Lara Montecalvo, appointed to be public defender in Rhode Island, after her predecessor was appointed to the bench, looks likely to follow suit.
The 48-year-old Montecalvo received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1996 and her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2000. After graduating, Montecalvo spent four years in the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice before joining the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office. Montecalvo joined the Office’s Appellate Division, and was appointed its head in 2014, and the official Public Defender in 2020.
History of the Seat
Montecalvo has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. This seat opened when Judge Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson announced her desire to take senior status upon the confirmation of a successor.
While Montecalvo started her legal career at the Department of Justice where she worked primarily in bankrupctcy, see, e.g., In re. Claxton, 335 B.R. 680 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2002), she has spent the past 18 years at the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office, where she has represented indigent defendants. Montecalvo started her time at the office as a trial attorney, representing Rachin McCoy, who was sentenced to life in prison for the death of his baby daughter, after he beat her under the influence of marijuana. See Mark Reynolds, Man Gets Life in Daughter’s Death, Providence Journal, Oct. 20, 2011.
Since 2010, Montecalvo has primarily handled appeals, including serving as Chief of the Appellate Division from 2014 to 2020, when Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Montecalvo to be Rhode Island’s Public Defender, replacing Mary McElroy, who was appointed to the federal bench. Donita Taylor, Masked R.I. Senate Panel Confirms Nominee for Public Defender, Providence Journal, May 28, 2020. Among the appeals, she has handled:
- The Supreme Court overturned a conviction for Possession with Intent to Distribute based on a prosecutor cross-examining the Defendant based on false information about his criminal history. See State v. Price, 68 A.3d 440 (R.I. 2013). See also Tracy Breton, Drug Conviction Flawed, State’s High Court Rules, Providence Journal, June 24, 2013.
- The Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction where the defendant had been improperly barred from cross-examining a detective who had interviewed him. State v. Arciliares, 108 A.3d 1040 (R.I. 2015).
- The Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction, finding that evidence obtained through a warrantless search of the man’s home should have been suppressed. See State v. Gonzalez, 136 A.3d 1131 (R.I. 2016). See also Katie Mulvaney, Man’s Conviction in 2012 Warwick Murder Overturned in Court Ruling; State Supreme Court Says Search of Home, Arrest Were Both Faulty, Providence Journal, Mar. 30, 2016.
- The Supreme Court upheld a conviction for sexual assault, finding that the defendant had validly waived his Miranda rights. State v. Sabourin, 161 A.3d 1132 (R.I. 2017).
- The Supreme Court upheld a conviction for second degree murder, finding that the prosecutor’s reference to the defendant as a “scam artist” and a “career thief” were not improper given the defendant’s criminal history. State v. Lastarza, 203 A.3d 1159 (R.I. 2019).
- The Supreme Court overturned a conviction after a prosecutor improperly claimed in closing arguments that the defendant “stared down” the victim in court. State v. Bozzo, 223 A.3d 755 (R.I. 2020). Barry Bridges, New Trial Required Due to Extraneous Closing Comments, Opinion Digest, Jan. 23, 2020.
Additionally, as Public Defender, Montecalvo has continued a partnership between her office and the Lifespan Transitions Clinic, which has worked since 2018 to help provide healthcare for individuals transitioning from prison into the community. Katie Mulvaney, Breaking the Cycle: First-of-its-Kind Partnership Aims to Help Repeat Offenders By Bringing Medical Perspective to Criminal Trials, Providence Journal, May 30, 2021.
In 2016, Montecalvo coauthored a paper with two other appellate attorneys in Rhode Island discussing the Rhode Island probation system. See Lara Montecalvo, Kara Maguire, and Angela Yingling, No Exit, No End: Probation in Rhode Island, 21 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 316 (Spring 2016). The article discusses the challenges in the probation system in Rhode Island and recommends a number of legal and policy changes. Id. at 318. Among the changes it recommends, the article suggests that the burden of proof in probation hearings be raised from the “reasonable satisfaction” standard to “beyond a reasonable doubt” or “preponderance of the evidence.” Id. at 340-41. The article also recommends capping terms of probation. Id. at 351.
