 – backfilling that person’s vacant seat.
    I know that this would have excluded consideration of KBJ for elevation, but there’s always exemptions.

    Time is currency in the US Senate and time is especially of the essence in a COVID-prone 50-50 senate with November’s shellacking bearing down on us.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am officially worried that there is no nominee for the open kansas seat or to the fifth circuit, you just know that biden and remus is bending over backwards trying to reason and accommodate bigoted right wing senators to try to find an ”acceptable nominee” its an insult and a slap in the face to the voters who elected him. Stop reasoning with them, push through their objections just as the GOP did to feinstein and harris for ninth circuit picks and treat them how they treated NJ senators. I really hate that these picks arent out yet, because you just know biden and remus is still trying to get their approval in whatever little way or not. In my view GOP senators should have no input whatsoever on circuit court nominees, treat these hypocrites how they treated you.

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    • No nominee for the Kansas circuit court seat jumped out at me as well. But then again still no nominee for any of the district court seats in Massachusetts, Oregon or any of the many vacant California seats angers me just as much. The worst part about only 5 new nominees every two weeks is that eliminates any chance of a nominations hearing back-to-back weeks or during a recess week.

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    • This is my personal opinion only, but I believe that the White House has already decided to nominate state Appellate Judge Jacy Hurst to the position, but is biding its time because she’s only held her current post for a short time. Dequan and I have chatted about this in prior threads.

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  9. Should be noted that Ana C. Reyes is also a lesbian in addition to being Hispanic.
    I know legal LGBT groups have been calling on Biden to nominate more LGBT jurists so this will be a welcome nominee in more ways then one.

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    • Yes, even though I was unable to find a deep progressive background in Reyes legal career, her being openly LGBT is another needed barrier breaker.

      On a side note, today is the first time I can ever remember a nominations hearing where three of the nominees could have been nominated for a seat in a different state. Nancy Abudu could have been nominated for a seat in Florida as she worked in that stage longer then Georgia. Nusrat Choidhury is the ACLU director of Illinois. I wish she had been nominated for the open 7th circuit seat, especially now that we have a nominee in his mid 50’s. And of course there’s no need to go in depth about my feelings on J. Childs being nominated for the DC circuit, particularly with a vacancy on the 4th circuit.

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  10. I’m seeing that Sarah A. L. Merriam will be replacing Jose Cabranes on the 2nd Circuit.
    I get where other people could have been picked for this seat but when Merriam is confirmed, you will see a genuine shift on the 2nd Circuit as Cabranes is a social conservative on reproductive,LGBT and criminal justice issues among other things.
    As for Nusrat Choidhury, her legal ties in NY are far more extensive then her ties in Illinois, ACLU director aside so it makes sense she was nominated for a NY seat.
    Just a shame it wasn’t for a 2nd Circuit court seat.

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      • That makes a absolutely no sense for Biden to nominate her to that seat. They both have the same duty station & will retire upon confirmation of their successor. Cabranes Is much more conservative then Carney & needs to be removed as soon as possible. Even if they already know the second nominee & they are in FBI vetting, just fill the more conservative judges seat first when everything is equal. I swear we can’t even win when we are leading in the 4th quarter…smh

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      • Good catch, Ryan Joshi!
        Maybe the White House is nominating another Latino to Cabranes’ seat and they want to make it an unbroken stretch of Latino judges.
        Maybe the two CT senators and Biden already agreed on exactly who should replace Cabranes and that’ll happen “soon.” I don’t know and I am not trying to make excuses for this WH. I am with Dequan.

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  11. According to Wikipedia, Lara Montecalvo is Hispanic. If true, she would be Biden’s fifth Hispanic circuit court nominee out of the 24 nominated so far. Looking at the vacant seats currently pending without a nominee, I could see that number come close to doubling.

    On another note, senator Feinstein missed today’s SJC nominations hearing AGAIN. This allowed senator’s Cruz & Hawley to go back-to-back questioning Nancy Abudu as the Republicans have let senator Blackburn go out of order in seniority so that Cruz & Hawley can go last.

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      • I was wondering if she was Hispanic/Latina as well, though the name sounds more Italian to me than anything else (as someone who is semi-fluent but not a native speaker of Portuguese, I’m pretty sure it’s not a Portuguese name). Shawn is right that it’s her husband’s last name – kind of like how NYC mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia is not Hispanic but kept her husband’s last name.

        Based on her father’s obituary, it seems like her maiden name is Ewen: https://www.jsonline.com/obituaries/mjs047527. I would assume she’s white as a result – also, the Biden administration will usually mention demographic diversity if it’s applicable, so the fact that none of the announcements describe Ms. Montecalvo as Hispanic suggests that she does not identify that way. She’s still a fantastic candidate though, and probably the best pick announced in this batch.

