Brad Garcia – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

The D.C. Circuit is frequently home to future SCOTUS superstars, with three Justices having been former D.C. Circuit judges, a fourth having been a D.C. Circuit nominee, and a D.C. Circuit judge waiting to join the high court in a few days. As such, it’s been a matter of some controversy that the court has never had a single hispanic judge. The last hispanic nominee to the court, Miguel Estrada, was never confirmed and no president of either party chose to fill that gap for the last twenty years. However, President Biden’s nomination of Bradley Garcia could add a young, dynamic voice to the court who would also be the first Hispanic on the bench.


The 35-year-old Garcia received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 2008 and a J.D. from Harvard University in 2011. After law school, Garcia clerked for Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then clerked for Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2013, Garcia joined O’Melveny & Myers as an Associate and became a Partner in 2021. In 2022, he moved to become Deputy Assistant Attorney General with the Department of Justice where he currently serves.

History of the Seat

Garcia has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to be vacated on September 1, 2022 by Judge Judith Wilson Rogers.

Legal Experience

After his clerkships, Garcia joined O’Melveny & Myers as an associate, and transitioned into becoming a partner in 2021. At the firm, Garcia largely worked in commercial litigation, focusing largely on appellate litigation.

For example, Garcia represented Google before the Federal Circuit in litigation involving patents that Google had convinced the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) to limit. See Nadia Dreid, Federal Circuit Mulls Overturning Google Victories at PTAB, Law360, Feb. 3, 2021. The PTAB decision was upheld by the Federal Circuit in per curiam opinions. See Andrew Karpan, Fed. Circ. Quickly Signs Off on Google PTAB Wins, Law360, Feb. 4, 2021.

Notably, Garcia represented Samsung and LG in suits involving patent infringement that were filed before Judge Alan Albright in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. See Ryan Davis, Fed. Circ. Faults Albright’s OK of Patent ‘Venue Manipulation’, Law360, June 30, 2021. Garcia was able to get mandamus from the Federal Circuit to move the case from Albright’s courtroom, successfully arguing that the plaintiffs in the case were attempting to manipulate venue to find a favorable judge See id. An effort to seek en banc review of the grant of mandamus by the plaintiffs failed as well. See Dani Kass, Full Fed. Circ. Won’t Review ‘Venue Manipulation’ Ruling, Law360, Aug. 31, 2021.

Garcia later pushed the Federal Circuit to move another suit from Albright’s courtroom involving Google. See Tiffany Hu, Albright Keeps Making Same Mistakes, Google Tells Fed. Circ., Law360, Oct. 18, 2021. Albright granted the transfer in November 2021, while criticizing the Federal Circuit for “muddled” rulings. See Dani Kass, Albright Gets Defensive While Allowing Google Transfer, Law360, Nov. 8, 2021.

As part of his pro bono work, Garcia argued one case before the U.S. Supreme Court. See United States v. Palomar-Santiago, 593 U.S. __ (2021). The question in the case was whether, under 8 U.S.C. 1326(d), an immigrant who was deported under an erroneous classification of his conviction as a “crime of violence”, needs to establish an additional two elements in order to secure relief from deportation. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court ruled against Garcia’s client and found that all three elements were required by the statute even if the immigrant could establish that his deportation was conducted under an erroneous classification of his conviction. See id. In another case, he was part of the legal team representing El Paso County in a suit challenging the diversion of Department of Defense funds to build a border wall. See Daniel Wilson, High Court Vacates Border Wall Case After Construction Halt, Law360, July 2, 2021.

In February 2022, Garcia joined the Department of Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, responsible for advising on the legality of executive actions. See Justin Wise, O’Melveny Appellate Atty Takes Senior DOJ Legal Office Gig, Law360, Feb. 8, 2022.

Overall Assessment

When Justin Walker was nominated to the D.C. Circuit two years ago, the 38-year-old was criticized by some for being too young to join the court. Garcia, at 35, is even younger. However, unlike Walker who spent most of his legal career as an academic, Garcia has extensive experience with litigation, having argued multiple appeals, including at the Supreme Court.

However, it is nonetheless likely that Garcia’s youth is likely to be a strong motivator for opposition to his nomination. While Garcia is still more likely than not to join the bench (given that Republicans had oked the even younger Kathryn Mizelle to the bench two years ago), his confirmation is nonetheless likely to be a fight.


  1. A+ nomination in my opinion. Garcia has additional pro bono work not mentioned in this article including representing a group of prisoners who were denied the freedom to practice their religion. Sanez should be happy with this nomination as the first Hispanic judge on the often referred to second most important court in the nation.

    I know other Hispanic possibilities were mentioned for this seat. Fortunately some of them including Cristina Rodriguez (2nd) & Andrew Manuel Crespo (1st) have vacancies in other circuit courts right now so they still have an opportunity to be nominated elsewhere.

    I believe I read Garcia had only lost less then a handful of cases in federal court. Being 35 makes him an instant SCOTUS possibility for decades once confirmed. This is an all star nomination. Great job by Biden book ending two horrible nominations to that court with KBJ & Garcia.


    • Would Saenz have been happy if Miguel Estrada was confirmed to the DC Circuit? Since racial identity politics is so important with MALDEF then I guess Sonia Sotomayor will have to suffice until she steps down from the high court.