Biden’s judicial nominees have been particularly notable for their large proportion of public defenders, and Montecalvo joins that trend. Montecalvo’s record shows a strong understanding of Rhode Island criminal law, and, suggests little that would threaten a smooth Senate confirmation.
This is a solid nominee. A in my book.
I’m surprised once again, I had expected either Melissa Long or Mary McElroy.
Appears to be a relatively young and well qualified appointee, who will have a good chance at being the chief judge down the line upon confirmation.
One of the better nominees to come along in a long while and will be a fine replacement for Judge Thompson.
Will be interesting to see who is nominated for the NH vacancy since that will be a flip.
Now Sen Merkley has tested positive for COVID
Likely means the only judicial confirmations we’ll see this week are Stephanie Dawkins Davis & Jennifer Rearden as other nominees don’t have the votes without all 50 Democrats(could be wrong.)
No, i think all the nominees Schumer filed cloture on last week see below)should get confirmed as all cleared the SJC….And the few confirmed last week all had Collins, Graham, & Murkowski voting AYE…..Collins was only GOP senator who voted AYE to discharge Sweeny…
I agree with Rick on this one. Since it is also right before a recess week, I would wager that at least 1 Republican senator will be out this week (or at least on Thursday), thus the judicial nominees that Schumer filed cloture on last week should stay on track for a confirmation in the coming days.
5 nominees for Wed hearing
WTF… Only four nominees in Wednesday’s hearing?
There are 5 nominees, it is just that 1 is an executive nominee. That aside, I was expecting 4-5 nominees here so no surprise from me.
The nominees from the 5/11 hearing were added to the executive hearing for this week so they will get through the SJC the week after they get back from the recess.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if they do NOT hold over the Iowa nominee….Grassley may give his blessing to clear the SJC Thurs
True, Grassley may be fine with advancing that nominee Thursday, but I’d bet that at least one of Cruz or Hawley will insist on holding him over for the recess.
*The manifest effects of delayed judicial confirmations*
J Michelle Childs, unideal for this seat as she was, should have already been seated on the DC Circuit.
Instead, from a very lucky (or unlucky) random draw, Trump’s three right-wing judges (Neomi Rao, Gregory Katsas, and Justin Walker) will consider a January 6 document request case involving Trump/RNC.
I know that this is an appeal of a Trump appointee’s ruling again him but who’d like to bet good money that Rao, Katsas, and Walker(!!!) will see things the district judge’s way?
As with the DC Circuit, so with other circuit court vacancies!
J Michelle Childs might well join the Trump appointees on this ruling. My guess is that this case will eventually go to the full DC Circuit, and this decision will be overturned there. It may or may not end up at SCOTUS.
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https://twitter.com/prof_jpc/status/1529146630099935233?s=20&t=Dc7qzGLcaHZeWksoHPlnyQ Interesting to see, but also why such a delay
I noticed that too. Forget the dates they initially applied, Lara Montecalvo interviewed with attorneys from the White
House Counsel’s Office on October 4, 2021. You don’t usually get to that point unless you will be the eventually nominee. Yet it took until April 27, 2022 to announce her. You can’t blame that on KBJ as Breyer didn’t announce his retirement until February.
If we are taking over six months from the time of White House Counsel interviews until announcing a nominee in BLUE states, we are in serious trouble.
How many other applicants for each seat? Who did they talk to for background investigation? That’s what I want to know…
Fun fact about the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which a lot of folks thought the next vacancy for the 1st was going to come from.
It’s the only state court in the country where judges can serve for life sans impeachment or retirement.
Makes sense now why Melissa Long likely wasn’t picked.
Why go for a lifetime job when you already have one?
Just happy that there is some movement this week but what a win is the nomination of Rachel Bloomekatz:
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I am thrilled by the nominations of Bloomekatz and Pryor. But nominating Pan is a bad joke.
