Nancy Maldonado – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

The Dirksen Courthouse - where the Northern District of Illinois sits.

Employment attorney Nancy Maldonado clerked for Judge Ruben Castillo, the first Hispanic judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Maldonado is now poised to become the first Hispanic woman on the Northern District.


Born on November 28, 1975, Maldonado attended Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 1997. She then attended the Columbia Law School, graduating in 2001.

After graduating, Maldonado clerked for Judge Ruben Castillo on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After finishing up her clerkship, Maldonado joined the Chicago Office of Miner, Barnhill, & Garland as an Associate. She became a Partner at the firm in 2010 and currently serves in that capacity.

History of the Seat

Maldonado has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This seat opened on October 7, 2021, when Judge Matthew Kennelly moved to senior status.

In December 2021, Maldonado was one of seven candidates recommended for the Northern District of Illinois by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth. See Jeremy Gorner, Former ACLU Attorney Among 7 Recommended for Federal Bench; Senators Send Names to Biden to Fill Judicial Vacancy, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 22, 2021. Maldonado’s nomination was announced on April 13, 2022.

Legal Experience

Maldonado has spent her entire legal career at Miner, Barnhill, & Garland, where she primarily focuses on employment litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Notably, Maldonado represented Dilan Abreu, a bricklayer who sued over workplace harassment over his race at the Chicago Department of Water Management. See Ray Long and Hal Dardick, Latino Worker Alleges Abuse in Water Department; Says Boss Tried to Throw Him in a Hole, Called Him ‘dumb Puerto Rican’, Chicago Tribune, Mar. 29, 2019. Abreu notably alleged that his boss retaliated against him for objecting to racist behavior by trying to push him into a 6-foot deep hole. See id.

Maldonado was also part of the legal team for Maura Anne Stuart, a commercial driver whose gender discrimination suit was thrown out by Judge Milton Shadur. See Stuart v. Local 727, Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters, 771 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2014). Maldonado persuaded a panel of the Seventh Circuit to reverse the dismissal (the panel also reassigned the case, citing the “tone of derision” in Judge Shadur’s opinion). See id. at 1020.

In non-employment related matters, Maldonado was part of the legal team filing an amicus brief from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in an Illinois state court suit challenging the Cook County Assault Weapons Ban under the Second Amendment. See Wilson v. Cnty. of Cook, 968 N.E.2d 641 (Ill. 2012). She also represented citizens in a 1983 suit against officials who allegedly barred citizens from expressing opposition to a local towing ordinance. See Surita v. Hyde, 665 F.3d 860 (7th Cir. 2011).

Political Activity & Memberships

Maldonado has made a number of political contributions in the last few years, including to President Obama, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Colin Allred.

Additionally, Maldonado is active in the Chicago legal community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and of La Casa Norte, a social service organization serving Chicago youth.

Overall Assessment

As a nominee, Nancy Maldonado falls within the mainstream of Illinois district court nominees confirmed to the bench in the last decade. While her experience is largely focused on employment litigation, Maldonado has extensive experience in both state and federal court, and, given the support of Senate Judiciary Chair Durbin, she is likely to have a fairly swift confirmation.


  1. Why is confirming andre mathis taking so long? He was nominated the same time as alison nathan. Also as a black man i have to speak up, its becoming insulting to me how few black men biden has actually promoted to the bench. They are barely up to 5/6. A lot of black men have been growing antipathy towards the democratic party for what they see as neglect, token stuff like this would go a long way. Watch that GA race warnock vs walker, i wouldnt be surprised if black men vote is next to even. We need more black men appellate judges!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m also frustrated with the delay on Mathis, but I’m guessing the delay this week is because two senators and Harris are out with covid. I would’ve thought Mathis would get Collins or Murkowski (Graham seems unlikely since he voted against Mathis in the SJC), but maybe one of them has signaled to Schumer that they’ll vote against him for whatever reason. I’m not too worried about Mathis eventually getting confirmed though since he’s made it this far.