      I guess I’ll wait for the hearing and the sjc questionnaire to find out more about Mr. Garcia. He looks like a talented young man. I am starting to see a pattern of former Supreme Court Law Clerks representing high tech corporations like Google and Samsung.

      To be truthful there’s not much difference in the backgrounds of Bloomekatz and Garcia. Having clerked at the Supreme Court they
      could have worked anywhere they wanted. They chose big law or elite law with the occasional pro bono cases . They wanted to get paid, It’s that simple.

      I hope other nominees like Pan and Childs nominations are re-visited in this light. When Pan was before the committee she spoke about allowing Pro se litigants a chance to have their cases heard in court. I also know that Judge Koh as district court judge did the same. So am hopeful that when Pan and Childs are confirmed they can impart some wisdom to Garcia.

      I believe the trio of Pan, Childs and Garcia can complement each other. So far the democratic appointees are deeper legal backgrounds than their republican or conservative counterparts,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The WH filled the Rogers seat fast and with a very good nominee after, well, 2 less than desireable ones for the other 2 seats..

    Now, the WH needs to get those 2 vacant seats on the 1st Circuit filled…..Democrats need to have a Circuit they completely control much like the GOP w/the 8th Circuit….

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Rick

      I would think The White House is betting at least two nominees per circuit court vacancy so hopefully that means we will get more seats filled in a time line closer to this seat. We will be hard pressed to see any circuit court nominees announced after the next batch get confirmed without some major change to the current trends. Those trends include more then 2 circuit court nominees per hearing, hearings during recess weeks, back to back hearings in successive weeks, Schumer cancelling some recess or holding the senate in outside the current Monday 5pm to Thursday 5pm time frame.

      I just don’t see any nominees announced later then mid July getting confirmed in 2022 between a 50/50 senate, midterms that will mean numerous senators running for re-election not being in DC more then normally & as @Shawm has mentioned, if senator Warnock has a runoff, him being out of town a lot after the midterms. And that doesn’t take into account any one senator getting Covid or being out for any number of reasons. Plus I think we will see the number of tie votes in the SJC increase as the midterms get closer.

      Plus Schumer isn’t as strategic as McConnell. Last week when senator Kramer had his accident (Once again we wish him well), Schumer should have held the senate in session on Friday & maybe even Saturday to at least discharge all remaining nominees, judicial or not. He could have sold it by saying they were about to go on a two week recess. The Democrats holding or expanding the majority is the only way I see all current vacancies being filled by Biden.


  3. @ Dequan

    Senate Democrats should still be able to hold nomination hearings in Sept/Oct, followed by the Thurs business meetings……Schumer can have all the floor votes after the election, but at least keep getting nominees thru committee…..I think Sen Blumenthal is only senator on committee who’s up for re election this year…

    But Schumer should clear up the current calendar in the next work period, which is at least 4 weeks long unless he keeps senate in extra week or two…


    • I was actually counting hearings through October in my calculations. We have 4 current circuit court nominees that need hearings. Assuming the next batch has 3 or 4 more, I think that fills the SJC hearings schedule through October. Now I actually will give Durbin more credit then I probably usually do & say if Biden sends him let’s say 4 more nominees during the August recess, I think he will break the current schedule we have seen to get them hearings. That will likely lead to fake outrage from the Republicans & more discharge votes.

      That’s why I have advocated for filling every current circuit court seat quickly accept for the 4th (SC). I would wait until maybe late August to announce that nominee. If Graham continues to play ball & vote for a majority of nominees then I would go with a compromise nominee. If he starts acting a fool & there is a major increase in discharges needed, I would go with a more progressive nominee for that seat he doesn’t sign off on. Holding out on announcing that set May push him to continue acting in good faith for other nominees.


  4. Garcia is an interesting choice to the D.C. Circuit to me as he is somewhat younger than the average Biden Circuit nominee. I was expecting one of the judges previously nominated by Obama for the D.C District court to get elevated for this opening, especially as all of Biden’s previous picks for this court had already been confirmed as district judges. While I don’t like sacrificing experience for age, Garcia seems to have a good set of experiences and should be a fresh perspective should he be confirmed.


    • Good point on all of Biden’s DC circuit picks before Garcia being district court judges. Thank God there wasn’t a viable Hispanic on the DC district court in their 59’s because they would have likely been the pick of so. I for one will sacrifice a little experience for youth but as you said in Garcia’s case we get both. He’s a solid pick


    • So for me, Douglas (5th) I initially gave her a B+. After reviewing her record a little more I am going to slightly downgrade her to a B. She doesn’t have any progressive background as she represented oil companies for almost the past two decades.

      I will however give her some good marks for being the first black woman on the court, being the second youngest on the court one confirmed & for being from a red state. If she was a nominee from a blue state I would probably give her a C- but for Louisiana I’ll take that into consideration.

      As for Desai (9th), I mentioned in a prior post this was the nomination I struggled to grade the most. I gave her an A but I really can’t tell you why she’s not an A+. She is in her low 40’s, one of the foremost election lawyers that fought Trump against his 2020 election lies, will be the first South Asian judge on the circuit & has other solid progressive background. If I had to guess any circuit court nominee of Biden’s I will later upgrade, this will probably be it.