Good news bad news
Bad News – Florence Pan for DC Circuit
Good News – Rachael Bloomekatz for 6th Circuit
I don’t know anything about the 7th Circuit nominee Doris Pryor
What terrible picks, two moderate/right wing prosecutors, one was literally a u.s attorney in right wing indiana wtf?! biden isnt serious. To nominate florence pan to KBJ replacement imo is wrong. The D.C. circuit just got far to the right
Who would you have liked to see Biden pick instead knowing that whoever he picks will need the support of every single Democratic senator (which Trump didn’t have to deal with)? Pan makes sense simply because she doesn’t need to be vetted like another nominee would (and Cobb doesn’t have as much experience). Prior has also been a public defender in addition to her time as a prosecutor, so I seriously doubt that she is conservative. I know that people here are concerned about age of the nominees but it is even worse for the Biden administration if they waste time nominating people who can’t get confirmed.
OMG please tell me this is a joke or bad dream. How can we have such a spectacular pick like Rachel S. Bloomekatz, a very good pick like Doris Pryor who was one of my suggestions along with Jessica Eaglin or Zackary Myers but have another absolutely horrible pick for the DC circuit in the same batch.
I was against Florence Pan for the district court. This is absolutely insane to nominate her for the DC circuit. Putting age aside (Even though that’s a huge issue), Pam isn’t even in the top 5 most progressive judges on her current district court. Hell if you wanted the first AAPI nominee to the DC circuit, Dale Ho could have been nominated. Now we have to spend time backfilling a nominee who’s in her mid 50’s, barely left of center & has no progressive background whatsoever. This is now one of Biden’s three worse picks along with Christine O’Hearn & J Childs. The DC circuit will move to the right thanks to the last two horrible picks. These are seats that you don’t have to negotiate with Republican senators on & the second highest court in the land has worst picks then most purple & red state circuit court picks. We have no bench for a future SCOTUS vacancy with these last two picks. Shame on Biden for this pick.
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Pryor- very good. She is 44
Pan- absolutely horrible
Biden nominated a 55 and 56 year old to the DC Circuit. Horrible job by him there
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Do you have any concerns about Judge Pan besides her age? She has lot of experience.
Even if Pan was in her low 40’s or even 30’s I would oppose her for the DC circuit. We need nominees with progressive backgrounds for the circuit courts as that is the bench for SCOTUS, plus we no longer have to worry about blue slips from Republicans for those seats. A nominee with no progressive background such as Pan should not be considered for any circuit court even discounting her age.
The only exception would be the Federal Circuit because of the kind of rocket they have. I would even include a seat like the 4th circuit SC seat just to keep senator Graham happy since he does vote for most nominees (Despite him making an ass of himself at the KBJ hearing) because every time he votes yes in the SJC, it saves us 4 hours of discharge vote floor time. But basically every other circuit court should have a young progressive nominee. The DC circuit should be treated like SCOTUS.
Pan should have been left on the Superior Court of in my opinion. I know her husband is big within the Democrat circles so I suspect that has something to do with her two promotions in 2 years. This is a horrible pick
I thought that besides Childs (who was a special case due to her backers), Biden was looking for nominees with close ties to DC for the DC circuit and district court. That would eliminate Ho as a possibility there.
It’s amazing to not only nominate someone old to the circuit courts, but someone older than the person that they are replacing. Trump’s 30-something year olds will be ruling in ignominy long after Biden’s old noms are retired on a beach somewhere.
I just love reading about how nominating old judges is no big deal. There are still Reagan judges still (active and senior) on the bench 33 years after he left often. How many of Biden’s will still be serving in 2055? It’s bad enough that these people don’t think age matters, it’s even worse that they can’t even fathom why it does.
But it was always foolish of us to think that Biden, the oldest president ever, would care about age when nominating judges.
And seriously, only 3 nominees in 4 weeks?
Yeah, Reagan nominated Alex Kozinski for 9th Circuit when he was like 35 yrs old in 1985…He’d likely still be on court today if not for sex scandal he had in 2016 or so, in which he resigned..
Frank Easterbrook on 7th Circuit was also nominated by Reagan when he was 37 and is still on that court today…Michael Kanne, another Reagan appointee on 7th Circuit was nominated in his early 40’s and is also still full time active judge..