        One thing to note – given that Biden is replacing Judge Thompson (the only Black woman on the 1st) with a white woman, I would guess that one of the other nominees to the 1st will be Black (and probably a woman since Biden has – understandably – made nominating Black women a priority). Rumor in Massachusetts has it that Denise Casper (D. Mass.) is the frontrunner to replace S. Lynch, and I think today’s announcement makes it even more likely.

        I’m not a fan of Casper given her age and background as a federal prosecutor, but I wouldn’t be surprised by the pick. I plan to call Warren and Markey’s offices to advocate for someone else (ideally Andrew Manuel Crespo), and I recommend that you all do the same.

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      • @Hank

        That’s a great point added to @Shawn’s point regarding Montecalvo is her husband’s last name. Now that you show her maiden name is Ewen, combined with your correctly stating the announcements usually will indicate diversity, it is likely she is not Hispanic.

        As for Denise Casper for the 1st circuit MA seat, she would be a bad pick. As you mentioned, her age would be the first reason but second, there are much better (Both in progressive background & younger) picks with Andrew Manuel Crespo leading the way (Unless they nominated him to the DC circuit which I would support even more or Bessie Dewar.

        I actually wrote a few days ago a post on the previous “Looking Beyond the Supreme Court – the Administration Reaches a Crucial Time on Judges” post picks I am afraid Biden may nominate that I would hate to see. Denise Casper was one of the names I wrote.

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      • Casper would be a terrible nominee from MA for the 1st Circ. Bessie Dewar is LGBT, and that should be acceptable diversity for that Circuit (Andrew Crespo should be nominated to the DC Circuit). Biden has nominated a large number of Black judges including for SCOTUS, he doesn’t need to nominate one here.

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    • That number can easily be doubled, especially if the WH pick Latinos for DC and 5th Circuit vacancies.

      Also, I don’t know if Feinstein’s presence would have changed the Cruz/Hawley lineup. I think they went based on who was present when it was their side to be recognized. Klobuchar was also absent.

      After Hawley’s snide closing comments to Abudu, I was especially happy that she’s the nominee and not some mushy middle person. Gotta make those hits count.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’d rather Biden nominate Deepak Gupta. Save the confirmation hearing time for Elizabeth Prelogar. She can be nominated to SCOTUS from the SG position just like Kagan was. It’s just as good as a circuit court seat & they are even called the 10th justice.

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  12. Looks like Cotton must have lifted his hold on DOJ nominees, as there’s suddenly been a ton of US attorney and US marshal nominees approved by voice vote. A few less items competing for floor time thankfully. Looking forward to the next district judge confirmation today.

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  13. I’m trying to find a reason to be disappointed, but I really can’t be too much so with today’s selections.

    Montecalvo: I honestly did not have her on my radar, but excellent selection. A.

    Hanes: Absolutely excellent choice. Deserves immediate elevation if a 4th Circ seat comes open. A.

    Merriam: There were better choices here due to age and influence, but she is a very solid progressive. B.

    Nardacci. Worst selection today. But she has mostly represented plaintiffs. There were better choices, including possibly appointing the first transgendered judge in Ava Ayers. B-

    Reyes. I don’t like that she is a corporate lawyer, but she has very strong progressive record in her pro bono work. Furthermore her work is largely in IP and international affairs rather than f-ing workers and consumers. B+

    For CT 2nd Circ, there were two judges who would have been total disasters; Raheem Mullins and Jesse Furman. I would give given both of these possible nominees D- or F as they would have been total disasters.

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    • @Shawn

      I was hoping there was some progressive chops in Reyes background that I just wasn’t able to find. I will take your word for it as I was unable to find much.

      I initially was going to say Nardacci was the worst selection of today (Still not a bad pick), but I went with Merriam. While she is a progressive, I took off points for her being nominated to a circuit court, her being in her low 50’s, for there being better known choices & for the time it will take to backfill her district court seat.

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      • Furman worked as an immediate adviser to Bush’s Attorney General. He also was a criminal prosecutor. Don’t want him anywhere near the 2nd Circuit.

        Also his brother is a piece of shit. He was a big part, along with Larry Summers, for why Obama was so fiscally conservative early on, which let the Great Recession linger for so long and eventually lead to the election of Trump. I have no love for either Furman.

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  14. Unlike the other COA’s , Biden has not emphasized age for his 2nd COA picks. In all the others where there have been multiple vacancies with announced names, Biden has picked at least one who is /will be the youngest on the Court. I am satisfied with Merriam but she is 50-51. Trump’s youngest judge on the 2nd was born in 1979. The closest to that is Myra Perez born in 1974. Unless he is waiting till his last chance, the two youngest judges on the 2nd will be Trump ones (1979 and 76). That is a little disappointing.

    CJA is the youngest on the 7th by 5 years, Mathis (if confirmed) would be the youngest by 1 year, Freeman (if confirmed) would by the youngest by 5 years, Thomas is the youngest by just a few months, Montecalvo would be by 7 years, Cunningham is the youngest by a lot (but I don’t count the Federal Circuit as noteworthy.