      So for now I’ll give the two nominees a B & A- respectively.


    • I gave the Douglas nomination a C- because it was from a red state. If this was a blue state, the nomination would be a D or more likely a F. Spending a career representing big oil interests or being a career management lawyer should never be the profile of a Democratic nominee. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity or gender you are,

      I’m quite disappointed in many Democrats who do not prioritize economic and environmental issues. Supporting workers and the environment should be on par with racial and gender equality, reproductive rights, and LGBT rights. Most Democrats would never tolerate a nominee who represented anti-choice or anti-LGBT interests. We need to stop accepting nominees who spend most of their career representing management in labor or civil rights cases, and those who represent polluters. That should be an absolute nonstarter and disqualifying for an administration who claims to be the “most pro-union administration in history”.

      I gave Desai a B+ because she has spent most of her career as a corporate attorney. B+ is the highest grade I will give any corporate law partner, and I consider Desai a well above average nominee.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will add that I would any day take a AUSA over an labor/employment management lawyer or one who defends polluters. My issue with nominating AUSAs is less about their background (there are plenty of quality AUSAs who would make fantastic judges), but rather that they are just ridiculously overrepresented on the bench.


      • I also gave Douglas a B because I took into account she was a magistrate judge & a former president of the New Orleans Bar Association. But I will want to review her rulings since a judge to see if she deserves to be moved down any more.

        While @Shawn & myself do not grade the nominees quite the same (Although we are in lock step agreement when it comes to them needing to be young & progressive), I will say there were better choices from Louisiana. But for now I’ll stick with a B with the understanding I haven’t reviewed her record as a judge thoroughly.


  5. I want to say a few words about the anti-intellectualism tone I sense regarding the law school where a nominee went to. Particularly the anti-Yale/Harvard Law tone I see here and elsewhere.

    The federal judiciary was never intended to have average lawyers on it. The justices on SCOTUS and lower courts are supposed to be incredibly intelligent and will largely be represented by those who went to the top law schools.

    And yes, there are plenty of high quality attorneys from other schools who deserve consideration. I’m not disputing that. But the idea that it is a demerit to have a degree from a top school is frankly garbage. Being less qualified should not be a selling point. You’re simply not going to convince me that somehow being in the middle of your law school class in a 100th rated law school is somehow a positive or “brings diversity” for SCOTUS or the Circuit Courts. Maybe you can make that argument for a politician, but certainly it is total BS for the judiciary. It is certainly the case that other accomplishments can overcome a less stellar academic record. Judges/nominees like Cheri Beasley and Nancy Abudu prove that.

    Yale, Harvard, and other top law schools are so in large part because their students tend to be considerably brighter and more accomplished. Now some may argue that it is in part due to their connections. Sure it is. But it is also because these attorneys are remarkably capable to begin with. This would be much more concerning if these top schools barred quality students from attending due to their background like they did 50+ years ago.

    But truth is that the opposite is true, you have people like Judge Holly Thomas, who was the first person in her family to go to college. The truth is that these top schools spend millions of dollars every year recruiting students who do not come from the elite, those who are people of color who are the first in their family to go to college.

    And as if being mediocre is an asset! This was the bogus claim made by a senator in defense of Harold Carswell, a horribly unqualified and racist SCOTUS nominee from Nixon who was rejected by the Senate. I want judicial nominees who have stellar academic qualifications. As far as life experience, Holly Thomas was the first in her family to go to college. She went to Stanford and Yale Law, and took that training to work for civil rights and regular people. Jennifer Sung worked as a union organizer for several years before going to Yale Law, and then working for more than a decade representing regular people and unions.

    Going to Yale or Harvard Law doesn’t suddenly make someone elitist. Becoming a corporate law firm partner on the other hand, does.


    • @Shawn

      I read every word on this site over the past year & a half & I don’t believe I have seen too many people make the argument people from Harvard or Yale are elitist. I have certainly heard that argument made in other places but not so much on this site.

      Now with that said I do think it is good to have a judiciary that is diverse not just in ethnicity & professional background, but also their law schools as well. But that should not come at the expense of the first two things I mentioned. I think a nominee from a non Harvard & Yale law school can be just as qualified as anybody from those two universities. But I personally have no issue with Biden picking 7 & 5 of his 30 circuit court nominees from Yale & Harvard respectively. But I sure as Hell don’t think the 18 non Harvard & Yale nominees are any less then the 12 that are. At least not based solely on them not attending those two universities.

      The case was made that J Childs should be chosen because she was not from your traditional Harvard & Yale type universities. I would argue she shouldn’t have been choses for the seat she was nominated to even if she had graduated from Harvard or Yale, keeping everything else the same. So that’s my point. I am all for diversity even when it comes to law schools attended, as long as the other qualifications that I have mentioned before are met.


      • I’ve seen the argument made *repeatedly* here, from a few specific individuals trying to prop up J. Michelle Childs. It’s a pretty strong correlation.

        TBF, if J. Michelle Childs had KBJ’s academic credentials, I would be more inclined to consider her qualified for the DC Circuit and SCOTUS than given that she graduated middle of the class from the roughly 100th ranked law school in the country, keeping everything the same. Your academic performance in law school does and should matter. That’s saying that their legal credentials cannot make up for that, of course it can. But I think it’s perfectly reasonable to give someone who graduated with honors from a top law school the benefit of the doubt that you might not others.