Anybody who doesn’t think age doesn’t matters when it comes to lifetime appointments are not being serious. The Republicans get it & that’s why we are in the mess we are in now when it comes to the judiciary.
Look, I think Biden has done a good job when it comes to judges. My anger is because good isn’t enough. We need to do a great job, or a spectacular job. And as I’ve mentioned in past post, we actually have an opportunity to do so. Biden can put 30 circuit court judges on the bench by the end of his first two years which would put him ahead of the pace for Trump’s 54 in 4 years. But when you throw in horrible picks like J Childs & Florence Pan, it just highlights opportunities lost.
It makes it even worse when we have such a spectacular nominee in Rachael Bloomekatz & a red state nominee that will be Biden’s 10th black woman (I believe Doris Pryor is the first time in history a magistrate judge has been elevated directly to a circuit court) who are both progressive & in their mid 40’s. Not to mention only THREE nominees today. Still no district court nominees for Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico & scores of vacancies still I’m our bluest states of California & New York.
Biden has a lot on his plate, I get it. Ukraine, voting rights, civil rights, the economy & now throw in mad men shooting up grocery shoppers & kids since half of the senate doesn’t even want to debate how to fix the gun epidemic in this country. But the judiciary is too important to make a complete stop for anything, not for a SCOTUS vacancy or any other problem the country is having. The department that is working on judicial nominees really needs to step it up. They were off to a great start. We will need a strong finish. Even if the Democrats hold the senate, we need to end this year strong on the judiciary as there will be many more vacancies over the next two years.
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“Anybody who doesn’t think age doesn’t matters when it comes to lifetime appointments are not being serious.”
That’s the problem, they seriously don’t think that it matters, read some of the previous comments on the page alone.
I know you think that Biden is doing a good job. I personally think that he’s doing an OK job, which is not nearly good enough, let alone spectacular. If you cannot nominee candidates for long vacant seats even without the restrictions that Obama had, then I don’t see how you can be seen as doing good. If you pack the DC Circuit with old center judges then I don’t see how you can be seen as doing good. If between 6 weeks (4 previous + ~2 in future) you can only nominate 3 people then I don’t see how you can be seen as doing good. You are doing just OK. And worse is the complacency and self-congratulations of that OK job.
“Biden has a lot on his plate, I get it.”
The thing is he has a team whose ONLY job is to do this. It’s not like he’s sitting up at night poring over a candidate’s legal work. He does that for SCOTUS. Presidents barely do it circuits nominees personally and certainly not for district noms. His team sucks.
“The judiciary is too important to make a complete stop for anything”
You would think that someone who chaired the SJC from 1987 to 1995 would understand that.
Dems simply cannot keep the senate. Why would they want to, anyway? They don’t know what to do with their majority.
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Yup, hard to argue with you. The only reason why I say good instead of ok (Albeit I don’t disagree much) is because he still has confirmed more judges then any president in our lifetime up to this point, & that’s with a 50/50 senate. And the quality of many of his judges have been solid when you the number of public defenders, lawyers from The Innocence Project, NAACP, Brennen Center & other civil/voting rights organizations. And despite how angry I am at these last two DC circuit court nominees (And believe me I’m angry), he has put some solid progressive judges on the bench in their 40’s, even two in today’s announcement.
I guess that’s why nominees like Pan, Childs & O’Hearn stick out like a ore thumb. I don’t think we would have batted an eye if Pan had been nominated during the Clinton administration. But of course we know a lot has changed since then & Biden simply has to do better. Ok is not enough, good is not enough, Hell great may not even be enough. That is something I agree with you on 1000%.
Pryor is far from the first time in history that a Magistrate Judge was elevated to a circuit court, but she is the first of Biden’s nominees.
off the top my head, under Obama:
-Third Circuit Judge Patty Swartz
-Tenth Circuit Judge Robert Bacharach
Good intel. I wasn’t sure but couldn’t remember another magistrate judge going straight to a circuit court but you are correct. I actually wish Biden would do more of it because there are some fantastic magistrate judges (My personal favorite just started in Maryland) that I would love to see on an appellate court.
