Rachel Bloomekatz – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

In 2019, the Trump Administration nominated former Jones Day attorney Chad Readler to the Sixth Circuit. Now, the Biden Administration is seeking to tap one of Readler’s old associates, Columbus attorney Rachel Bloomekatz.

Background

Born December 3, 1982, Rachel Bloomekatz received a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2004 and a J.D. from UCLA Law School in 2008 before clerking for Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Chief Justice Margaret Marshall on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She then spent a year at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office before clerking for Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bloomekatz then spent two years at Jones Day before becoming a principal at the civil rights firm Gupta Wessler PLLC. Since 2019, Bloomekatz has been a solo practitioner at Bloomekatz Law LLC.

History of the Seat

Bloomekatz has been nominated for an Ohio seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. This seat opened in December 2021 with Judge Ransey Guy Cole’s announcement that he would move to senior status upon confirmation of a successor. Bloomekatz was nominated on May 25, 2022.

Legal Experience

Bloomekatz started her career as an associate at Jones Day. While at the firm, she worked with future Sixth Circuit Judge Chad Readler in challenging the granting of class certification to a series of suits brought against Proctor & Gamble for alleged deceptive marketing of probiotic digestive supplements. See Rikos v. P.G., 799 F.3d 497 (6th Cir. 2015). The grant was affirmed 2-1 by the Sixth Circuit. See id.

From 2016 to 2019, Bloomekatz worked as a principal at Gupta Wessler PLLC. At Gupta Wessler, Bloomekatz particularly worked on a number of election law cases, including successfully suing to allow 17 year olds to vote in the 2016 primary elections. See Tom LoBianco, In Victory for Sanders, Ohio Judge Says 17-Year-Olds Can Vote in Primary, CNN, Mar. 11, 2016. Bloomekatz’s expertise in election law also resulted in her appointment by the Sixth Circuit as amicus. See In re 2016 Primary Election, 836 F.3d 584, 586 (6th Cir. 2016) (Sutton, J.) (noting that Bloomekatz “admirably” defended the district court order after appointment from the court).

Additionally, Bloomekatz represented Brandon Moore in challenging a sentence of 112 years in prison for a series of convictions arising from an incident when he was 15 years old. Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Teen Rapist Given 112-Year Sentence Appeals to Top Court, A.P., Feb. 4, 2015. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the sentence as unconstitutional in a 4-3 vote. See Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Teen Rapist’s 112-Year Sentence, A.P., Dec. 22, 2016.

Bloomekatz also represented the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in multiple suits involving harms from tobacco, see Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 857 F.3d 1169 (11th Cir. 2017), and beverages. See Am. Bev. Ass’n v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 916 F.3d 749 (9th Cir. 2019) (en banc).

Since 2019, Bloomekatz has served as a solo practitioner based in Columbus. During her time as a solo practitioner, Bloomekatz has notably represented parents in a suit against the Madison Local School District over their plan to arm teachers without conducting law enforcement training otherwise required. See Gabbard v. Madison Local Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ., 153 N.E.3d 471 (Ohio App. 2020). The policy was ultimately struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court. See Louise Hall, Teachers Must Have Police Training to Carry Guns at School, Ohio’s Top Court Rules, The Independent, June 24, 2021. Bloomekatz has also filed suit against Ohio’s “Stand Your Ground” law for violating the state’s single-subject rule and three-day consideration provisions. See Anna Staver, Group Challenges Ohio’s Stand Your Ground Law, Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 10, 2021.

Statements and Writings

Like a number of other judicial nominees, Bloomekatz authored a law review note as a student. Her paper discusses the protections that immigrants have from employment discrimination and exploitation. See Rachel Bloomekatz, Rethinking Immigration Status Discrimination and Exploitation in the Low-Wage Workplace, 54 UCLA L. Rev. 1963 (August 2007). The comment discusses various applications of particular federal statutes on discrimination based on immigration status, including discrimination against U.S.-born workers. In the paper, Bloomekatz suggests that an expansion of Section 1981, which bars racial discrimination in contracting, to cover alienage discrimination, is the best legal tool to address such issues. Id. at 1989-90.

Political Activity

Bloomekatz has been a frequent political contributor throughout her career. Among the recipients of her donations are President Biden, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Hillary Clinton.

Additionally, Bloomekatz has worked as counsel for the campaigns of several Ohio Democrats, including Brown. Bloomekatz also served for the campaign of Danny O’Connor, who narrowly lost a house seat to Rep. Troy Balderson in 2018.

Overall Assessment

For her part, Bloomekatz, at 39, is the youngest Biden appointee to the federal appellate bench so far. However, her youth belies extensive experience with both trial and appellate litigation. Furthermore, given that a number of members of her clerk class at the Supreme Court were appointed to the federal bench under Trump, senators are unlikely to gain much traction by arguing that Bloomekatz is under-qualified for the federal bench.

This is not to say that Bloomekatz will not face strong opposition. Her role in election litigation, as well as her work on firearms regulations, are likely to draw particular fire, and Bloomekatz will likely face a hotly contested confirmation. Nonetheless, with the support of Sen. Sherrod Brown, Bloomekatz is nonetheless favored to join the bench before the end of the session.

241 Comments

  1. A+. If you make the argument this is Biden’s best nominee to date there’s not much to debate against that statement. Durbin & Schumer should use the KBJ timeline for this nominee to be confirmed, she’s that great of a pick.

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    • Fully agree on the timeline. Should be the first person at the next hearing and then hold the committee vote and then an immediate floor vote. My gut feeling is that Graham may vote for Bloomekatz in committee if she doesn’t slip up in the hearing. But even if he doesn’t the discharge should be fairly quick.

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      • I think Schumer could prove a point that the best nominees will be expedited. This is why I’m so mad he is letting Dale Ho languish, particularly with him being from his home state. But any A+ circuit court nominee should be on the KBJ time line, discard vote needed or not.

        Here is the Amy Coney Barrett timeline;

        September 26 – Trump announced her
        October 12 – Hearings begin
        October 22 – The SJC reported her to the floor (I still don’t know how they did that in 10 days)
        October 25 – Voted for cloture
        October 26 – Confirmed

        I’ll even add 3 days for possible discharge vote with this being a 50/50 senate. But this should be the timeline for any Rachel Bloomekatz type nominee going forward.

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      • That won’t happen, with the nominees for the sentencing commission and some of the district court nominees overdue for a hearing and they all will likely be on tap for Wednesday. In addition, one of Biden’s latest circuit court nominees will have to be separated from the others when it is their turn, since I can’t remember an instance of 3 circuit nominees being in the same nominations hearing this Congress.

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      • @Dequan

        I’m seriously concerned that Manchin may be a no on Dale Ho. That’s really the only rational reason I can come up with for why he hasn’t been confirmed yet. This is one of Schumer’s nominees, so I don’t think he would slow walk him.

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      • If Manchin has indicated he will vote no then Schumer should do one of two things. Either go ahead with the vote & if he fails, quickly send over a recommendation to replace his nomination. Or two (My personal recommendation), wait until a Republican or two is out for whatever reason & then vote on him then. It’s hardball but as long as no other Democrat has indicated they will vote no, screw it. Mitch McConnell would happily do the same thing. It’s not fair to Dale Ho to have him in limbo though. Either replace him or play hardball.

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      • @Dequan

        So I agree regarding Dale Ho. But I’m not sure the hardball approach would work because you have to do it twice (once for the discharge and a second time for the vote), and McConnell may be prepared the second time. And furthermore it may piss off Manchin that you’re going around him.

        And BTW thanks for the kind words below. I tried to respond to that comment and it seems like it never showed up.

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      • @Shawn

        Haaaaaaaaa. Yea the same thing happens to me at times. This is an absolutely great site but the only two things I would say needs improving is the glitch that holds some of our post up from being posted for a while & the second I wish we could edit after we send in the event we see typos.

        But neither here nor there I’m happy to see you are back & healthy. As I’ve said before we don’t always agree (Albeit usually even in disagreement we still agree partially) but I love your input as well as @Zack (And I especially love his chart on potential federal judges which I view daily), Rick, Frank & all the others that participates. The judiciary is my most important issue when I vote so it’s great for me to be able to talk about it & see so many perspectives with me not ever stepping foot in a law school… Lol

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  2. I was gone most of last week with a medical issue and I am now back.

    Rachel Bloomekatz is the best Circuit Court nominee since the Carter administration for sure. I love this selection and have advocated for her for some time.

    But even 20 nominees like Rachel Bloomekatz does not make up for the back stabbing that is J. Michelle Childs. Even replacing Clarence Thomas with Bloomekatz does not make up for the appointment for J. Michelle Childs.
    Nothing does until those who were instrumental in putting her on the second highest court in the removed from office.

    I want to keep open the possibility to improve the Supreme Court, so I will vote for Biden and Senate Democrats for now. However I WILL vote GOP for the House as long as Jim Clyburn remains in leadership. And I WILL vote GOP against Democrats who attack progressives personally and are back stabbers, and I certainly WILL advocate for this HERE. If you don’t like this, tough shit!

    And given that this is NOT a Democratic Party blog (like the dump Daily Kos is), your attempts to impose party discipline is NOT going to work with me.