    • @Shawn you’re right that going to a fancy law school shouldn’t be a demerit, and from Biden’s selections, it’s clearly the case that this administration agrees with you. Your whole post was refuting a straw man argument though.

      No one is actually saying that people who graduated in the middle of their class at a 100-rank law school should become a judge solely because of that. The point is that someone who graduated first (or *gasp* even second) in their law school class at Indiana or Tulane or the University of Arizona, completed federal clerkships, and is respected as an attorney is well-qualified to be a judge. They are just as qualified to be a judge (probably even more so) as someone who did just OK at Harvard or Yale. I’ve met plenty of Harvard or Yale attorneys who I would not want representing me or deciding my case.

      All things being equal, I’d rather have people who didn’t learn the same views from the same couple of law school professors making up the majority of the liberal bench. The idea that someone is mediocre because they didn’t go to one of two (or at most fourteen) schools and instead was the top student their year at their local school is ridiculous. There is plenty of top legal talent that went to other schools, and judges should be lawyers who have strong ties to their communities. People who go to their state schools and build their whole careers in a state often have those strong ties that others who go to Harvard and then work in New York or DC for years will lack.

      And as for your comment that corporate law partners are elitist, I generally agree, but I don’t think that’s right about Roopali Desai – from what I can tell, her entire practice is essentially all political/election law for the AZ Democratic party. Especially with Sinema, I wouldn’t expect to get anyone better, and I think Desai’s actually a much better pick than Rosemary Marquez because she’s younger and will be just as progressive.

      You seem to live in this black and white of private practice = bad and public defender/civil rights = good. That used to be my general assumption, but I’ve come to realize it lacks nuance. There are former public defenders who are part of the Federalist Society and take a very punitive view on criminal justice (not a majority, but they definitely exist), and some prosecutors/corporate law partners end up being progressive judges. Folks always forget that Sotomayor was both a prosecutor and a law firm partner before she became a judge. This is why ACS or Demand Justice needs to be more like Fed Soc in filtering for ideology – my main priority isn’t the race or gender or work experience of a nominee, it’s ensuring that they will be a progressive voice on the bench. We have some proxies that are helpful, but just applying them blindly would lead us to miss easily confirmable candidates (because they have a “traditional background”) that turn out to be the liberal lions of tomorrow.

      Also, given the salary disparity between public defenders/civil rights attorneys and private practice (which is a whole other problem with the legal system generally), there are lots of progressive people or people from humble backgrounds who aren’t in a financial position to make that sacrifice. No need to reward those folks further with judicial appointments, but a partner at a local law firm is hardly more elitist than a Harvard Law grad who clerked for RBG and is now at ACLU NY for example.

      Lastly, I wonder if Dobbs will lead Biden to nominate some reproductive justice attorneys as judges – it’s literally the least the administration could do. I’d expect Manchin to block any nominees to the courts of appeals, but this administration should at least be able to get a reproductive justice attorney confirmed to a district court seat in a blue state (and set them up for elevation in the future, when every single thing isn’t dependent on some corrupt West Virginia coal baron).


      • @Hank

        Some terrific points. Let me address your last point first. I absolutely wish Biden had nominated some reproductive rights nominees earlier in the administration but I will say with us being this close to the midterms, I wouldn’t risk it. The only way I would do it was either for a district seat in a purple or red state where you know the GOP senator won’t return his blue slip, or in October for a circuit court seat that probably recently became vacant & you know won’t be filled this year anyway. That way you rally the base while not tanking the nominee with the no vote from Manchin. If we some how hold the senate & (I pray to God) increase the majority by one, then you can re-nominate the nominee. If not then of course the nominee will not be confirmed.

        As for the rest of your argument, I was actually surprised that some of Trump’s more conservative circuit court nominees actually had backgrounds in areas we would consider liberal. For instance, Lawrence VanDyke (9th) performed pro bono legal work for the ACLU.


      • “No one is actually saying that people who graduated in the middle of their class at a 100-rank law school should become a judge solely because of that.”

        J. Michelle Childs’ backers seemed to think it was an asset. And they and plenty of others seem to have a negative view toward someone who graduated from an “elite” law school. I agree with the rest of your second paragraph. Someone who graduates near the top of their class and have distinguished careers are plenty qualified for a federal judgeship and moreso than many middle of the pack Harvard/Yale attorneys. I have suggested several such possible nominees here. But I hate this attitude that somehow Stanford and Yale educated Holly Thomas or Harvard educated KBJ is somehow “elitist” while management law partner J. Michelle Childs is somehow not.

        I am not excluding all corporate partners, but those who are labor/employment management lawyers or represent polluters should be entirely disqualified. And I’m open to corporate partners who have clearly strong progressive records. I gave the nominations of Roopali Desai and Ana Reyes a B+ and Brad Garcia a B because all of them have a strong record of advocating for progressive causes. They are clearly above average nominees.
        BTW, Desai is not another Marc Elias (being a corporate law partner in name only and basically litigating on just election law). She does have a record of defending corporate interests against plaintiffs, not simply representing Democrats in election cases. That’s why I give her (and Garcia) Bs instead of As.