      You’re right that it’s a little weird that given how many Black women nominees there have been, Mathis is the only Black male appellate nominee that Biden has nominated. I don’t think the lack of Black male appellate nominees is something that by itself would hurt the administration’s standing with Black male voters (to be honest, not many folks beyond us on this blog are that tuned into lower court nominations), but it is representative of the administration’s inability to deliver any tangible results for Black voters more generally.

      I would say we not only need more Black male appellate nominees (and Latino/Native American/Asian appellate nominees too for that matter), but also executive action to help everyday Black folks. Unfortunately, I don’t see any tangible action happening anytime soon, since Biden is unnecessarily focused on Ukraine (which is not a top priority for voters in the midterms) and has stayed away from anything remotely close to race/criminal justice during his entire presidency.

      As a result, I think Walker has a good chance of ousting Warnock in GA because he will pick up more Black voters (and likely Black men) than any other Republican nominee. I do wonder if he’ll lose votes among racist whites who will never vote for a Black man though.


      • Interesting fact. It has been 3,027 days since the last time a black man has been confirmed to any of the 13 circuit courts. Robert L. Wilkins was confirmed on January 13, 2014. Since then, none of Trump’s 54 circuit court judges were black & to date Biden has only nominated one black man who as mentioned, has yet to be confirmed. It is time to confirm Andre Mathis & Biden needs to nominate a couple more black men, but I would prioritize additional Hispanic & maybe a Native American or two nominee.

        On another note, I would love either of the following ACLU lawyers to be the nominee for the 1st circuit seat in New Hampshire;

        Gilles Bissonnette – Legal Director at the ACLU of New Hampshire

        Devon Chaffee – Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire

        Henry Klementowicz – Senior Staff Attorney

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Dequan I’m a big fan of your suggestions for the New Hampshire 1st Circuit seat. However, both of the NH senators are fairly moderate (Hassan is up for reelection this year and opposes the administration’s moves to lift pandemic restrictions at the border, for example), so I’d be pleasantly surprised if anybody with a clearly progressive background is selected. Given that Biden has started elevating his own district court judges now with Merriam to the Connecticut seat, I wonder if Samantha Elliott would be the pick – she got a lot number of Republican votes compared to other nominees, so the administration might (wrongly, in my opinion) think she’ll have an easier time getting confirmed to the 1st Circuit.

        I’m also curious which seat(s) you think the next Black male appellate nominee would realistically be nominated to. I hope that Omar Williams and Raheem Mullins are still in consideration for the other 2nd Circuit seat. Otherwise, my guess would be the Louisiana 5th Circuit seat, the Maryland or South Carolina 4th Circuit seats, and maybe the Indiana 7th Circuit seat – assuming that Biden gets his act together and actually fills any of those seats. I would think the Maryland seat at least could be filled, but expectations are low for this administration at this point.


  2. Senate adjourned until Monday May 3rd….Schumer filed cloture on 2 new executive nominees, plus there are others who still need to be voted on when Senators Murphy, Wyden, and VP Harris return…

    So judges get kicked to the curb – again


  3. I think this tweet sums up another issue when it comes to judicial nominees.
    So many different groups have been underrepresented in the courts especially on the Circuit Court level that everyone from different groups wants a shot at increasing representation from their community and I have no doubt Biden and Democrats have been under pressure from a lot of directions.
    Harsh reality is there is no way to fully make up for the lack of different minority representation on the bench in two years or less but I believe Biden is doing the best he can.
    I will say this as a member of the LGBT community.
    Having Patrick Bumatay as the only gay jurist (Beth Robinson is lesbian) on a Circuit court annoys me as he is a member of the Federalist Society and very conservative, hardly a accurate representation of LGBT people at large.
    Would be nice to see someone like Chris Howland etc. balance that out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that everyone clamoring for representation (and with so little time) means that folks are bound to be disappointed. As a gay man, I take issue with the Lamba report on 2 issues though:

      1. I’m no defender of the administration’s slow pace/many bad picks, but the report overlooks the fact that Biden has nominated 2 LGBT judges to the courts of appeals (which are much more important than district court seats). Especially since the right will continue (and probably escalate) its attacks on LGBT folks, representation on the appellate courts is more important right now. At the time the report was issued, 10% of the appellate nominees were LGBT, which isn’t awful.