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    • You can vote however you want that’s your business. I have yet to see anything in Judge Childs’ past rulings that leads me to believe that she will be nothing other than an outstanding judge. Having said that, I find the attacks on Judge Childs’ and James Clyburn alarming.

      All of the federal courts of appeals are the same. It’s often said that the DC Circuit is the second highest court. It’s not true. I think and I hopeful that the Biden Administration is treating the DC Circuit like any other appeals court. It’s exalted status amongst the appeals. courts’ stems from the fact that it’s in DC. That’s it.

      We already have too many judges from that court and from the east coast .There are 40 million people living in California and we don’t have one justice on the court from there .That’s not right .

      I think we need to add more seats on the court. To do that, we have to make a new law. You can’t make a law without having control of the House of Representatives, It’s self defeating to attack members of the House leadership over one judge you don’t approve of.

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      • “All of the federal courts of appeals are the same. It’s often said that the DC Circuit is the second highest court. It’s not true. ”

        This is just nonsense. If this was true, why put Childs on the DC Circuit at all? There’s an open 4th Circuit seat from South Carolina which she could have been appointed to. The entire reason for why Childs was put on the DC Circuit was because Jim Clyburn pushed her to be appointed there because the DC Circuit is the second most powerful court.

        The Democrats had both the House and the Senate the past year and a half. I have not seen one bill adding any seats to the a single court that has been advanced. There’s one bipartisan bill to add 65 seats to the district courts, but it has went nowhere. Why the hell should I believe that would change in 2023 if the Democrats hold the House?

        I believe that the country, Democrats, and progressives are better off with a small GOP majority in the House in 2023. The country needs to see what a disaster the GOP House is again, like they did in 1995/96 and 2011/12. The Democrats also need to clean out their House leadership and get some fresh blood in there. It’s time for Pelosi (who has effective as a leader), Hoyer and Clyburn (both of whom are worse than no good) to enjoy their retirement.

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      • I think they gave her a choice. Being on the DC Circuit in of itself doesn’t make you more qualified. I really don’t think they were inclined to choose Childs’ anyway. All they did is give her an interview. What’s wrong with that?

        We are overdue for a judgeship bill. Now is not the time. This would have to happen in a second term. The 9th Circuit can’t have 50 authorized judges in addition to the senior judges. So, the 9th Circuit has to be split.

        There’s little doubt that the Republicans’ will regain control of the House. Yes, if they took over people will see (it’s obvious now) that they aren’t interested in governance. However, since the Presidential election is in the next cycle I don’t trust. them to certify the election. If Democrats’ can hold the Senate and a add a seat or two at least judges will be okay.

        I don’t think Biden is using the DC Circuit as a” feeder” court for future justices. There’s plenty of judges and non-judges from other parts of the country.

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      • While I disagree with Shawn on voting for Republicans (Except for Liz Cheney types) just because I don’t like the Democrat leadership & disagree with him on the reasons J. Childs is a horrible nominee, I do agree with him the DC circuit is the second most important court in the land & that Childs is a horrible nominee.

        Simply put, the type of cases the DC circuit hears will always put their judges in the spotlight. And even though we live in a post circuit court blue slip world, home state senators still play some role in nominees selected. The DC circuit doesn’t have to worry about that at all. Finally, if a state doesn’t have a circuit court vacancy, or if the home state senators really push back on a nominee, a solid nominee from that state can always be put on the DC circuit. So I do agree putting Childs on that court is a wasted pick. I just wouldn’t go as far as to say I would vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene because of how horrible of a pick she is.

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      • Agree with you regarding Childs being a great judge, but disagree with the claim regarding the DC Circuit. It isn’t so much that the court is in DC, but rather that the court encounters a large number of cases based on administrative and constitutional law, and no matter what side you land on, having judges who will uphold the rights you have is crucial for so many people.

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      • All of the courts maybe with the exception of the federal circuit handle administrative law and con law matters.

        In my view, the court lacks the proper balance like Title VII cases or capital punishment. Justice Kennedy wasn’t handicapped because he didn’t come from the DC Circuit.

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      • “We are overdue for a judgeship bill. Now is not the time. This would have to happen in a second term. The 9th Circuit can’t have 50 authorized judges in addition to the senior judges. So, the 9th Circuit has to be split.”

        I disagree that now is not the time for lower court judges. Certain courts like the 9th, 5th, and 11th are swamped, and it is even worse in the District Courts.
        We have discussed quite extensively here about splitting the 9th Circuit. The general consensus is that a new 12th Circuit would need to be created for California, and Arizona and Nevada would be moved to the 10th (which is underworked, so it can absorb the extra filings from those two states). And then Kansas could be moved to the 8th if so desired to hold the 10th at 15 active judges.

        “There’s little doubt that the Republicans’ will regain control of the House. Yes, if they took over people will see (it’s obvious now) that they aren’t interested in governance.”

        It is only obvious to people who regularly follow politics. It takes them actually being in power to alarm those who vote only in general elections. I expect it to be a real shitshow this time around. If the Democrats somehow barely hold the House, I suspect that it would be considerably harder for Biden to win reelection.

        “However, since the Presidential election is in the next cycle I don’t trust. them to certify the election.”

        The Congress elected in 2022 does not certify the election, the Congress elected in 2024 does. The new Congress was sworn in on January 4th or 5th 2021, before J6 happened.

        “If Democrats’ can hold the Senate and a add a seat or two at least judges will be okay.”

        This is the most important thing by far. And with the GOP running several candidates in the Sharron Angle/Todd Akin mold, I think it is a good possibility that the Democrats will hold the Senate. Warnock and Kelly are well above average candidates running against some really bad candidates. The favorite in Arizona has come out in favor of banning contraception. The GOP candidates in PA, NC, and OH aren’t great either. That’s not to say that some of these people can’t win, especially if the environment is really terrible.
        The second most important races are the Secretary of State races in key states.

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  3. Childs should have been given the 4th Circuit South Carolina based seat….That way she gets a promotion, Sen Graham would be happy as its a circuit court pick he could certainly live with, and a far better choice (like Elizabeth Prelogar) could have had the DC seat….Everybody would have won in this scenario…

    Let’s use a horror film analogy….The first Friday the 13th was a decent suspense film with a memorable music score….But by the time it got to Friday the 13th part 4 & beyond, the series got too silly…Paramount should have quit while they were ahead….

    Well, most of Biden’s circuit court picks are the first Friday the 13th – good, solid picks…..But Biden’s DC Circuit picks have been Friday the 13th Part 8 – ridiculous…

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    • It’s all academic now. We all know that Childs’ wasn’t going be picked for the Supreme Court. So,, serving on that court (DC) or another the (4th Circuit) would have made any difference. I wish someone would provide some examples of rulings by Judge Childs that were bad.

      I could dig deep on Bloomekratz for the 6th circuit. She’s made her money at a mainly all white law firm. The fact she has white benefactors makes her a shoo in? As for Prelogar, she just took the job as SG so why would she want to go the DC Circuit?

      Thankfully , there’s a new normal; no more Supreme Court nominees from the DC Circuit.Let’s do the legwork and look elsewhere.

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      • “I could dig deep on Bloomekratz for the 6th circuit. She’s made her money at a mainly all white law firm. The fact she has white benefactors makes her a shoo in? ”

        Does Deepak Gupta sound like a white guy to you? How about representing the NAACP and three Black legislators in Ohio in opposing the “stand your ground” law? Or representing a 15 year old Black boy who was given a life sentence?

        The reason why progressives love Rachel Bloomekatz is because she spent most of her young career representing regular people and progressive causes rather than corporate special interests against unions, discriminated workers, and victims of wage theft and other workplace abuses.

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      • No, Deepak Gupta doesn’t sound like a white guy to me. Thats’s besides the point. To represent a few black folks in a couple of cases doesn’t make him a civil rights crusader, That’s something privileged white people would say.

        On the other hand,,you have James Clyburn who was a youth leader in the South Carolina NAACP when he was12 years old. A person who has that kind of commitment deserves and demands our respect. No one will threaten to puti a rope around your neck on the Harvard campus or some downtown law firm on the 20th floor.

        Don’t get me wrong I am good with Bloomekatz .However, the people who are hating hard on Childs” and Clyburn is insulting . How can you be for civil rights but have no respect for it leaders?

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      • I have great respect for what Jim Clyburn did as a civil rights leader. I would have been thrilled to support him for Congress in 1992. But I have considerably less respect for what he has done in the past several years. He has become the same machine politician that he once fiercely fought against, and not as a means to do good. I also found it very disconcerting that he flatly refused to endorse Barack Obama in 2008 but chose to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 before the SC primary.

        Secondly, just because I strongly admire the civil rights movement doesn’t mean I have to admire every action from every single leader from it. Even in a movement as great and as large as this movement, there are going to be a few less than admirable people or actions.

        As far as J. Michelle Childs, frankly I have no more respect for her than I do for someone like CJ John Roberts. She is a long time management lawyer who spent a decade sticking up for some of the worst offenses from corporate America. That itself should be disqualifying in a Democratic admin where the President said that he would be the “most pro-union President” in history. But Childs as a judge proved to be no better, having a record on criminal justice that is excessively punitive. I don’t think that’s a recopd we should accept.