I really can’t for the life of me understand why people are despondent over the judicial nominees and the prospects for additional judges for the next two years, For anyone to claim that Senate Democrats and Joe Biden don’t know what they are doing. is nonsense, If “progressives} were voting in all elections we wouldn’t be where we are now.
The Supreme Court as an institution is totally ruined. Justices chosen based on their age first character and legal experience comes after. This has been the Republicans’ doing not Democrats.
The Republican’s aren’t strategic geniuses that folks on here make them out to be. They have a built-in structural advantage that they are leveraging i.e South Dakota and North Dakota combined have 4 Senators and the population is less than half of Los Angeles, It is what is and will not change anytime soon
On the issue of judicial selection ,It’s unheard of for a President to be involved in matters relating to staffing below cabinet status in the .Executive Branch. The White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is in charge of the task force on the Judiciary, I’m sure has relayed Biden’s wishes for more public defenders as judicial nominees. You’ll also notice very few law school professors as Biden is less enamored with them . The only law professor who stands out is Toby Heyten’s 4th Circuit. However, I believe I’ve read that Virginia’s Senators Warner and Klain chose him.
Lastly, I know people here are more interested in the politics of how judges are chosen rather than apparatus of the Democratic party itself. But, I have to say that Democratic prospects to pick up a seat or two is pretty likely. If Democrats can pick up seats in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin it would enhance Biden’s efforts to fully staff the judiciary.
I don’t think anybody on this site is saying Biden doesn’t know what he is doing when it comes to the judiciary. I think the point is many of us feel he can do better, in some cases much better.
Democrats do not need to be like Republicans & look for nominees based on age first character and legal experience after. The thing is, I feel they can do all of the above. Taking today’s announcement for example, we got Florence Pan. I don’t believe anybody is suggesting she is not qualified. What we are saying is there are plenty of other options who are not only qualified, but also much younger. Deepak Gupta, Karla Gilbride, Andrew Manuel Crespo & Jia Cobb all check each of the boxes you mentioned. I don’t feel we sacrifice quality when we also get youth.
As for the prospect of the Democrats holding the senate, you are correct it is possible. My worry is between now & November is a lifetime in politics. The issues that can come upon the country over the next 5 months could completely change the trajectory of the polls & vote. Not to mention plain old cheating that could happen. So yes, I am guilty of working under the urgency that Democrats will lose the senate. If they hold the great, but in the meantime, I will start & finish each sentence with the assumption Republicans will take over the majority after the midterms.
I’ll take experience & well-qualified over this agism farce any day.
I may eat my words later, but besides her age, I really don’t think Pan would vote any differently on cases than a progressive would
A couple thoughts based on the new nominations and everyone’s discussion:
1. Finally, they nominate more than 2 court of appeals judges in one batch. I would’ve liked district court nominees too, but let’s hope this is a trend. Biden should definitely be prioritizing appellate seats over district court seats (though he really should be doing both).
2. Bloomekatz is great.
3. I’m TBD on Pryor – she was only a public defender for a year and has been a AUSA for the rest of her career, and she clerked for the archconservative Lavenski Smith (though maybe that was just because she’s from Arkansas). That being said, some AUSAs end up being solid liberal judges – Chang on NDIL, McKee on 3d Cir, and of course Sotomayor. Someone also asked if she is the first magistrate judge to be elevated straight to the courts of appeal – Trump elevated Bridge Bade from a D. Ariz. magistrate judge to the 9th Cir., so it happens, but not super common.
4. I’m glad Biden is filling red state courts of appeals seats now with Pryor (Indiana senators Young and Braun are both nuts, so they will almost certainly oppose her). Now let’s get a move on with Kansas & Louisiana, and confirm Andre Mathis for the love of god.
5. Pan is too old and too moderate, but that cancels out for me. Of course there are better picks (and why is Biden refusing to put a Latino on the DC Circuit?), but I’d rather have an old moderate that can take senior status in the next Democratic administration than a young centrist who will occasionally side with Republicans for decades. One poster mentioned that Easterbrook and Kanne have been around forever, but the goal isn’t a judge that will hang around until the apocalypse – they just need to be on long enough to retire under an ideologically friendly administration (like Pryor’s predecessor Hamilton did). With Dems (slowly) learning to prioritize the judiciary because it essentially decides national policy these days, I would expect that the next Democratic president does a better job than Biden. Jia Cobb would’ve been a much better pick though.