      2. As you mentioned @Zack, Bumatay is a perfect example of how just being LGBT is not enough. The focuses too much on the identity of the nominees, but the most important thing to the LGBT+ community overall is whether the judge will defend our rights and rulings like Obergefell and Bostock. The focus should instead be on LGBT judges who have a record of working on/advocating for queer issues – Robinson is the perfect example since she actually worked on legalizing same-sex marriage in Vermont. Also, don’t forget that Alison Nathan is also lesbian and is now on the 2nd Circuit.

      I don’t think we should care about the specific LGBT (gay male v. lesbian, though a transgender nominee would be groundbreaking but unlikely in this climate) as much as concrete evidence in their record that they will defend LGBT rights. After all, even a straight progressive would’ve been a thousand times better than Bumatay (who, despite being gay, believes that denial of sex-reassignment surgery is not an Eighth Amendment violation).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. As I said in an earlier thread, it looks like both Ajmel Qureshi (he was recently appointed a Magistrate Judge) and Liz Oyer (recently appointed as the DOJ’s Pardon Attorney) are out of the running for the 4th Circuit CCA seat (currently held by Diana Gribbon Motz). I also mentioned on that thread that Tejinder Singh (my top pick) has left his law firm. He is listed as teaching a class at Harvard Law for the Winter 2022 term, which likely takes him out of the running as well. So I do wonder now if Biden will elevate George Hazel as his second black male Appellate nominee.


    • Hazel and Raheem Mullins are absolutely horrible. I mean, so horrible that it would be better to leave them empty, and I would give Mullins a D- and Hazel a F. Hazel upheld a Trump immigration policy as a judge that the 4th Circuit overturned and his background is basically at the J. Michelle Childs level. Even elevating Griggsby at her age would be far better than Hazel.


  5. I’ve also seen a lot of people suggesting ACLU lawyers for judgeships. While I’d love to see more, it seems that so far (correct me if I’m wrong), pretty much all ACLU/ non-profit public interest nominees have come from either Schumer or the Georgia Senators (which I am very thankful for as a Georgia resident).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some here talk about a Native American nominee for the Kansas 10th Circuit. So far I have seen only two professors, Carla Pratt and Sarah Deer (the latter who probably would be rejected by Manchin). Are there any other possible Native American candidates from Kansas?


  7. It looks like the Colorado senators have recommended three men for the upcoming vacant district court seat for next year.

    1. Gordon P. Gallagher (c. 1969) – He is a magistrate judge that was a criminal defense attorney. He was recommended for the last vacancy. He has some progressive background from what I remember from the last recommendation research I did.

    2. S. Kato Crews (c. 1975) – He is a magistrate judge that helped find a Greenwood Village-based law firm that handles business litigation and defends employers against civil lawsuits. He was an attorney in the U.S. National Labor Relations Board’s Denver office.

    3. Sundeep K. “Rob” Addy (c.1978) – He served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. He was a member of the team that conducted a patterns and practices investigation into the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue. This would be my pick by far.


    Here’s my opinion on some of the things mentioned over the past day here;

    My opinion on which current circuit court vacanices that we could see a black man nominated to;

    I think the remaining 2nd circuit (CT) is most likely (Justice Mullins or Omar Williams) although now that Christina M. Rodriguez wasn’t nominated to the other seat, I think the chances of my choice decreased a lot.

    I think there’s a small chance the 7th circuit seat (IN) could go to Zachary A. Myers if the Indiana senators are smart & play ball with Biden to avoid a more liberal nominee.

    I think there is an outside chance of a black man for the 4th circuit (SC) seat. I believe it will end up being a woman with the lack of women on the circuit, but I would love a Bakari Sellers type nominee if not him himself.