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      • . When you say “machine politics” are you referring to super delegates? It’s no secret most black people over 50 are more pragmatic than those who are not. Tensions within the black community have always existed even before Reconstruction.

        The Clinton’s lived for politics and Barack Obama hated it. The Clinton’s had cultivated relationships for years by using the White House itself to charm to members of congress. Obama had a young
        family and didn’t spend much time schmoozing with politicians.

        So. Clyburn went with Clinton over Obama. That’s politics. This Bloomekatz nominee is politics as well. This is Sherrod Browns’ nominee. She gave him money and Biden too. Brown did the same thing that Clyburn did . So, what’s at issue here?

        I think it’s a cheap shot to attack a black woman for a job she took in South Carolina. It smacks of privilege to say she didn’t have job doing something else. We don’t know what opportunities were available to a black woman practicing law in South Carolina..

        Lastly, nothing personal but lots of people labelling Judge Childs’ as a conservative or horrible. It’s nonsense but I’ve seen it before. privileged white folks and others complaining black prosecutors or judges being too harsh on black criminal defendants.. It takes a lot nerve. .

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    • @Aaron Pachman

      She worked with Every Town Safety for gun safety, she worked in Deepak Gupta’s civil rights firm, worked as counsel to senator Brown, worked on the Biden-Harris campaign, represented Mexicans shot by the Border Patrol, represented public-health groups like the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids suing tobacco companies & has worked on voters rights. And that’s not to mention she’s 39 years old. Need anymore info??

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      • @Aaron

        Sherrod Brown is probably the best senator after accounting for the political lean of the state they represent. He is pretty much a solid economic progressive in a state that Trump won by nearly 10%.
        Frankly candidates in the Midwest really need to be in the same vein as Brown and not the corporate friendly garbage that we have seen over the years. Moderate as needed to on certain social issues, but pro-corporate fiscal conservatism is really not an asset anywhere, not even in upscale suburbs (who today are far more concerned about the cultural extremism and outright fascism from the right-wing than they are about their tax bill).
        Tim Ryan and John Fetterman are cut from this same cloth. Jon Tester is too, although more moderate, but he also represents a redder state.

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      • While Beto O’Rourke was my first choice in the 2020 primaries & Biden was second, had Ohio had a Democrat governor, Sherrod Brown would have been my first choice had he decided to run. Unlike Elizabeth Warren who I wouldn’t have supported even if Massachusetts had a Democrat governor, Ohio having a Republican governor would have been the ONLY reason I wouldn’t have supported Brown. I don’t know the Democrat leadership structure after Schumer & Durbin but he needs to be not too far behind then. He’s that solid.

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  4. @ Kevin Collins

    Because with a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court, Ms Prelogar is in a tough spot to win alot of cases…..She is a talented lawyer and would be better served as a circuit court judge..

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      • It’s sad when young progressive who would make for a solid nominee isn’t interested in being a judge. At the same time, we don’t want another Greg Costa. We don’t want to waste SJC & senate floor time on somebody who is in their 30’s or 40’s, only for them to retire long before they are eligible for senior status. I’d rather a nominee who is committed to being a judge for life.

        On another note the senate is back in session. I believe all 50 Democrats are back in town & healthy. I truly hope Schumer pulls his head out of the sand & starts to discharge the six nominees pending, confirm the first black man to any circuit court in the last 3,065 days & we get a new package of judicial nominees from Biden this week that I will need more then one hand to count… Hey, one can dream right??? Lol

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  5. I wonder if this is an indication we are getting any closer to a nominee for the 4th South Carolina vacancy & district court nominees for Oregon & replacement for William Pocan in Wisconsin. By the way I had E. Martin Estrada on my list for a judgeship in California so I guess I can take him off now.

    (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/06/president-biden-announces-five-new-nominees-to-serve-as-u-s-attorneys-two-to-serve-as-u-s-marshals/)

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    • As I said before, I would give Lindsay Graham until July 1st to agree on a 4th Circuit nominee, but not after that. As far as Adair Boroughs, I would prefer her as a judicial nominee than for US Attorney. She doesn’t appear to have much experience as a prosecutor or defense attorney.

      Regarding Estrada, I found this tidbit from his bio very interesting…

      “and a major public corruption matter involving the illegal leaking of sensitive, under-seal information by a federal court clerk.”

      https://www.mto.com/lawyers/e-martin-estrada

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      • I honestly never heard of Adair Boroughs before so I only know of the announcement info about her. I’m not sure if she’s black but she seems like she would be a decent compromise nominee for the 4th circuit. I would like to see Biden push for a little better nominee but as I’ve said before this is probably the ONLY circuit court seat I would take a J Childs or Florence Pan type nominee & not get upset since Graham has saved the senate countless hours of time with his votes in the SJC.

        I’ve actually done a lot of research on Martin Estrada. He seems like a solid nominee for a district court seat. There are far better candidates for the 9th California seats but I would have taken him over Lucy Koh.

        With Biden’s poor record nominating Hispanics to the courts, this would have been a good choice for a judicial vacancy. However California has no shortage of qualified Hispanic progressives so senator Padilla should be able to get some good recommendations in.

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      • @Dequan Adair is white but I have several friends that know her personally and I believe she will be an outstanding US attorney. I had no idea she was under consideration but I also wish she had been given consideration for a judicial seat somewhere.

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  6. I find it interesting that Rachel Bloomekatz and Chad Reader are former colleagues, in spite of being so different ideologically. At the least, they’re acquainted and they may be friendly. I wonder how it will affect their working relationship?

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    • This is often the case among people who are coworkers. You work with many different types of people. Sometimes you are friendly with them and sometimes you are not. In addition to RBG, Scalia was pretty friendly with Elena Kagan as well. He reportedly told David Axelrod at a dinner in 2009 suggesting that Obama appoint Kagan to SCOTUS.

      My guess is that on the current SCOTUS, Roberts, Gorsuch, and yes Kavanaugh are probably personally friendly with liberals. Probably ACB as well, although I haven’t heard or read anything about her. OTOH, I’d guess that Alito and Thomas tries to avoid anyone left of center.

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      • Interesting point, Shawn. Did you read “The Nine” by Jeffrey Toobin? It turns out that Thomas is great friends with Stephen Breyer. Progressives will be surprised to hear this, but Thomas is very well-liked within the Supreme Court, including the non-political staff.

        Neil Gorsuch is rumored to have clashed with both Elena Kagan and John Roberts, though he and Roberts have smoothed things over. That puts Kagan in an awkward position because Gorsuch sometimes surprises with his rulings, especially on indigenous land rights issues.

        About Chief John Roberts, he’s kind of a mystery even to those who know him. He’s friendly with all, but close to none. What is known is that he considers himself the gatekeeper of the court. He wants to avoid controversy, but that’s impossible in these times.

        You are right about Brett Kavanaugh. When Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court, he already knew the other justices. Members and employees of both the Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit often go to the same restaurants and social events. Also, the staffs of both courts tend to run in the same circles and inevitable work the rumor mills.

        I’m assuming that Kentaji Jackson Brown already knew the SCOTUS justices, but I may be wrong. She’d only been on the D.C. Circuit for a short time.

        A little bit of Washington DC insider football Maybe others have heard about this too.

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  7. Thank you for the kind words regarding my chart @Shawn, @Dequan. I’m not as active lately as I would like to be (partially because there aren’t as many vacancies that have come up in comments that I haven’t already speculated on). But I’m glad you enjoy my chart and would gladly take additional suggestions of names you may have in mind that aren’t currently on my chart. I haven’t included too many ACLU/ public interest organization lawyers (as most of those nominees have come from either Schumer or the GA senators, which I am very thankful for as a GA resident), nor have I included many full-time law professors, as that doesn’t seem to fit the pattern of Biden’s nominees so far.

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    • I think you’ve done a fantastic job, Ethan. You have included so many names here that I haven’t come across (largely those in the federal government), and I’ve been creating this list for a couple years now.

      One suggestion I have is to include a column for demographic information (race/ethnicity, LGBT, perhaps gender) unless you already have done so and I missed it.

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      • @Ethan

        I concur with @Shawn. Your chart is phenomenal. I’ve suggested names such as Cristina M. Rodriguez & you added them. It’s really a comprehensive list. I wish you were working with The White House in the area of judicial nominees. Thanks for you input.

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  8. It is getting annoying to have to say this again but I will.
    Anyone who keeps making post after post about how they’re going to vote for horrible people who will oppose everything he claims to care about to “punish” Democrats he doesn’t like one or two nominees yet claims to be a progressive is utterly laughable and also a troll.
    I’m not happy with J.Michelle Childs or a couple of other nominees either but I would never, EVER vote for cruel and horrible people because of that.
    Anyone who says they will is saying they view LGBT, women, POC etc. getting hurt as acceptable for whatever they view as the “greater good.” and isn’t a progressive.
    They are a regressive bigot, simple as that and it’s getting old to see someone wearing that as some badge of honor.
    Back to judges…

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    • Too bad because I will be spreading this message repeatedly just for you. This is NOT a Democratic party blog and you don’t get to impose your partisan preferences (like at the shithole dump that is Daily Kos).