        I will address your ideology and salary comments in a later response.


      • I am bemused by the relentless opposition to Judge Childs, To say the opposition to her is because she worked for a firm that represented management in employment a red .herring

        Just to reiterate, I am not a “”supporter” of Judge Childs. My preference was for Leondra Kruger. It was a long shot for anyone other than KBJ to be chosen because she was well within the beltway. Everyone knew who she was and she had a PR team.

        On paper Childs didn’t have the resume of elite schools as Kruger and KBJ. I think they were Child’s background was more representative than KBJ and Kruger. It’s they had.

        it’s rare to find a black family 30 years ago with the parents being a lawyer and a school administrator. That’s upper middle class most black folks back then and even now are working class.

        I don’t think Biden was going to pick Childs but made a promise of some sort with James Clyburn to consider her and he did so.

        Lastly, let me say this. We heard often Justice O’Conner and Justice Ginsburg’s employment prospects after they finished law school. That was a long time ago in Arizona and New York. Does anyone believe that it was any easier for a black woman in South Carolina in the 90’s?


      • @Kevin Collins

        While I don’t necessarily agree with you about the opposition to Childs not being warranted (Exceot for those that say she is unqualified, to which that I disagree with), I will agree with you that Biden was never going to pick her to replace Breyer I said from the very beginning KBJ would be his first SCOTUS pick & never wavered from that opinion.

        I do believe it was just to thank Clyburn just to consider her. I am still very upset he put her on the DC circuit instead of any number of black woman that could have replaced her with that he hasn’t nominated yet such as Melissa Murray or Danielle Holley-Walker.

        I truly think the Florence Pan pick made the Childs pick that much worse. Had we gotten a Deepak Gupta type pick instead of Pan followed by Bradley Garcia, I think we could have accepted one horrible pick out of four on the second highest court in the land. But when half, 50% of the picks are horrible, it truly takes the air out of the room. Particularly when (to Biden’s credit) he has otherwise don’t a phenomenal job on so many other circuit court nominees.

        But I feel you if you don’t believe Childs is a horrible pick. If you just look solely at her qualifications I can see that argument. I’m sorry but I truly want president Biden to succeed so I look at his judicial nominees through a political lens, not just based on if they are qualified. I just can’t look at you with a straight face & tell you a 55 year old centrist with nothing progressive in her background is a good political pick for the DC circuit. If she was nominated for the 4th (SC) I would hold my nose & give her a much higher mark just based on I would compromise with Graham for that seat just to keep him happy & voting for most nominees in the SJC.


      • Do we know that Melissa Murray is interested in a judicial position ?
        I see her on MSNBC several times per week. Someone who is seriously seeking a position in the judiciary is unlikely to be openly commenting on legal and political issues.

        I think Childs applied for the DC Circuit. It looks like the DC Circuit is dominated by democratic appointees., So where Childs falls in philosophical spectrum is anyone’s guess, I really don’t think it will make a difference at the end of the day. Biden has 4 picks on a court with 8 authorized judges. One pick won’t make a difference.

        When George W Bush was president he renominated Roger Gregory to the 4th circuit and Barrington Parker to the 2nd Circuit. They were not conservatives by any stretch.

        I looked up this Deepak Gupta guy and I expect him to land anywhere. That is unless the Mass Senators insist on him for the first circuit. I’ve noticed that over the years that Biden was on the judiciary committee ,he wasn;t enamored with law professors. I wouldn’t expect to see too many of them.

        It will be interesting if Ron Klain returns to MSNBC and can explain what the selection process is for judges.


      • I don’t know if Murray wanted a seat, but I find it hard to believe if she was approached for a seat on the second highest court in the land, that she, nor most lawyers would turn it down. I too see her on MSNBC weekly so I assume she probably has been told she will not be selected for a judgeship now.

        I was actually hoping now that all of the DC seats are filled, Deepak Gupta would be considered for the Maryland seat. Massachusetts has a few all start possibilities such as Andrew Manuel Crespo.

        I am actually surprised at the lack of law professors nominated by Biden, for both the circuit & district courts. There are so many phenomenal choices that he could have picked.


      • I don’t know what the process is for the DC Circuit. I know in California Feinstein has an application that can submitted regardless if there’s a vacancy or not.

        I can’t see Melissa Murray going anywhere npw. She’s on tv far too often. to be a judicial nominee. I see Neal Katyal often but he is more circumspect on hot button issues.

        I think now the senate will focus on clearing the executive calendar that is mostly judicial nominations.


    • If anything, it’s admirable that the Holly Thomas’ , Jennifer Sungs’ etc of this world take a career in public service as opposed to big law firms where they could probably make 7 figures, have a company car, free golf club membership, & free suite access to the local sports teams events…

      People who graduate at the top 5-10% of their Ivy League law school class, have a clerkship with a SCOTUS judge or some Circuit Court judge could take the easy route to fortune….To give that up for a career in public service is very admirable…


      • One 55 year old pick is fine but when you get two and on the SAME circuit court that’s simply not acceptable. I wouldn’t mind the outcome of the Childs nomination going the way it has went for another judge on the district court level. Dems would still have a DC Circuit majority regardless. I’ll just leave it all that.