    Idk think we will get the youngest on either DC or the 4th. The youngest Trump judges on both of those were born in 1982 so even someone like Jia Cobb wouldn’t be the youngest. We should have a nominee for the 2nd though that is both 1979 or later though.

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  15. Schumer just went to the senate floor & started discharging certain bills to the floor. He then proceeded to say he wanted to discharge the judiciary committee & my heart stopped. But then he said he wanted to discharge some bill that I never heard of honoring Ulysses S Grant. What a waste of oxygen.

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  16. Childs and Abudu had their hearing today. Childs might get to 60 votes in favor of her ultimate confirmation. Both Graham and Scott endorsed her.

    Abudu’s presence also made Childs look good. Abudu recieved almost all the GOP fire. Weirdly, Warnock and Ossoff did not appear to introduce her, and Ossoff is a member of the committee. She’ll need a discharge vote.

    There was also a weird moment when Mike Lee asked Choudhury about a letter she signed which criticized Hawled, calling him a coastal elite. The two went to law school together. Choudhury said she had privately apologized to Hawley for the letter.

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    • I’m a little concerned that Manchin might tank Choudhury’s nomination to burnish his moderate credentials. OTOH, Manchin has zero respect of Hawley and probably agrees that he is a coastal elite. Also I think Manchin would probably prefer to sink a white judicial nominee than a woman of color. I got the sense that he was genuinely shaken by the criticism after he sank Neera Tanden.

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      • I also think Manchin is most likely to tank Choudhury – but I actually think her being a woman of color makes him more likely to do it. He has been surprisingly good on judges, but my suspicion (because I don’t trust Manchin as far as I could throw him) is that the criticism did the opposite of shaking him – given that it’s West Virginia, it’s (unfortunately) better politics to be seen as being racist than as going along with progressives. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Dems still see Asian Americans as a less important constituency than Black/Latino folks (smaller population, mostly in safely blue states, etc.), so they’d be more willing to let Manchin tank Choudhury than like a Black woman nominee for example.

        My hope is that since she’s nominated to a district court judgeship in Schumer’s home state, Schumer will press Manchin to vote yes on Choudhury more than he would for some random, non-life-tenured nominee.

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  17. Thurs the senate is going to vote on various amendments, and with some executive nominees still pending but won’t proceed until 2 Democrats out with COVID return, who knows when next judicial nominees will come to floor….

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  18. Saw a good point made tonight on why Erin Lynch Prata or Melissa Long weren’t picked to replace Judge Thompson.
    Rhode Island is unique among state courts in that judges appointed to the State Supreme Court serve for life unless they are impeached or retire.
    Can see wanting to give someone else a shot knowing that and also they both have seats for life already, makes the jump to the federal bench less appealing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I wrote this comment earlier but I’m going to write it again. Biden needs to pick circuit court nominees young enough to become Chief Judge one day (which varies from court to court but generally they would have to be born between 1979 and 1983 (or later)). Trump was not only strategic about picking young judges but also strategic about the order in which he picked the judges in order to maximize how many Chiefs he will get. Trump judges could perform “judicial gerrymandering” when Chief to maximize the number of conservative panels, but having Biden judges in line to be Chief after them might stop them from judicial gerrymandering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great point. It’s not just important to pick young judges but also the order they are confirmed is important so you can maximize the number of chief judges you can have in the future.

      It seems as though when multiple judges are picked either at the same time or in close proximity for the same court, Schumer is bringing their nominations up for a floor vote based on the order of their last name. An example of that would be the two Northern district judges Biden put on the bench in Georgia. The younger judge born in 1981 was confirmed first while the second judge born in 1974 was confirmed a week later. Had Schumer confirmed them based on age instead, both would probably be chief judge versus just the judge born in 1981 being chief judge now.

      The same has been done in the Western district of Washington state, the Eastern district of Virginia & Connecticut. Schumer also did the same thing for the two 9th circuit judges Thomas & Sanchez, the Northern district of Ohio & Nevada but for different circumstances the judges all had their commissions signed on the same date. Only by sure luck the order of seniority ended up being by age instead of alphabetically order like Schumer had intended via the order of their vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. The senate has adjourned for the week. So much for working this Friday. I hope the two senators & the VP getting Covid lights a fire under Schumer & shows why it’s important to have urgency & work some Friday’s when all 50 Dems are in good health. It makes me mad how many weeks they have worked only Monday 5pm to Thursday 3pm when every Democrat senator & VP Harris was in DC & healthy. What a wasted opportunity…smh

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Re Judge Lee: He may have a third federal political contribution to his credit. In addition to the two you mention, the FEC’s site shows a $250 donation by a John Z. Lee in 2004 to Obama’s Senate campaign. No occupation or employer is listed, but the residential address provided for the donor was Inverness, Illinois–a Cook County suburb just south of Barrington, where Lee was living in 2008.

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