      I’ve been here a lot longer than you. GFY!

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    • I will also add that I strongly suspect that user Zack is the former user GloFish. GloFish made a disgusting comment that Biden’s primary qualification for judges is that person is being a black woman, and then has not commented much since. After that comment, user Zach showed up for the first time 3 days later.

      Both have very similar word mannerisms. More interesting is that both GloFish and Zack have repeatedly been propping up white men as possible nominees. Some of them excellent like John Rappoport and Jeff Fisher, some of them horrible like Michael Mongan and Jesse Furman.

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      • I would simply say you’re wrong but beyond that, if you had bothered to look through some of my posts, I’ve called out Democrats at times as well on judges, especially their failures during the W and Obama years when we had control and should have done more on the judicial branch then we did and the frustration
        That is a far cry from gleefully stating you’re going to vote for bigots like MTG in order to stick it to Democrats, the real life people who will be hurt by that don’t matter.
        And you wonder why so many view “progressives” as toxic?
        If the site owners request I or a couple others who have called you out leave, we will.
        Until then, you can take your demands and shove them, along with your racism and bigotry.

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      • You sure seem to think that that progressives owe you our vote. We don’t. If you and other so-called “Democrats” view progressives as toxic, don’t expect progressives to vote for your candidates. People tend not to support those who spit on their face. Although I didn’t vote for Bernie in 2016, but I *completely* understand why 25% of his voters did not vote for Hillary in general election after the DNC’s filth was leaked by the Russians. If you think attacking personally attacking progressives is the path to winning, good luck with that.

        You’re the one trying to make demands to shut me up, and in the process, hijacking real discussion regarding judges. This is NOT a Democratic Party site, but one for people of all political leanings. As such, I have zero intention to dial back my comments supporting the GOP over Democrats who are backstabbers one iota. If that bothers YOU through your super thin skin, then you can spend more time at your safe space shithole DKE. Otherwise, tough shit you’ll have to deal with it. I actually enjoy seeing your blood boil frankly.

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      • Regarding the GloFish/Zack primary promotion of white male judges here, another example is Christopher Howland in Delaware.
        In discussion regarding possible 3rd Circ candidates, state Supreme Court Justice Tamika Montgomery is considered the favorite. In discussion candidates, I brought up in passing Howland as a potential dark horse for this seat. User Zack then multiple times brought up Howland as the best candidate. I have yet to see GloFish or Zack push for a single candidate who was not a white male, but both of these users have repeatedly advocated for selection of white males.
        I have no objection to Christopher Howland as a judicial nominee. I have considerable disgust towards this view that somehow that the primary consideration is race and gender.

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      • Shawn your a troll and your a vicious bully, you mislabel and insult anyone that doesn’t follow your views and adhere to your out of bounds and borderline sexist critics of Michele childs, your a troll. Anyways it seems this week andre mathis wont be confirmed, arianna freeman wont be discharged etc sick idiot

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    • My biggest fear about Republicans taking over the House is with Biden being the oldest president in history, it is possible Kevin McCarthy could be one Kamala Harris heart beat away from the presidency. That thought alone is enough for me to support any Democrat running for the House in my district over the Republican unless maybe if lived in Wyoming & Liz Cheney won her primary.

      My heart skips a beat every time a Democrat senator in a state with a Republican governor coughs the wrong way. I can’t imagine the President Harris watch day by day if God forbid something happened to President Biden. Scary thought in my view.

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  9. Senators Feinstein & Merkley has missed all votes so far today. I’m not sure if they are out just for today or longer. I guess there will be no discharge votes before Thanksgiving at this rate.

    Senator Murphy also missed a vote but that was because he was at The White House meeting with Biden about the gun safety negotiations. 3,066 & counting since the last time a black man has been confirmed to any circuit court. I guess Andre Mathis won’t be ending that streak this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Senate is finished for the evening. At least tomorrow we get Nina Morrison tomorrow at noon. It’s about time we actually get a judge I really want to see confirmed. Hopefully Schumer will file for more tomorrow after.

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  11. So last night, I had a dream (or nightmare) that Biden nominated someone born in 1959 for the Arizona 9th circuit seat. They were a Federal Public Defender, but I couldn’t give them more than a D+.

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  12. It’s 12:30 on the east coast and no new judicial nominations announced.
    Depressing.
    The WH used to make these announcements roughly every other Wednesday around 10am.
    Literally nothing new to see here…

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      • With some combination of Pan, Pryor, Bloomekatz, Hanes, Nardacci and Reyes on June 22 (though hopefully all), there probably won’t be another SJC nomination hearing until after their two week July 4 recess. So no need to rush nominees out I guess…

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      • @Ben

        I was thinking the same thing. I would be great to have all 3 circuit court nominees with the 3 district courts since today we didn’t have any judicial nominees. Unfortunately we are taking about my party, the Democrats so that’s wishful thinking.

        And yea I was looking at the schedule for hearings & thinking about the same timeline. But it still would be good to get a new batch this week just to at least make Durbin think about having a hearing during the two week recess. Of course he won’t but at least give him the option. Waiting another week for new nominees of course clinches the timeline you mentioned.

        And I can’t believe this. All 50 Democrats in DC & now Harris is out of town. When she gets back of course another Dem will be out or even worse, all will be present & Schumer will be confirming Secretary’s of Little League Baseball, emptying garbage cans & painting the white lines on the side of the highways.

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      • Without any irony, yes, the two DC court nominees could be confirmed in the meantime until Harris is back, Tovah Calderon was nominated in June 2021 and waiting for a vote since October 2021, for a vacancy open since 2013, and this month a further vacancy arises at the CoA in DC.And Noti is waiting since December 2021.

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    • @Dequan
      “Waiting another week for new nominees of course clinches the timeline you mentioned.”

      I don’t think that we can expect any next week. I could be wrong, but based on what I remember of the announcements in 2022 the WH tends to stick with two week schedule EVEN if they don’t actually announce new nominees. So, if they are being consistent (haha!) they won’t announce another “batch” before Wednesday, June 22. That’s what they did the last time, there was a four week gap between the batches.
      I suspect the WH is counting their U.S. Attorneys and Marshals announcement on Monday as this week’s SJC-based nominations.

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    • The WH has made announcements of judicial nominees on Tuesdays and Thursdays previously (and someone here posted about the exact data on that), although I believe that you are correct that we likely won’t see another batch for at least a couple of more weeks (I’m guessing the last week of the month).

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  13. How did this nomination just fail, I swear I heard Manchin vote AYE…..I had it on in background, but I don’t recall any Democrats voting NO

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  14. Ok I had some extra time on my hands at work so I looked through all of Biden’s circuit court picks to date. Below are the picks I would have out right rejected if I could have advised Biden, along with who I would have recommended instead…

    1. Lucy Koh – Cecilia Wang
    2. J. Michelle Childs (I would have held my nose & nominated her to the 4th circuit. Since Graham is voting to advance most nominees out of the SJC, I wouldn’t put a flaming liberal in that seat just to keep him happy) – Dale Ho
    3. John Z. Lee – Jennifer Nou (If Tammy Duckworth insisted on an AAPI nominee) or John Rappaport.
    4. Sarah A. L. Merriam – Cristina Rodriguez (Followed by Justin Driver for the second seat).
    5. Florence Y. Pan – Deepak Gupta (For the third vacancy I would probably nominate Monica Ramirez-Almadani as the first Hispanic to the court).

    I would have pushed back slightly on the following but ultimately not have fought to the death like the above five nominees…

    1. Eunice C. Lee. – While I think she is a good pick, I would have pushed for Melissa Murray who is 5 years younger. I think there would have been a better chance to keep all 50 Dems in tact to vote for her early in the administration & maybe even pick up Collins or Murkowski’s vote.
    2. Gustavo Gelpí – I would have suggested Maite Oronoz Rodriguez but with Gelpi being a GW Bush appointee I would have understood he would have been easier to confirm while still a good pick.
    3. Stephanie D. Davis – I would have suggested Fadwa Hammoud as the first Muslim circuit court judge or Philip Mayor who is 12 years younger but with Davis being a Trump appointee I would have understood she would have been easier to confirm while still a good pick.

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    • My choices:

      9th Circ- N CA: Linda Lye. Slightly younger and more progressive than Cecilia Wang.

      DC Circuit: Andrew Manuel Crespo for one. One of Deepak Gupta, Jia Cobb, or Karla Gilbride for the other. Could do Cristina Rodriguez here instead if you want to save Crespo for the 1st Circ.

      7th Circ: John Rappaport. If Duckworth insisted on AAPI nominee, either Nursat Choudhury or Jennifer Nou.

      2nd Circ- CT: Justin Driver followed by Marisol Orihuela (could consider her for the 9th too)

      2nd Circ- NY: Too many choices that were far better. I would have moved up Myrna Perez and Alison Nathan and then given Manchin a choice between Melissa Murray or Ria Tabacco Mar.

      1st Circ- PR: Either Maite Rodriguez Oronoz or Margarita Mercado Echagaray

      6th Circ- MI: Leah Litman if you could confirm her.