    As for George Hazel and Raheem Mullins being bad nominees, I would say there are definitely better nominees. I wouldn’t give them a D or F like @Shawn but I would like to dive a little deeper into justice Mullins record. I have looked at judge Hazel’s record & would agree he shouldn’t be the nominee however I wouldn’t be surprised if he was more progressive then I have been able to research, similar to Ana Reyes who was just nominated.


    • Zachary Myers may be a progressive after all. His father, Dr. and former state Health Commissioner Woody Myers, was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2020 and about as progressive as one can get in the state. Dr. Myers first came to prominence in the 1980’s for supporting the late Ryan White’s attempt to be allowed into school. That sounds like no big deal now, but was considered radical back then.


      • @Mitch

        That certainly would be a welcome background for a nominee, particularly in Indiana. With him being confirmed by a voice vote last year, perhaps he would be a better path to go versus a
        Jessica Eaglin for instance, albeit I would love her to be the nominee.

        What do you think about the 3 recommendations for the Colorado seat?


  8. Kenneth Polite is the obvious nominee for the 5th Circuit seat from Louisiana. He recieved Kennedy and Cassidy’s votes when he was confirmed to his DOJ position.

    Of course, maybe he just doesn’t want to move back to New Orleans and would prefer to rake in the money after he leaves the DOJ. And the 5th Circuit is apparently a toxic workplace – hence Costa’s early retirement.


    • I mentioned Kenneth Polite in a previous post a while back as well. I think he’s lower on the list of possible black men for the circuit court not so much so because of him, more so because I think Biden will want to increase the number of women on the 5th circuit. After all six of Trump judges were men I figured Biden would use this & certainly the Texas seat (With a Latina) as a chance to decrease the men/woman disparity similar to what he has done on the 2nd circuit.

      But I would be happy if Polite was the nominee just as I would Zackary Myers in Indians. I think both would still be behind Andre Mathis (Btw why the Hell is he still not confirmed) but both would be quality black men for the appeals court.


      • If they don’t, that would signify the stark difference between Democrats & Republicans when it comes to the judiciary. After five straight terms of Democrat president’s Republicans didn’t take their ball & go home. They built the Federalist Society. Trump was only in office for 4 years yet there was a point in which every circuit court seat was filled.

        Letting a circuit court seat remain vacant just because the judge will be writing dissents for the foreseeable future would explain the thinking that has led to a lack of enthusiasm for the midterms. This pattern of only announcing 5 nominees every two weeks is only bypassed in how insulting it is by the SJC only having a hearing every two weeks while sticking to only a handful of nominees each hearing & Schumer not holding the senate in session Thursday 3pm to Monday 5pm.

        We deserve to lose the senate if these trends continue. And we WILL lose the senate if not only for the Republicans screwing it up. It shouldn’t take that in order to win but at this point that is all that can save the senate majority sadly.


      • Ideological differences don’t always to personal animus. Carl Stewart of Louisiana is the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit the first black judge to hold that position. Even though he is a Democratic appointed, he’s very well-liked and well-regarded by most of his colleagues.

        I found an article which includes an interview with Judge Stewart. People here might enjoy it.


      • The eventual replacement of Gregg Costa has been on my watchlist since he announced his pending resignation.
        If Biden ever gets around to even nominating someone, I am already savoring the sweet anger I’ll feel when that person turns out to be older than the man they would be replacing, a nomination no-no in my book.


      • I’m hoping for Amparo Monique Guerra (1977). She would be the first Latina on the court and has some progressive credentials (she was a Public Interest fellow with Texas Rural Legal Aid and Farmworker Legal Services in Michigan. I think I heard someone on this site (forget if it was Dequan or Shawn) say they’d be willing to sacrifice Nina Perales’s age (1966) for her progressive credentials.


  9. Any idea who Biden is considering for AZ’s Ninth Circuit position (Hurwitz)? Another possible black man for a circuit position is district court judge Steven P. Logan in Phoenix. He’s an Obama appointee who would add diversity to the Ninth, although he’s definitely not a young progressive (1965, veteran, federal prosecutor).