      • Indeed, Rick. It’s highly admirable. Especially so when many of these lawyers are fighting for the general public. And you reward people like this by making them judges, rather than campaign contributors, cronies, and corporate law partners. And that in turn inspires more top law students to do the same.
        I can even respect the ones like Bloomekatz or Kelsi Corkran who spent a few years in big law to pay off loans or raise a young family, but left as soon as they could.

        One of the things I strongly oppose is increasing the salary of federal judges. CJ Roberts and others have been advocating this for many years to make the judgeship more attractive for corporate partners. That’s exactly why I strongly oppose this harebrained idea, I don’t want it to be more attractive to those types.


    • @Rick

      We have spoken several times on this site about how good Leah Litman would be for a 6th (Michigan) seat. I would have been fine if she got the seat Stephanie Davis got just based on her being younger & is not having to backfill Davis district court seat. Any future vacancy she should get serious consideration for it. I am not familiar with the others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just my two cents, but I doubt anyone who is currently a political pundit or has previously run for political office will be nominated by Biden for any judicial appointments with the Senate as currently composed due to their perceived advocacy and inability to get the vote of every Democratic senator. In another vain, I don’t see Biden suddenly choosing to nominate many law professors (with very few exceptions) due to the perception that they lack the correct types of experience to serve as an article III judge (and while others may disagree, I myself am pleased to see Biden mostly avoiding those types of candidates and instead looking to find candidates with diverse experience, even as they may not have been who I would choose).


  6. Interesting, earlier this year reports showed The White House was considering THREE nominees for rhe 2nd (Connecticut seat). Now this article (below) states “ the White House was running background checks on two prospective nominees for a third Connecticut seat on the circuit court — one a member of the state Supreme Court and a second a member of the Yale Law School.”

    It was assumed the three being better earlier this year were Raheem L. Mullins and two Yale Law School professors Cristina M. Rodríguez & Justin Driver. So this article would suggest Mullins is still being vetted but only Rodriguez or Driver is now also being better. I wish the article specifies which one so we would know who isn’t being considered anymore.



  7. Hopefully Garcia is on the first panel after the Fourth alongside Pryor. I expect this one to be a bit contentious because of his age, so better to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

    Anyone know if there’s any chance of getting another batch of nominees today? I guess there isn’t technically another hearing spot until after the August Recess, but I’m holding out hope that maybe they’ll hold hearings over the break or do back to back.


  8. This is dereliction of duty from biden and schumer, its simply incompetence. It took mcconell less than 2 months from justin walker nomination to the D.C circuit to get him confirmed, meanwhile andre mathis is still waiting for a vote since novemeber.
    The most hypocritical thing for me is the democratic senators feigning outrage over the roe v wade decision which was brought about by right wing judges, when they cant do the absolute bare minimum and confirm judges that’s within their control and that will still have an effect on folks life’s. Its a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @aangren

      Your totally right. I suggested Schumer cancel at least this weeks recess (I still don’t understand why you need two weeks off to celebrate a one day Independence Day). He could have bright the senate back, held a daily vote on codifying abortion first thing in the morning. It would fail but then you follow up confirming judges & other nominees.

      I believe there would have been wall to wall news coverage showing how much senate Democrats care by cancelling a week of recess to try & protect women’s right’s. The J6 committee called an emergency meeting yesterday & the news has been covering it virtually non stop. Imagine how nice it would have been to also have the coverage show how hard senate Democrats are fighting for women, even in defeat. But no, two weeks off to celebrate the 4th of July as if the country has no pressing issues that need addressing.

      This is why we have gone 3,088 days since the last time a black man has been confirmed to any circuit court in this country. This is why people often vote AGAINST Republicans instead of FOR Democrats.


      • To be quite frank, not many people, particularly the Democratic base, would care if the Senate worked this week than if they didn’t, considering that they don’t have the votes to codify abortion rights, which is the only thing that these voters would be looking for them to do. Democratic voters just don’t place as much importance in the judiciary when compared to Republicans (who only placed a heavy importance on it themselves after Roe v. Wade was decided), and although that may change with the Supreme Court as currently constructed, there isn’t evidence yet in the polling to show that to be the case.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Frank

        I’m just speaking purely politically. I think there will be a few senate races decided by 3% or less this year. Democrats need anything that can help them to hold the majority. A lot of people don’t focus on the news & politics as much as many of us in this site do. So wall to wall news coverage of the senate cancelling recess to try & in for women’s rights would reach a lot of those voters who don’t follow the news closely.

        It would be mentioned in black churches, in barbershops & maybe at water coolers at work places across the country. I could see Democrats getting a 1% bump, maybe even more. That may be the difference between winning Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire or any number of states. What I know will NOT help give the Democrats a bump is taking two weeks off right after us losing Roe.

        Democrats need to start doing a better job with their image. I wish Biden would make a surprise trip to Ukraine or at least Poland to visit the troops. I wish he had signed the gun reform bill on The White House lawn surrounded by families affected by gun violence instead of in a room smaller then a gym closet with just him & The First Lady there on a Saturday morning. I want Biden to succeed, I want the Democrats to keep control of the senate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can see where you are coming from, but polling regarding why people vote for either Democrats or Republicans show that Republicans care more about judges than Democrats, so if it doesn’t mean anything to your base why prioritize it if you are looking to galvanize them?
        Back to judges, I’m curious when you think we will see another batch of nominees. I’m currently thinking we will see another one in about 3-4 weeks time even if they don’t get a hearing for more than a month after they are announced.