      9th Circ-CA. I would replace Gabriel Sanchez with Monica Ramirez Almadani or Victor Rodriguez.

      9th Circ- WA. Unlike you I consider Salvador Mendoza a less than ideal nominee. While he is a liberal, he is not exactly known as an influential judge of any sort and he is 50.
      I would have preferred J. Michael Diaz here. But if a Hispanic was a requirement for this seat, I incredibly hate to do this, but we are better off loaning this seat back to California (and the next CA opening going to WA).

      4th Circ- VA. Juval Scott, Leslie Kendrick, or Martine Ciccioni (Heytens’ deputy in the Solicitor Generals office). The 4th Circuit’s general balance is horrible and Heytens’ isn’t so much better than the other options (unlike say Rappaport).

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      • @Shawn

        I absolutely love both Ria Tabacco Mar & Leah Litman but didn’t include them because I didn’t think either could get confirmed. They make Mellisa Murray look like Neil Gorsuch… Lol

        I too agree the 9th circuit seat could have better filled if left in California but I figure Salvador Mendoza is probably better then the inter-blue states battle. Of course there were better choices from within the state of Washington itself with Tiffany Cartwright already vetted but as mentioned before, with Biden’s poor record on Hispanic nominees to the circuit court, this really needed to be a Hispanic judge. But yes J. Michael Diaz & even Jorge Baron (Who I got off Ethan’s list would have probably been better picks even just from a list of Hispanics.

        I agree with you in the 4th circuit imbalance but with the then two recommendations from Warner & Kaine being born in 1960 & 1962, it was either Heytens or a fight with them. Looking at the ages of the judges in the 4th, Biden probably figured he would get multiple cracks at that court & didn’t bother the fight.

        I 100% agree with all of the 7th circuit replacements you mentioned. Either would have been solid choices for different reasons.

        I’ve never heard of Marisol Orihuela. I’m sure she’s solid. I’ll have to look her up tomorrow.

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      • @Dequan

        I actually think Tabacco Mar would have been easier to confirm than Murray because her litigation is largely related to gender and LGBT discrimination rather than abortion. Basically she has the same position that RBG held. That’s probably easier for Manchin to accept. I think that both Murray and Litman would garner a no from Manchin, but could you get Murkowski and/or Collins? Perhaps. Both of them are pro-choice.

        Biden should have told the Virginia senators no. Better yet, Biden should have told all Democratic senators that Circuit Court nominees were coming from the White House period. We will consult with you yes, but we take the lead on this. What I would have done (and I said this in January 2021) is to have a special national commission full of progressives to vet Circuit Court candidates. The head of that commission could be Russ Feingold.

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      • @Shawn

        I definitely agree with your last point. As a matter of fact, I thought The White House did say they would take the lead on circuit court nominees. They actually have on some when you look at the questionnaires. But the majority have come from the senators. I don’t mind when those senators are Schumer, Ossoff, Warnock & the New Mexico senators. But they should have held that same standard for all vacancies.

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  15. Todays SJC votes;

    Senator Tillis voted PASS for three nominees because senator Leahy couldn’t attend & they worked out a bi-partisan deal so all the nominees could be reported to the floor. That was a nice gesture by him.

    Lee, Salvador, Maldonado & Williams were all voted favorably. Lochner was voted with a voice vote with the strong support of senator Grassley.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Did I miss something… The senate just confirmed Robert Steven Huie but they never voted for cloture for him. I’m not complaining, just surprised. I think he’s the first Biden article 3 judge to be confirmed without a cloture vote unless I missed something. Hopefully that’s the start of a new trend.

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  17. The data in this link is nothing we haven’t talked about on here before, just thought I’d share, especially for those who think the current pace of confirmation is just A-OK:
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2022/06/02/bidens-judicial-appointments-still-very-diverse-but-numbers-may-be-falling-off/

    @Dequan RE: Robert Steven Huie
    Yes, there was an agreement to vitiate the cloture motion. As for this being a new trend, don’t hold your breath.

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    • Oh wow, I wonder what was behind the agreement to forgo cloture. I wish Schumer would threaten more Friday & even Saturday sessions. I bet we would get more agreements. Not so much on the controversial nominees, but at least clear the deck of non controversial nominees. I don’t want to spend two hours post cloture time on your Steven Lochner’s for instance.

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    • @Rick

      I actually tried to post my opinion about Schumer’s recommendations three times since last night but for some reason none of them would post. Anyway my opinion is the choices aren’t bad but could have been better.

      Ramon Reyes was born around 1966 & is simply too old. There are any number of younger & more progressive Latinos in the state that would have been better. Both him & Hector Gonzalez have solid resumes but could have been younger picks.

      Orelia Merchant was born around 1970. Once again she has a solid resume but I would have rather see another pick in the mold of Jessica Clare & Natasha Merle, somebody in their 30’s.

      Arun Subramanian Was born around 1979. Again a good pick but there were better. I would have rather seen Joshua Martz who was born around 1986 & prosecuted Trump in the Southwrn district but of course diversity would have probably stopped that pick as he is a straight white male.

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    • Without having done too much research into them, they all seem like they are well qualified to become article III judges. For those who care about age (I think it is overrated by some here but understand their point), Reyes (E.D.N.Y) was born c. 1966, and Subramanian (S.D.N.Y) was born c. 1982. Subramanian would also become the first South Asian American ever to serve on the S.D.N.Y if confirmed and was a clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. For those looking for both youth and progressiveism, you won’t find it with these nominees, but I’m all for these choices because of their qualifications.

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  18. This is an exceptional nomination.

    Apparently this board’s hall monitor missed my praise for Myrna Perez, David Urias, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Jennifer Sung among others. Perhaps he was too busy ranting about how he was going to vote for bigots like Marjorie Taylor Greene to spite Jim Clyburn because Michelle Childs was nominated for a judgeship.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. We have more recommendations. There is no current announced vacancy & only Sue E. Myerscough is eligible for senor status out of the four judges on the court. If Durbin & Duckworth has some advance notice about her leaving the court, I absolutely love they are doing this in advance. Here are my thoughts on the three recommendations.

    Colleen R. Lawless (born c. 1983) – The administration would be well served to nominate more disability civil rights lawyers. While I had my eye on Karla Gillbride for the DC circuit or DC district court or Jasmine Harris for the 3rd circuit, this pick would be a welcome pick. Her being in her 30’s would make her a solid pick.

    Johanes Maliza (born September 10, 1981) – This may actually jump to near the top of my favorite picks for a Biden district court nominee if this was the choice. A former professional soccer player from Puerto Rico turned Harvard Law school graduate & public defender that speaks four languages (His bio says five, but I’ve never heard of Kiswahili). With him being 40 years old, it would be an absolute delight to see in a black robe.

    Rhonda Renee Perry (born c. 1972) – She is an employment & labor lawyer. She is currently the Campus Legal Counsel for the University of Illinois. This would be my least favorite of the three recommendations based on both lack of progressive background & age.

    (https://twitter.com/prof_jpc/status/1535328919553028096/photo/1)

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  20. Schumer just filed cloture on Ana de Alba. He really needs to do some discharges and/or circuit court this week while all 50 Dems & VP Harris is in town. De Alba could be confirmed even without all 50 Dems. I swear I don’t know who is advising Chuck on strategy but they need to be fired.

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      • I’m not familiar with the executive nominees but I doubt any of them need to be discharged. Mitch McConnell treated circuit court nominees like judicial emergencies regardless of the situation. He confirmed Justin Walker a full month before judge Griffin even retired on the DC circuit. Meanwhile Andre Mathis is still waiting for confirmation a full 3,072 days since the last black man has been confirmed to any circuit court…smh

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      • I’m not a big fan of that comparison although I’ll give you that it is a reasonable one to make. Mitch McConnell is in a completely different league in terms of savviness compared to pretty much any majority leader in the history of the United States Senate and had more favorable conditions that Schumer.

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      • @Frank

        All true. I suspect we have a couple senators who would be just as Davy as Mitch if they were majority leader. I’m thinking senator Whitehouse for sure, even with a 50/50 senate.

        I would be happy if Schumer was just more strategic. I’ll give them there 3 day work week (Half day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & half day Thursday) if he would just vote for cloture for two circuit court nominees every Thursday then vote for confirmation the following Monday we would be in great shape.

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    • I have read the article and I am still not convinced that Pan and Childs’ are “horrible” selections. They are both sitting judges with over 10 years of deciding cases.

      As a Federal judge, I am sure there are plenty of Title VII (employment discrimination) cases heard by Childs.’ How come no ever mentions them? All I hear is that she was an Employment side
      attorney. That’s too remote.

      The present day job of District Judge is a more relevant comparison for future assessment than working at a law firm, It’s a cheap shot to come after someone for a job they held earlier in their career.

      There was a separate article on a person that that Judge Child’s sentenced in a drug case. That article didn’t convince me to change my view on Judge Child’s either. In the south especially they view drugs even if it’s Marijuana more harshly than say California.

      Where drugs are legal you can go to jail for distribution, If you are a multiple time re-offender be prepared to go to jail.