  10. Biden, are you listening? Urgency! The sad part, I don’t think even this will be enough to light a fire under their behind.
    Senator Susan Collins’ phone line needs to be flooded. She helped to give us Kavanuagh, she helped to give us this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I blame the DNC for the 2016 debacle (and I proudly voted for Hillary Clinton, whom I think would have a been a fantastic President.)
      The DNC chose to repeatedly and continually attack Sanders and his supporters internally even after the primary was clearly over. Hillary was going to win the primary easily and the DNC should have just worked on preparing for the general election rather than unnecessarily putting its thumb on a scale and just bashing Sanders. It’s not rocket science that if you engage in Left-bashing, then the Left is going to respond in kind and vote for someone else. Hillary Clinton herself did not do this. But a great number of her surrogates did. Joe Biden to his credit never let his campaign engage in this kind of garbage, which is why the Left stuck with him.

      A lot of people, including myself, would rather be stabbed in the front than in the back. The Left-bashing wing of the Democrats are back stabbers, and I would vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene than a shithole like pademocrat from DKE.


  11. I agree with @Frank and @Zack that there’s nothing Biden can do at this point – I’m just not convinced he even cares enough to do anything. I mean, it’s not like there’s been any meaningful action on the legislative front since BBB died.

    I’m sure Dem leadership will post some indignant tweets and maybe Biden will stutter through a half-assed speech about “oh what a shame that Roe has been overturned.” Our only hope is if there is enough outrage that liberals turn out to vote in the midterms and the incoming ‘red wave’ won’t be as bad (and in a best-case scenario, maybe we keep the Senate). However, given the muted response when SCOTUS basically outlawed abortion in Texas, I’d be surprised if that happens.

    Also, can I just say that this decision has been coming since that selfish old crone Ginsburg died in 2020 because her pride wouldn’t let her retire one of the first few times she got cancer. As great of a SCOTUS justice as she might have been (and I don’t think she was as great as many of the ‘Notorious RBG’ folks built her out to be), the timing of her death means that this Dobbs decision is in no small part her fault.


    • @Ethan

      It definitely was Shawn & not me that said he would still put Nina Perales on the 5th circuit despite her being born in 1966. I in no way agree with that as there are PLENTY of progressive Latina’s that are at least a dozen years younger that could be nominated to that seat.

      As a matter of fact, the only circuit court judges born in the 1960’s that Biden has nominated so far, I can only think of two I approve of. Beth Robinson because she truly was the best nominee we could have gotten out of Vermont. The second would be Leonard Stark because he is solid for the federal circuit.


      RBG not taking Obama’s request to retire or become an ambassador of a country of her choice in 2014 will go down as one of the most consequential decisions that led to this 6-3 court we have today. As much as I love RBG, that one decision is one that will always prevent me from putting her amongst the greats. A total selfish decision that will now lead to poor woman in red states to not have the right to make decisions about their own body & health.


  12. Yup.
    Sad to say but RBG choose to ignore what happened with Thurgood Marshall(who really had no choice in stepping down when he did) and choose to believe that couldn’t happen to her.
    That choice will have hurt so many and it didn’t have to be this way.
    But at the end of the day, she and her supporters choose to believe she mattered more then the civil rights of millions and now everything she fought for will be undone.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. If we’re going to blame RBG for not retiring, we also gotta blame Anthony Kennedy for retiring. Anthony Kennedy knew well what would happen if he retired under TFG, but he did so anyway without regards to the damage it would do to our rights.


    • I can’t really blame Justice Kennedy because he voted in the majority in cases such as Casey DESPITE him being a conservative. RBG was a progressive who’s life’s work (Amongst other things)was to support issues such as a women’s right to chose. On top of that when Obama had dinner with her she knew she had battled cancer, was solidly in the minority of the court on most hot button issues & was the courts oldest member.

      She knew the polls didn’t show a favorable environment for Democrats to hold the senate. And the senate was increasingly hostile to judicial nominees. Even if you couldn’t predict McConnell’s actions to block Garland, she had to have known an Obama nominee with a Republican senate majority would be substantially to the right of one with a Democrats majority.