      • I also think it’s ridiculous that Dems are on holiday for two weeks now, but I agree with Frank that repeatedly failing to pass anything to protect women’s rights would mean much – if anything, it would probably compound the “Dems are incompetent” narrative on the left at the moment. I also think folks who are soft Democratic supporters (or just weren’t planning to vote at all this fall) are not following the movements of the Senate closely enough for that to matter. A move like that certainly wouldn’t get wall-to-wall coverage from the media, not with everything else going on – maybe it gets a day of coverage, and it would just be another opportunity for Manchin to troll the Democrats. They did something after the opinion was leaked and it got lost in all the other news, so I think something similar would have happened here.

        That being said, I definitely think Congress should be back in session and not taking 2 weeks off now when it has a month-long recess in August (which despite the wishes of everyone here, is not going to be canceled). If they don’t confirm judges (see below for my reasons as for why that might not work the way we hope), they could at least just do regular/noncontroversial Senate business so there’s more time to spend on confirming judges during the regular session time.

        @Dequan I would also love for them to confirm more judges, but I don’t think calling the Senate back in session and making a whole show of it would help. My theory is that it’s best for judicial nominations to be as low-profile as possible – otherwise, it’s just another opportunity for drama queens Manchin and Sinema to show how different they are from other Dems. The more high-profile something is, the more Manchin in particular benefits from voting with the Republicans. Even the Republicans act differently when the spotlight is on judicial nominations – most notably, Graham went crazy during the KBJ hearings when he’s usually the most cooperative Republican on the SJC. John Kennedy from LA has been horrible to many of the women of color nominees in hearings so he can get his sound clips, but he notably voted yes on Andre Mathis when even Graham voted no. I think Blackburn (a right-wing nut who I hate with a passion) voted yes on the SJC vote for Stephanie Davis.

        See this Twitter thread for why Dems are unlikely to get much done on the judiciary even if they were to add extra hearings/cancel recesses: It’s frustrating but probably accurate given the bare majority we have in the Senate.

        This article also suggests that the Dems think things are going just fine with nominations, which makes my head explode: Apparently, “[a] White House official said the administration plans to continue moving quickly to fill every vacancy” – has this person ever looked at a calendar? I don’t see how that’s possible if there’s only time to have hearings for 10 more COA nominees at most.


      • The only reason why the Democratic base doesn’t care about the courts and the GOP bases does is because the leadership of the two parties have chosen different tacks about the importance of the courts.

        The one good thing about reversing Roe is that it forces the Democratic Party leaders to prioritize SCOTUS and the courts in general going forward. It also should get rid of the thinking that you can somehow convince Kavanaugh to side with you. The base will prioritize it as well. I strongly think we will be having a different conversation about the priority 5 years from now.


      • I don’t think it’s fair to say that something is nonsense or call someone a troll because they have an opposing view. I usually agree with a lot of aangren’s comments, but even where I disagree, like comments about punishing Dems by withholding view (EXACTLY as Shawn as advocated; of course, this isn’t a precise surmise of either position) I read it as deep frustration.
        Whereas, I strongly disagree with what I think is high naiveté from you about nominating pensioners/near-pensioners to the court. Does believing in Boomers’ fitness for appointments, contrary to most others on here, make you a troll? I think not.


      • My point is regardless of where the viewpoint is coming from (and while I think it is coming from a different place than you do, I don’t wish to dispute your viewpoint on that user), comparing how quickly the previous Senate(s) under Trump confirmed judicial nominees to the current Senate lacks some context since the compositions of the senates under Trump gave him and the majority leader room to not need all of their caucus to confirm nominees, wherein the current Senate the Democrats need all of their caucus to get a nominee confirmed, not to mention the additional time needed to get discharge votes and get the Vice President to the capitol. Thus, it isn’t as easy or practical for Biden to nominate a bunch of relatively unqualified/partisan nominees with a lack of trial experience and in their 30s and 40s like Trump was able to do. This is seen with nominees such as Dale Ho, who are seen by many not on the left as lacking the types of experience needed to be a successful trial judge (even as I think he would be a solid, but not spectacular judge if he can get confirmed). I don’t believe that older nominees are by definition better, yet it is seen that such nominees are by and large easier to get confirmed.


      • @Frank

        To answer your last question first, if I had to guess one day I would say two weeks from today is likely to be the next time we see new nominees. I truly hope it includes at least 4 circuit court & double digit district court nominees with the time between batches. Most likely it will include the 3 New York nominees Schumer recommended last month, some California nominees, hopefully some Massachusetts nominees (Both circuit & district) & circuit court nominees including which ever of the two 2nd (CT) that are being vetted they chose, 3rd (Pennsylvania), 3rd (Delaware) & 4th (Maryland).

        As for your first point, it’s not fair. I know it’s not. Wyoming having two senators just like California isn’t fair. Democrats are at a built in disadvantaged. Comparing their 50/50 senate to McConnell’s 53-47 isn’t fair. But the point is regardless, Democrats need to be better, MUCH better actually then Republicans if we are going to enact the changes necessary to save this country. That’s why more people came out & voted for Biden then any other president in history despite him not being a large number of their first choices in 2020. That’s why a record number of people came out & voted in a runoff in Georgia to replace two Republican senators to give Democrats the majority in the senate.