      After Childs’ and Pan are confirmed. we will find out what kind of judges they will be. Right now I don’t see anything their records that leads me to believe that they be nothing other than fair.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Kevin Collins

        When I say Childs & Pam are horrible choices in my opinion, I’m speaking purely political. I actually think 97 out of 98 of the Biden nominees are certainly qualified for the seats they were nominated for. Only Christine O’Hearm I feel is unqualified based in part on her horrible answers at her SJC hearing that showed a lack of basic understanding of law.

        However politically, neither Childs nor Pan check any of the boxes I’m (And evidently many progressives) are looking for in a Biden nominee.

        1. I think a circuit court judge should be young enough to at least be considered for a SCOTUS vacancy in a second or next term. Both of them are 55 so being in their 60’s by the next term would take them off the list (Hopefully anyway we learned our lesson from RBG who was nominated at 60). Republicans are putting justices on the bench in their 50’s & 40’s & as a result Clarence Thomas is still on the bench since 1991 with no end in sight. Meanwhile two justices nominated after him will be gone off the bench in a month from now. Now there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance Beth Robinson is actually a year older then both Childs & Pan but she has such a progressive record plus she was probably the best choice from her state so I am willing to say she is the exception to this rule.

        2. I think a circuit court nominee (And a district court nominee from a state with two Democrat senators) should have a progressive record. Neither Childs nor Pan have anything in their background such as being public defenders, working for the ACLU, NAACP, Mexican Legal Defense Fund or working for any progressive interest group. Now that doesn’t mean their rulings won’t come out to be progressive, however with so many other younger choices why take the chance.

        3. The nominee should be amongst the best choices to chose from. Going back to my Beth Robinson example, there weren’t too many better choices from a small state like Vermont with a long track record then a LGBT sitting state Supreme Court Justice with a long progressive track record. Similar, there are some Biden circuit court nominees that are good choices because of the state they were nominated in that wouldn’t be as good if they were nominated in a blue state like New York or California. Andre Mathis & Doris Pryor for instance are two choices I love for Tennessee & Indians respectively. However if they were nominees for New York I would give them much lower grades because there are so many more progressive choices to chose from.

        But in the case of the DC circuit you have no limitations. You can pick a nominee from any of the 50 states. Biden himself picked Childs from South Carolina so he certainly could have chosen a nominee from anywhere. With an unlimited supply of great choices from across the country, this makes these two choices that much worse. Hell even if you restrict the choices just to the DC metro area there are far better choices.

        4. Finally, the DC circuit is the second most important court in the country. I know some have argued it’s not more important then any other circuit court but when KBJ takes her seat, 5 of the 9 sitting justices would have been nominated to that one court prior. Out of all the thousands of courts in this country, circuit courts, district courts, state supreme courts, DC courts, family courts, traffic courts & so on, a majority of the sitting justices in a month will have been nominated in the past just to that one court alone. You simply can’t deny that there is something special about the DC circuit that it is a breeding ground for future justices. I don’t want to see neither Childs or Pan anywhere near the US Supreme Court from a Democrat president. There were so many far better choices that could have been placed in those seats to set them up for consideration for a SCOTUS vacancy in the future.

        So if you are saying Childs & Pan are qualified then yes, I would agree with you. But if you are saying you don’t believe they are horrible choices politically, then we will have to agree to disagree on that one my friend.

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      • I really don’t disagree with most of what you say. I am just stating what I think Bidens’ approach to filling judicial vacancies. I’ve followed him for years on the Senate judiciary committee.

        We are not going to see a lot of law professors or lawyers in their 30’s being nominated for judgeships. You may see a few but it will be an exception rather than the rule.

        Yes, the DC Circuit is an important court. Many say it’s the second most important court. My point is, it’s not the only court that’s out there. I don’t think Biden is treating it as a breeding ground for future nominees. We know nominees for that court can come from anywhere. However. not many people are able to move to the east
        coast or even want to.

        There are plenty of judges from outside of Washington DC who are as good or even better than what’s up there. The California Supreme Court a couple of outstanding judges in Goodwin Liu and Leondra Kruger. We also have an good attorney general Rob Bonta.

        I think this fascination with the DC Circuit is blown out of proportion. There’s nothing intrinsic there that you can’t get elsewhere. In truth it’s proximity to Washington DC and it’s jurisdiction is all that I see.

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      • I think one possible piece of the pie regarding Childs is Biden may be setting her up as a potential SCOTUS nominee in the event that Thomas or someone else passes unexpectedly in a 51-49 or 52-48 R senate. Now I’m skeptical that McConnell would allow a floor vote in any case for anyone, but we do know that Childs is someone that Graham (and presumably Collins and Murkowski) would support so if the situation was perfect then perhaps Childs would be a compromise candidate who could squeak through if a vacancy were to occur in say early 2025.

        I am from SC and do know some people that know her personally so I will say that I think she’ll end up being fine as a Justice. Not a progressive and I agree with Dequan that she wouldn’t be my first choice to the DC circuit. But I do think she’ll end up being a mostly reliable center left Justice.

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      • Agree with this 100%. Pan and Childs understand both sides of the aisle from their many years of combined judicial experience and will each make great judges. Without knowing who else was interested in taking these seats, I have to assume that they were the best available choices. I do also agree with Dequan regarding the qualifications aspect of Biden’s nominees.

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  21. Re floor votes this week:
    As I’ve said before, I strongly suspect that one or more Dem senators have indicated their objections to some of the judiciary nominees needing discharge votes. There’s simply no other explanation. Unfortunately, I think my Dale Ho and Andre Mathis are in that group.
    However, I do not think that that excuses Schumer’s lack of strategy in getting them confirmed. There were so many times multiple Republicans have been absent that one or two Dem defections wouldn’t have sunk a nominee or a discharge vote. And, if Schumer were to risk calling up nominations, so what if a vote fails once or twice? He could always make a motion for reconsideration. He needs to do better.
    Also, @Dequan you’re a better man than I am. I am so sick of some of the old and tired excuses on here that I don’t even read some of the comments. By some people’s telling: pensioners make for great judicial nominees; The DC Circuit is no more important than the Connecticut Court of Common Claims; there’s no difference between a Roberts type judge and a Sotomayor type judge; and Mitch McConnell is in a league of his own and no Dem Majority Leader can hope to replicate his strategic thinking.

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    • I ultimately think that Mathis will get confirmed. I think the biggest obstacle with that is needing all 50 + KH to be present. Also there is no home state senators pushing for confirmation and that seat is still occupied by someone, so there is no urgent need. Manchin voted to discharge and confirm Holly Thomas and Jennifer Sung, so I’m not sure why Mathis would be any different (and he even passed out of committee).

      Ho unfortunately may end up being a sacrificial lamb, but Charlotte Sweeney was waiting forever and ultimately got confirmed so who knows.

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      • Exactly. Anyone who passed out of committee will ultimately get confirmed barring an unexpected event taking place in the near future. Now it is fair to question whether nominees who need discharge votes will be able to get confirmed.

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      • We have to remember Andre Mathis doesn’t need to be discharged. Senator Kennedy voted for him to advance to the floor. There’s simply no reason to think he doesn’t have the votes to be confirmed. We have just waited 3,073 for a black man to be confirmed to any circuit court because Schumer has by passed him to vote for nominees that came after him.

        As for Dale Ho, I don’t believe there has been a judicial nominee from the senate majority leaders home state to not get confirmed since the civil war. I believe Schumer will get him pushed through. Maybe he recommended those three mainstream nominees for 3 of the last 4 New York vacancies as a way to soften the blows of his absolute stellar nominees prior to gain some good will from Manchin. But I simply don’t see the nominee from the senate majority leaders home state failing even in a 50/50 senate. Had Dale Ho been from any other state I would be worried however.

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      • @Dequan, I agree. Frankly it should have been done months ago once he got out of committee. But I suspect needing 51 votes plus no home state senators plus no immediate vacancy has caused the delays. I do think we’ll get him confirmed eventually.

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      • So I do agree Andre Mathis will eventually be confirmed. My concern is more over the message it sends when we go over 3,073 days without any black man being confirmed to any circuit court. It sends a message to senators (Even if subconsciously) don’t recommend black men to these positions.

        For instance in Connecticut, reports have it three people are being vetted for the final 2nd circuit court vacancy. One of them is Justin Driver who would be a solid nominee & also is black. Now another person reportedly being vetted is Cristina Rodriguez who also would be a phenomenal nominee. Now if I were one of the Connecticut senators, I would recommend Biden nominate one (Preferably Rodriguez) to the DC circuit & nominate Driver to the 2nd circuit. But when you have waited 3,073 days & counting since the last black man has been confirmed to any circuit court, maybe you second guess that thought & just play it safe & recommend Rodriguez for your vacancy leaving Driver out all together. I’m sure similar thinking has happened over the last 3,073 days even if senators won’t admit to it.

        This is why as much as I hate to say it, Republicans are light years better at messaging then Democrats. Mitch McConnell made sure his hand picked choice for the DC circuit was confirmed a full month before the seat was even vacant. Meanwhile many on this site are justifiably worried if Dale Ho will be able to get confirmed just to a district court seat. I have no doubt if the roles were reversed & McConnell were the majority leader of a 50/50 senate nobody would be worried about any of his district court nominees getting confirmed to Kentucky even if they were controversial.