6. Biden is definitely not doing nearly enough on judges, and nor are Schumer and Durbin (though I appreciate Durbin denying a rehearing on Choudhury). Ukraine, guns, inflation, Roe v. Wade – those are all things that are largely outside of Biden’s/the Dems’ control. Confirming judges is not. This is not rocket science here.
Rachel Bloomekatz- A+. There’s a good argument to be made that she is the best nominee Biden has put up so far.
Doris Pryor- B. There were better nominees, but a young Black woman isn’t the worst thing in the world, even with her prosecutor background.
Florence Pan- D-. I want to first say that as bad as she is, she is not in the league of J. Michelle Childs. Pan is clearly a center-left nominee, more like Judges Srinivasan or Millett, not a conservative and unqualified judge like Childs (who is worse than garbage, would have been better to leave the seat empty).
But this is still an awful pick, and not just due to her age. We could have done much better here. Jia Cobb was a decent possibility. Deepak Gupta, Karla Gilbride, Andrew Crespo, the list goes on. And if Biden was this lazy, he could have just nominated Ana Reyes (who was being vetted anyway) straight to the DC Circuit.
I’ve been MIA for a while (just a lot going on and no new nominees till today), but thrilled about the Bloomekatz and Pryor nominations.
Bloomekatz absolutely. She’s a future SCOTUS candidate. If Democrats get a nomination in 2025 or later, I would put Bloomekatz on the top of that list even with diversity considerations. (A nomination before then, I would go with Goodwin Liu).
Pryor much less so. It more like meh. I don’t dislike the nomination, but I’m not excited by it.
I think that Cobb was bypassed due to her lack of experience, but believe that she will be a candidate for elevation should the Democrats retain the Senate majority this year.
The only change I would make to @Shawns ratings is I would give Doris Pryor an A-. She is in her mid 40’s, a former federal defender, the first Black women from Indiana to serve on the circuit court (Since Mitch McConnell blocked Myra Shelby) & is a sitting judge. Honestly I’m only lowering her grade because she’s only a magistrate judge but otherwise she seems solid, particularly coming from a ruby red state.
But I absolutely agree with @Shawn on Rachel Bloomekatz being an A+. I will send out my updated Biden circuit court judges grades in order another day but I suspect this one will be in the top three along with Myrna Perez & Holly Thomas & with her now being the youngest circuit court judge (Depending on what month she was born) in the nation once confirmed, she may be at the top of my list too.
I spoke in depth about Florence Pan already so I will just agree with Shawn on the D- as well. J Childs is still a worst pick but the disparity I have between the two is much less then Shawn’s. They both are horrible picks.
“I spoke in depth about Florence Pan already so I will just agree with Shawn on the D- as well. J Childs is still a worst pick but the disparity I have between the two is much less then Shawn’s. They both are horrible picks.”
The difference between Pan and Childs is the difference between a SCOTUS nomination of Merrick Garland vs. Jose Cabranes. One is a less than optimal center-left nominee. The other is an outright conservative (and that doesn’t take into account regarding Childs’ qualifications). The difference is quite considerable IMO.
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Anyone watch the nominations hearing today?
I watched the hearing today. The two circuit court nominees didn’t draw much fire. I’m sure that’s because there was no Cruz or Kennedy there. Blackburn had the toughest questioning but even she was tame compared to most other hearings.
The ATF nominee drew most of the heat on the second panel. I think the mood for much fighting was sucked out of the room by the events of yesterday’s school shooting so all senators acted like adults for a change.
MALDEF has the same issue that I did with the relative lack of Latino COA nominees (4/27, but Gelpi was to PR’s seat so Biden doesn’t get credit for that): https://www.maldef.org/2022/05/maldef-statement-on-the-biden-administrations-failure-to-address-historical-latino-exclusion-in-judicial-nominations/
The language from Saenz is pretty direct – it’s what I would say, but I don’t think any organization has been as blunt (Demand Justice/Alliance for Justice certainly haven’t been willing to call out the administration as much as they should).