      I love RBG’s work, I truly do. Unfortunately her one decision not to retire after a 21 year career will set us back a generation. She is one of the main reasons I advocate for young judicial nominees from Biden as she was nominated at 60 years old. Had she been nominated at 50 & was looking at a 31 year career in 2014, perhaps we would have had s difference of opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Here is the reality. This leaked draft opinion changes nothing, the republicans will still retake control of the house of representatives and democrats will do nothing to codify roe v wade because of sinema and manchin. So those are the facts. based on trends and polling.

    It is hypocritical of us here to be throwing a fit in anger at the leaked draft by the court from POLITICO, when chuck schumer and the democrats cant do the basic minimum to appoint liberal judges to counter the right wing lurch, even if its for or limited appellate cases. Andre mathis was nominated since last year novemeber and he still isnt confirmed, stephanie davis still isn’t confirmed and neither will any of them this week, schumer has wasted basically two weeks of this work period without confirming any judges and they one they did confirm is a moderate career prosecutor its a joke..

    The democrats just aren’t serious about the courts and they dont care about the consequences and most of their voters don’t care either.

    How long have we been talking about the empty Kansas seat with no nominee or that biden still hasnt nominated a nominee to the fifth circuit? This is may now, all polls show democrats losing the senate, polls show warnock losing in GA, hassan losing in NH and cortez masto losing in nevada. You would think the democrats would take urgency and ensure every single week a judge is confirmed right? Nope. no judicial confirmation likely this week either.

    We have no right to complain as liberals when we allow schumer and dick durbin to continue their incompetence , this is bare minimum stuff and they cant do it.

    I will keep reminding people till I’m blue in the face, the senate republicans held nomination hearings while the senate was in recess for trump nominees. Thats dedication, thats being determined to make a mark on the judiciary. Not this joke of a party that’s dragging their feet.

    For crying out loud, Dale ho was nominated, what September? He is still stuck in committee and you expect democrats to be taken seriously when it comes to the judiciary? its a joke. If dale ho was nominated by trump you can bet your dollar nearly 6 months into it he wont be stuck in committee. Absolute joke

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well given the news that broke last night around 9pm, if the WH isn’t motivated to fill every circuit court seat in the next few weeks, and if Sen Schumer isn’t motivated to confirm every nominee awaiting a discharge vote or floor vote, then they simply don’t give a damn….

    It SHOULD be rather easy to work a Fri or Sat. to confirm judicial nominees given the draft opinion that leaked last night from SCOTUS..


  16. @Rick

    1000% correct. I don’t want to hear a damn about packing the court with over 100 current vacancies on the federal bench. Play time is over. If you want a job with Friday, Saturday & Sunday off go work at Jiffy Lube. If your a Democrat in the US senate then get your butt to work & start confirming these judges so if we do get a vacancy on the SCOTUS we have a DEEP bench of experienced judges to chose from.

    The Republicans don’t give a crap about norms & now they have the votes to over turn a 5 decade long precedent. And they did it even being in the minority for many of those years. If Democrats can’t respond in kind while they are in the majority, then I will have to explain that to my future daughter when she’s wondering why she lives in a country that has laws preventing her from making her own choices about her body.

    Many people on this site know what to do to help alleviate this problem. I’ve never spent a day in law school & it seems like I can see the problem & know the solution from where I stand. There’s no excuse the Democrats in the senate can’t see it & more importantly do what needs to be done to fill ALL existing circuit court & district court seats in blue states at a minimum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, same here, never went to law school, and i didn’t even watch LA Law (legal show back in the 1980’s on NBC – showing my age, LOL)…But I did watch “The Paper Chase” 1973 film about life at Harvard Law School….

      But I know the importance of the courts…..And to be honest, it was the right who got me to understand how important courts are….I remember senate Republicans would fight tooth and nail to confirm circuit/district court judges back in the Bush administration in 2003-06 area…..I use to think only Supreme Court vacancies were important, but it is ALL !! the courts……And you can argue circuit court seats are almost as important as SCOTUS since most cases never make it to highest court in the land


  17. Re: What Biden can do.
    Above, when I talked about what Biden can do, I didn’t mean what he could do about SCOTUS or the leaked decision. I meant the urgency he should now have with judicial nominations. I thought that was obvious, I guess it wasn’t. Biden can send a huge package of nomination to the senate to show that he means business. But of course, this is Biden we are talking about, and he never means business.