        A Republican friend of mine sent me a meme of Forrest Gump this morning saying “Democrats brought back the 1918 pandemic, the 1929 depression, the 1968 race riots & the 1973 gas shortages”. So of course I responded not one of those were true, like 0 for 4. But you know what, after I called bull shit on him I thought to myself if I showed that meme to 100 average Americans right now, how many would believe at least 2 of the 4, if not all 4. How many would think Covid started under Biden. How many would think there’s a gas shortage despite them being able to go out of their house & fill their tank up quicker then it takes me to write this post.

        I bet at least 40 of those average 100 Americans would believe it. And you know why? Because Republicans know how to message, even when their message is shit.

        What message would it send to Americans if Schumer kept the senate in session this Friday & Saturday & held voted on abortion rights, voting rights & gun reform. Even if all three failed, there would be wall to wal news coverage that Democrats are cancelling their weekend to hold historic votes to try & protect Americans rights. And you know what, the 30 minutes it would take to hold those three votes could be bookended by votes to confirm judges, ambassadors & other cabinet members. Democrats ratings would probably go up 3% points just for doing that for one weekend. The message would be they are trying to help Americans even if it fails. But that won’t happen so Americans will go on believing the Forrest Gump meme my friend sent to me this morning despite not one of the things on it being true. It’s so frustrating

        Like

  22. So at the present pace of 1 confirmation per week, with no changes in the partisan lineup of the Senate and no weeks off and no additional vacancies, we could fill all the announced current and future vacancies in…115 weeks. /s

    Like

      • @ Dequan

        Do you think its possible VP Harris is more to blame for the extremely slow pace of the discharge votes?……I mean, perhaps she feels that breaking tie votes is beneath her and can’t be bothered?……Just throwing it out there, as PERHAPS she is more to blame that Schumer – just a thought / speculation

        I just hate this slow pace, Schumer could take his good old time if he had a 55-45 majority, but in 50-50 senate, you need to get nominees confirmed – yesterday..

        Like

      • I honestly don’t think Harris is to blame. She use to be on the SJC. She knows the importance of judges. I honestly just think Schumer isn’t as strong & strategic of a leader as maybe Whitehouse would be. I mean at the very least he should be voting for cloture on two circuit court nominees every Thursday to confirm the following Monday.

        While I’m more concerned with Biden falling behind on sending nominees to the SJC then I am Schumer ultimately confirming them, even waiting 3 & 4 extra months is costing us votes on circuits in the mean time. Plus the constant death March of every Dem senator in a state with a Republican governor is gonna drive me to drink… Haaaaa

        Like

  23. Yes yes. Brad Garcia is pulling a Dick Cheney. He works in the Office of Legal Counsel room look for federal judges & he got picked for the job himself. I’m not upset at all. 35 years old, has represented pro bono clients & finally a Latino for the second highest court in the land. Let’s just hope he is not the only nominee when the announcement is official today. How can the bookends of the DC circuit from Biden be so good with the two in the middle being so horrible. Idk but I’ll take it.

    Like

  24. Big day for nominees.
    Brad Garcia for DC.
    Roopali Desai for 9th (AZ)
    Dana Douglas for 5th (LA)
    Plus three PR and one MN district court nominees.

    This is twice in a row now they’ve done three circuits at once. Would be wonderful to see them do all three in one hearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ok we have the official announcement. Here’s my take;

    Only the Minnesota district court nominee is extremely disappointing. Jerry W. Blackwell was born c. 1962. That simply is too old for a blue state. I don’t even see a progressive background in his past. Extremely disappointing.

    The three Puerto Rico nominees are good. Gina R. Méndez-Miró Is obviously the best as she was in my list for the 1st circuit seat. The other two were born in the 1969’s but for a compromise to get all three nominees finally I will take it.

    I had never heard of Roopali H. Desai. With senator Sinema as one of the two senators, I guess we should be happy with a young c. 1978 South Asian nominee. I’m sure she has some progressive background but I have to look.

    Dana M. Douglas C. 1975 was on my list but very low since she was only a magistrate judge. But I think she is a good choice particularly for Louisiana as a Biden’s 11th black woman.

    Bradley N. Garcia C. 1987 hands down is a phenomenal pick. He will force me to do a new list for Biden’s circuit court nominees so far & he will be near the top of the list.

    Overall today was a good day for picks. I think if the Minnesota pick was better I would say a great day.

    (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/15/president-biden-names-nineteenth-round-of-judicial-nominees/)

    Like

  26. By my count after this list we’ll be left with 10 current/pending Circuit Court seats without a nominee:

    First Circuit
    First Circuit
    Second Circuit
    Third Circuit
    Third Circuit
    Fourth Circuit
    Fourth Circuit
    Fifth Circuit
    Ninth Circuit
    Tenth Circuit

    There are 14 others in various stages along the confirmation process as well. I’d love to see nominees for all of these be announced prior to the August recess, so that we can realistically fill every singe spot before January.

    Like

    • @Joe

      Here’s where we stand on those 10 open circuit court seats;

      First Circuit – Massachusetts has had this seat announced since last year so I expect a nominee is in the vetting process by now.

      First Circuit – We may not have a nominee vetted yet unless it’s the district court judge from last year being upgraded.

      Second Circuit- Reports are CT SCOTUS justice Raheem Mullins, Cristina Rodriguez & Justin Driver are all being considered. Since Biden has yet to pick a state SCOTUS for any of his 105 nominees yet, Mullins probably won’t get the nod. I shower either Rodriguez or Driver will get the 2nd circuit seat & the other will get the district court seat to replace Merriam if they want it.

      Third Circuit – Just like Arianna Freeman, my guess is somebody who applied for one of the district court seats will get the 3rd circuit seat. Most likely somebody that they know Toomey won’t release his blue slip for a district court seat. That’s good news if so.

      Third Circuit – With Delaware being Biden’s home state, I suspect we will have a nominee by the 4th of July recess for this seat.

      Fourth Circuit – I’m hoping it’s none of the district court judges here as Maryland has plenty of young, progressive possibilities. I fear it may be George Hazel but I would rather any number of other black men.

      Fourth Circuit – This is the only seat I would negotiate & accept a compromise, middle of the road & yes even older circuit court nominee for. We want to keep Graham happy to keep him voting yes in the SJC.

      Fifth Circuit – I hope the administration doesn’t spend too much time trying to negotiate with Cruz in good faith in this seat. And I also hope none of the Obama district court judges are picked because that will give Cruz another seat to backfill that he can block with blue slips.

      Ninth Circuit – We have thrown around some names for this seat. It all comes down to if the administration really try’s to negotiate with Daines or just let’s Tester pick somebody & give a token interview to Daines.

      Tenth Circuit – This vacancy is an embarrassment. It is well over a year since the seat opened up & I would rather negotiate in good faith with a brick wall then senator Marshall. Just pick Jacy Hurst or somebody & let’s go.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well to be fair the Puerto Rico district court nominees usual tend to be in their 50’s, even under Trump. Gel spit was an exception, which is why he was still young enough to be elevated three presidents later.

      The PR SCOTUS justices tend to be younger. Gina R. Méndez-Miró Wife is the Chief Justice in the PR Supreme Court.

      Like

      • @Mitch

        While yes all four of those nominees are corporate lawyers, I don’t put all all corporate lawyers in the same boat. In the case of this batch, I would say only Dana Douglas is your traditional corporate type lawyer.

        Bradley Garcia has defended immigrants pro bono. He also got a drug charge for a defendant that was pretty extensive reduced & eventually got him released because of the amount of years the defendant, who was a minority, had gotten. And of course working in the Biden legal counsels office, albeit for a short amount of time, gives him some progressive credentials.

        Roopali Desai was at the forefront of fighting the Republicans in court trying to over turn the 2020 election in Arizona. Also she has a pretty nice background defending indigent defendants as well.

        And while I’m not happy at the c. 1962 birth year, everything else about Jerry Blackwell is solid. He was the founder of one of the largest black pended law firms in the country. And of course we don’t need rehash his great work on the Derek Chauvin trail. Honestly had he been 15 or 20 years younger, he would be amongst Biden’s finest district court picks. Only his age holds him back from being a really good pick.

        Like

      • I found an article about Blackwell’s time at Blackwell Igbanugo. The firm dissolved in 2006 after the two partners had a major conflict they couldn’t resolve. Apparently it didn’t end well. Both opened up their own separate law firms afterward.

        http://igbanugolaw.com/News-Articles/News-Articles-From-Our-Attorneys-And-Firm/DISPUTES-LEAD-TO-SPLIT-OF-TOP-BLACK-OWNED-LAW-FIRM/

        Is there any chance this could affect Blackwell’s confirmation?