Add this to Biden doing horribly among Hispanic/Latinos in 2020 and I wonder if someone on his team is completely blind to this issue. Other Dems seem to realize that Hispanics are trending away from them, and while judges are not going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, it certainly doesn’t help.
Sans Myrna Pérez and Gelpi, the lack of Latino/A Circuit Court nominees has been glaring and Biden missed a key chance with the D.C. Circuit.
One can only hope his next batch will try and right that wrong to some degree though some of the damage has been done.
If MALDEF has a problem they know how to reach the Whitehouse. What people are really saying is why is the administration is picking black people for judgeships?
During the Democratic Primary the folks who support MALDEF chose to follow Bernie Sanders, Were it not for black folks in South Carolina we would be in Donald Trump’s second term.
For the appeals court’s i think it’s a good start- Gustavo Gelpi for the First Circuit. Myrna Perez for the Second Circuit, Gabriel Sancez and Salvador Mendoza for the Ninth Circuit,
This is why I don’t like identity politics. The nation is too diverse to represent everyone especially in the judiciary. The nominee for 7th Circuit seat from Illinois is an asian male.There’s no doubt that Senator Tammy Duckworth had imput into that nomination. She had been complaining about the lack of asians in the administration.
I think the people at MALDEF need to have their folks vote in Florida and Texas, Then they take their case to the Whitehouse.
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If anyone does their homework, they’ll surely see that Texas has never had an African-American to serve on the 5th Circuit & it’s shameful because representation does matter.
Furthermore, MALDEF stated that The Sixth and Seventh Circuits have also never in their histories had a Latino or Latina judge. Well guess what MALDEF…the same can be said about African-Americans in Texas serving on the 5th Circuit. Texas in it’s history has never had a Black Judge serving on the 5th Circuit.
Agree with most of what Kevin is saying here. There is so much diversity, that at the end of the day what is more important is to have a diversity of professional experiences represented on the bench.
It’s especially bad given that they had vetted Hispanic nominees in both the 7th (Maldonado) and DC Circuits (Reyes) and nominated them to District Courts instead.
There’s a lack of African-American male COA nominees as well & especially in Texas, where not one person of color has ever been appointed to the 5th Circuit in Texas.
Thurs SJC mtg should be full of fireworks…..Grassley will likely complain to no end about not having a 2nd hearing for Choudhury…..She’ll almost certainly be an 11-11 vote…..Nancy Abudu likely an 11-11 vote as well…..Thus, as we all know, Schumer needs to get the discharge votes rolling soon as there are 50 Democratic senators in the chamber….
1000% yes to MALDEF!
It’s about time. I wish Demand Justice would also come out against this shocking and inexplicable oversight. but I suspect that they probably won’t. DJ will just satisfy themselves with having promoted possible Latino picks, even if they don’t actually advocate for them.
I further suspect that Biden is waiting to name a Latino to Texas’ 5th and call it a day. But just like judges from Puerto Rico, of course the nominee should be Latino. Furthermore, what else would you expect from a modern Dem president who supposedly “values” Latino Americans as an important political coalition partner?
Rubbing salt into the wound, the nominee is not Deepak Gupta or Elizabeth Prelogar, it’s Florence Pan, George W. Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s former law clerk (not that clerkships necessarily equate ideology, but still).
it’s not unusual for conservative judges to have a liberal clerk or two. It’s no secret that Justice Kennedy had a liberal law clerk who influenced his vote in Lawrence v Texas. It’s also well known that Justice Scalia would hire liberal clerks.
There’s nothing wrong this it allows people with different viewpoints to have a voice. To surround yourself with people like yourself an echo-chamber doesn’t advance speech or debate.
Surprisingly senator Young appears to support Judge Doris Pryor ‘s nomination. I hope this is the reason for the hold up in some of the other red states. Maybe we have some GOP senators actually working in good faith. I say give them a few phone calls & offer token interviews & if no movement, nominate the next version of Rachel Bloomekatz & screw them.
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