    You were poking at all my sore wounds: Kansas’ 10th, 5th Cir. vacancies, !!!DALE HO!!!

    The gloom I feel today is not just because Roe is almost officially dead. The gloom I feel is from the high likelihood that the Party that denies, belittles, facilitated, and try to cover up January 6th will be rewarded with congressional majorities, even IN SPITE of Roe being overturned.

    We need to take a stock of our democracy.
    Can we really still call ourselves a representative democracy when the retirement, death, or hiring of a single-digit cadre of people can result in such momentous and often regressive changes in our lives?


  18. I completely agree with the frustration here about the length of Senate workweeks, the lack of hearings during recess, and even the pace of nominations.

    But let’s also acknowledge that Harris, Murphy, and Wyden came down with COVID, and now Bennett. If you have 50 GOP votes against (and we will because a) why not? and b) they seem to have a problem with African-American and women nominees), then losing any one Democrat is fatal to a nomination, much less the discharge votes.

    I would love to see all nominees who’ve had a hearing be confirmed by Memorial Day, but it wouldn’t be enough, by any means. Maybe Schumer needs to reinstitute a mask mandate, at least among Democrats, so that we can get these nominees through.


  19. I’m not upset for a lack of votes when a senator has Covid. I’m upset when all 50 plus VP Harris is in town & healthy & they work a Monday 5pm to Thursday 3pm week. At the very least work until 9pm Thursday night f working on Friday is out of the question. Those extra 6 hours alone would clear all pending discharge votes & at file cloture on every circuit court nominee so they are set up for a confirmation vote on Monday & cloture vote on a few district court nominees as well.

    I don’t mind losing the game because you tried your hardest but the other team was just better. I do mind losing because you pulled your starters out of the game early in the 4th quarter.

    And Biden giving us 5 nominees every other week isn’t gonna cut it. I was worried about filling circuit court seats that become vacant later but at that rate we won’t fill the existing vacancies. It’s truly frustrating.


  20. I agree with the comments that more well-qualified African-American men should be considered for the Circuit vacancies & especially for the 5th Circuit vacancy in Texas to replace Costa, because never ever in Texas History has an African-American been appointed to the 5th Circuit which in my humble opinion is shameful! Louisiana has 2 & Mississippi has 1 (Clinton & Obama Appointments). But Texas has yet to put a Black person on the 5th Circuit. So I find it appalling when I hear that an Hispanic is being favored again over an African-American.


  21. @Gavi…The eventual replacement of Gregg Costa has been on my watchlist too, because I’m hoping it will be an extremely well-qualified African-American male such as George Hanks (another Obama appointee who replaced Costa on the DC Bench in Galveston after Obama elevated Costa to the 5th Circuit). Hanks like Chief Judge Carl Stewart is well-liked & regarded by all of his colleagues & has bipartisan support because of his undeniable qualifications. Hanks graduated summa cum laude from LSU & went on to Harvard Law School, and Clerked for Judge Sim Lake in the SDTX before joining Fulbright & Jaworski. He has an impressive resume on public service first serving as a State Civil District Court Judge before being elevated to the Texas 1st Court of Appeals where he served honorably for 8 years and was one of the most prolific writers on the court. From there he was selected by a bi-partisan Committee in the SDTX to replace Judge Calvin Botley as a Federal Magistrate. And in 2014, Obama appointed Hanks for a DC seat in the SDTX, and his nomination was supported by both U.S. Texas Senators Cornyn & Cruz, and he was confirmed unanimously by a 90-something to 0 vote in 2015. Hanks received his LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke and has been a longtime member of The American Law Institute. His entire resume is extremely impressive and frankly I think he’s the most well-qualified candidate for the 5th Circuit in Texas and if appointed would be the very 1st African-American from Texas to serve on the 5th Circuit.


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