        Like

  27. The White House Counsel’s office:

    1: Here’s my unpopular opinion of the day: Bradley Garcia was probably part of the problem of Biden’s slow or horrible judicial nominations. While I do not know exactly his role, he was on the nominations team in the counsel’s office. Let’s hope he’ll make a better judge.
    2: White House Counsel Dana Remus is leaving! While her replacement is already picked, I am afraid this might slow down the vetting and nominations pipeline. This WH has consistently shown that it cannot ride and whistle. And maybe the new guy, Stuart Delery, may not be as “effective” as Remus is? Or maybe he’ll be even more urgent. It’s the start up time and learning curve that worry me. Or maybe there won’t be any since he’s been the deputy counsel.
    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/15/biden-taps-bottoms-senior-post-names-new-wh-counsel-00039773

    Like

      • There’s nothing wrong with the way this White House is handling judicial nominations. All of the nominees we’ve seen at this point are “qualified.” They will know there’re doing when confirmed. The last administration sent up nominees for district judgeships who had little or no trial experience.

        I think part of the problem is that each Senator or state has a different process for choosing nominees. I look at Dianne Feinsteins’ page the other day and anyone can apply for district judge ,circuit judge and US Attorney and Marshall positions.

        They accept applications even if there’s no vacancy. So, there’s no telling how many people are applying and how many are forwarded to the White House.

        When Clinton was President the nominees weren’t always released in batches. You would see 2 one week and another the next.

        I hope people vote in midterms so that it will give the administration
        hit a nominations pace at full stream, I am pleased with the results so far.

        Like

  28. Good batch today – I think Garcia’s age would make him the youngest COA judge in the country (and a prime candidate for elevation to SCOTUS whenever Sotomayor retires). I’m glad Biden’s not always nominating 50+ year-olds who can’t be SCOTUS candidates when Dems get another vacancy to fill there. While some folks seem to think every COA judge needs 20+ years of district court experience, that is not the case (and certainly hasn’t been the case with Trump’s nominees). Garcia’s appellate litigation experience should make him plenty qualified for the job.

    Douglas seems fine from a red state like Louisiana – nothing particularly progressive about her background as a law firm partner, but she clerked for Ivan Lemelle (a liberal Clinton appointee, though clerkships are not always reflective of ideology) so that’s something.

    Desai is a great pick in my opinion, as I was expecting Rosemary Marquez (who is a decade older). Her background is in election law, which will be valuable on the 9th Circuit with whatever craziness the Arizona Republicans (and the Nevada Republicans too, if they win this fall) are planning. Looks like her work is mostly (all?) representing Dems and Dem-affiliated interest groups in election law cases, so that’s good enough for me. Looks like she was Sinema’s legal counsel, so that explains how she got the nomination.

    To be honest, district court nominees in Puerto Rico don’t really matter outside of candidates for the 1st Circuit seat (and Gelpi will be sitting on that seat for a long time). The Minnesota district court doesn’t really matter either – the 8th Circuit is so conservative that progressive district court judges there wouldn’t make a difference. I’m more interested in filling seats in blue states and important districts, but even that is secondary to filling all the COA seats.

    Like

    • @Hank

      Garcia would be the youngest appellate court judge in the country. Justin Walker was 38 when he was out on the DC circuit. For constraint Miguel Estrada was 40 when GW Bush tried to put him on the same court. Rachel Bloomekatz is 39 so at 35, Garcia would be the youngest by far. Absolutely beautiful pick.

      You are correct on all fronts about Roopali H. Desai. I had mentioned her name on this post last year since she is the legal counsel to Sinema, young, would be a historic pick for the circuit & had a solid progressive background.

      I agree with you on the PR talk. My only slight disagreement would be on the Minnesota seat. While I know the nominee helped prosecute Derek Chavin, I wish they would have picked a younger lawyer on the team, even if he wasn’t a black man. 62 is simply too old for a blue state for me.

      But I agree overall this is a good, borderline great slate of nominees.

      Like

    • @Hank

      I agree with most of your point. I disagree with you on several fronts, however, about some district courts that do not matter.
      1: “Build the bench” is a common phrase for literally this reason. A very conservative court today may not be so tomorrow or over time.
      2: SCOTUS often vacate Circuit court decisions and remand those cases back to district courts for further proceedings.
      3: A good/lucky 8th Circuit line up can produce a good decision that isn’t revisited en banc by the full court or granted cert by SCOTUS.
      4: District court judges can sit by designation on higher courts, including circuit courts, thus adding to the possible number of judges that can produce a good ruling.
      5. District courts matter so much that the blue slip is still in play for those nominations. This curtesy may not last the next time there’s a Republican senate or WH, but it goes to show that senators take this seriously because is it in these trial courts that the senator’s possible corruption trials will first be heard. Kidding. Not kidding.
      6: This is a Minnesota seat for Christ sakes. The two Dems couldn’t find anyone else?
      I am sure I am missing a few others. If it’s a matter of strategically nominating district court judges that are easier to confirm, I agree, prioritize those with Dem senators. But leaving the rest open, while convenient, is not nothing.

      Like

  29. Here is another article on Bradley Garcia from last year. This is truly a rock start pick. The more research I do on him the more I absolutely love this pick. I had a hard time putting Rachel Bloomekatz at the top of my list of Biden circuit court picks because I had Myrna Perez at the top from last year & truly love her pick.

    I may have to move Garcia past her to my new number 2. He is truly that solid of a pick. BRAVO President Biden. This goes a long way towards making up for the Childs & Pan nominations.

    (https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/theyve-got-next-appellate-fresh-face-brad-garcia)

    Like

    • This goes back to my comments I put on this site yesterday. When you go 3,074 without confirming a black man to any circuit court, it sends a message (Even subconsciously) to senators. Don’t recommend black men for federal judgeships & if you do, they better be twice as qualified as anybody else. That usually means they also will be much older then everybody else. Here are the birth years for all black men Biden has nominated so far…

      Andre Mathis (Only one for a circuit court) – 1980

      Julien Neals – 1965
      Omar A. Williams – 1977
      Charles E. Fleming – 1962
      Fred W. Slaughter – 1973
      Gregory B. Williams – 1969
      Jerry W. Blackwell – c. 1962

      But I will be happy as today was a good day. We got 7 new nominees including 3 for the circuit courts. We got a nominations hearing scheduled for next week. Schumer filed cloture for de Alba tomorrow. I’ll take the wins when I can get them.

      Like

  30. Apologies if this has been posted, didn’t recall seeing it but Schumer is wasting no time to discharge the expected 11-11 vote for the ATF Director…….Wish he was this fast on the nominations that are lifetime appointments….From the schedule page on the senate Democrats site:

    If there is a tie vote in committee, at approximately 1:45pm, we expect a roll call vote on the motion to discharge the nomination of Steven M. Dettelbach, of Ohio, to be Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, from the Judiciary Committee. Another message will be sent when more information is available

    Like

    • @Rick

      I completely agree with you. I will say that if there were one non judicial nomination I thinks warrants to be put to the front of the line for discharge I would say it’s the Director of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. With there not being a confirmed director in over 7 years plus the time we are living in, that’s the only one I’ll cut Schumer some slack on.

      But with Wicker out there’s no reason why he can’t keep the senate in session for a full day tomorrow just to discharge the 6 judicial nominees too. Of course keeping them in session Friday too would be enough time to confirm the 4 district court nominees before the weekend & set up the 2 circuit court nominees for votes on Monday. But we all know there’s a better chance of the Sun rising from the West tomorrow morning then that happening.

      Like

    • Definitely not opposed to discharging the ATF nominee. Especially given the recent shootings and pending legislation. I do wish we could’ve squeezed in at least a handful of judicial discharges in this week though.

      Next week I expect a batch of confirmations for district nominees and hopefully Schumer finally gets the ball rolling on appellate nominees. If we could get cloture on Mathis and someone like Childs before the recess that would be good. Bonus point if we can discharge some combination of the 6 deadlocked nominees as well, but I am not holding out hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. The Alliance for Justice weekly newsletter is reporting Rachel Bloomekatz will be one of the nominees at Wednesday’s SJC hearing. They are 100% since Biden has been in office when they announce who will be in the next weeks SJC hearing even if the SJC website hasn’t posted who will appear yet.

    This is great news & hopefully if they only have the usually two circuit court nominees at the hearing , Florence Pan will be the one left for a later hearing. Particularly since Biden just announced Bradley Garcia for the other DC circuit seat. They may have them both appear next month at the same hearing.

    Like

  32. Well, next week is a short week in the senate unless they work a FRIDAY for a change……They’re off Mon, gavel in next at 3pm on Tues…..Maybe they should take Tues off to, so they can have another day to recover from the long weekend

    Like

    • Haaaaaaaaa… Sorry, whenever I see the words “Friday”, “Work” & “Senate” in the same sentence, busting out laughing is always my first reaction.

      The senate usually gavels in Monday at 5:30pm then has a full work day on Tuesday. I see they are now coming in 5:30pm Tuesday so I guess they may not even crack two full working days next week. But hey it’s not like there’s much work the senate needs to address so why not right… I swear they make me angry…smh

      Like

      • They’ve been holding a max of 16 votes each week (1 Monday and 5 each on Tuesday-Thursday). I wonder if Schumer and McConnell have made an agreement to hold more votes Wednesday and Thursday? It has happened a few other times this congress, so we will see.

        Like

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