        I just don’t think it’s too much to ask Democrats to work at the very least 4 full days a week instead of the current half day Monday, full day Tuesday & Wednesday then half day Thursday schedule they work. I don’t think it’s too much to ask them to take off one week instead of two to celebrate a one day holiday 4th of July. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to take off three weeks in august instead of four to get more work done. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to vote for cloture every Thursday on two circuit court nominees so you can vote to confirm both the following Monday.

        I ask those things because I don’t want to see Mitch McConnell back as majority leader. I think if Democrats gave a reason for people to vote FOR them versus what many people feel right now which is they have to vote AGAINST Republicans, we would not only hold the majority, but also elect one or two more Dems to the senate so we don’t have to hold our breaths waiting to hear every word that comes out of Manchin & Sinema’s mouth.

        That’s the way I see it buddy

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Gavi

        Here’s the difference, aangren has contributed nothing positive in a single post that at this site. Every single one of their posts has been this same trollish screed.

        I think it’s fair to declare this one as a clear and obvious troll, even if you agree with the message.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Dequan

        It wasn’t about “her emails” (that probably hurt Hillary among centrist swing voters) for progressives. It was about the way that the DNC treated Sanders and his supporters. And I’m saying that as someone who strongly backed Hillary. It’s not fair to blame Hillary because she mostly refused to go low with Sanders and progressives. But the shitheads at the DNC just couldn’t help themselves. Hillary was going to win the primary easily regardless, all these shitheads had to do is to remain neutral and concertrate on the general elections.

        Sanders supporters were largely ready to back Hillary by August, and then the Russian hacking efforts paid fruit with the DNC emails were released by Wikileaks. That made the difference in the election. About 25% of Sanders supporters did not vote for Clinton, I suspect it would have been less than half that without the Wikileaks releases.

        If you insult progressives, don’t expect them to vote for you. Period. Progressives voted for Biden because he didn’t insult them.


      • I truly hated the DNC interfering the way they did. I know they probably was afraid of a 2008 Obama repeat but as you said, I really saw Hillary winning 2016 much easier. That & Janet Reno sending back Elian Gonzalez (God I wish she had just let the kid stay) costing us the 2000 election will set this country back a century.


      • To be fair Sanders wasn’t a Democrat. There are many people going back to the sixties who busted their ass and risked their lives to have a voice in the Democratic party.

        It was so insulting on many levels for someone like Sanders to arrogate to himself the Democratic party’s nomination process.

        When he got the changes he sought in the second campaign he didn’t bother to campaign in the southern states where black voters had more power. He ran away like a scalded dog.

        The problem isn’t the party leaders. The problem is that people are lazy or are too stupid to vote. You skip the elections and then you blame the blame the leaders for not be able fight back. It’s insane!


      • @Dequan

        Frankly it’s just so sad. Hillary Clinton would have made a far stronger and assertive President than Biden. She had far less of a willingness to cave to the GOP or pursue useless “bipartisanship” ventures than Biden does.

        Losing in 2016 was devastating. Losing in 2000 might have felt that way at the time, but in retrospect was quite survivable.


  9. Looking at the Senate calendar, if Durbin wants to hold back to back SJC hearings at some point then I think August 3 would be the ideal time. Right before the long recess and this would mean hearings in only two consecutive weeks rather than three. If that is the case then another announcement from the White House could come as soon as next Wednesday.

    If Durbin and Schumer are determined to stick to the schedule and wait for September 7 after the Recess then we may not see another announcement until August 10. I hope that is not the case


  10. Twentieth nominations drop today after all!

    Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves to the Delaware Third Circuit seat as usually predicted. Plus one nominee to Eastern District of Michigan, I guess the seat Davis left open upon promotion.


    • It almost makes me wonder why this particular number since it’s not enough for a full hearing. Add them onto another set? Do a two person hearing? More to come next week to complete the set? Strange. Maybe they got spooked by the Bloomberg article out this morning about them running out of time on nominees. That got a lot of understandably upset reactions on Twitter I saw.


    • That is correct on the E.D. Mich. nominee. While some may be wondering why the other three vacancies on the court haven’t seen new nominees yet, the reason seemingly is because those vacancies are based in Detroit while the nominee announced today is for the Flint vacancy, and as such they will have processes on different timelines for filling them.


      • Well only two nominees but since we were not expecting any today I will take it. The last couple of batches had 3 circuit court nominees so I guess 1 here will round out another hearing. I’m happy to see Tamika Renee Montgomery-Reeves was the 3rd (DE) pick as we have discussed her at length on this site & she was always the front runner. She’s good on background & age. She is also the 12th black woman Biden has nominated to the circuit courts. An amazing feat with only 8 prior to him in the entire history of the country.


  11. Montgomery- Reeves is an excellent nominee.

    Would be cool if Biden came out with the last 2nd Circuit nominee so he can say he flipped at least one Appeals Court but guess that doesn’t mean much to him.


    • I don’t have any faith in Biden, but I do think the remaining CT seat on the Second will be filled by the end of this Congress. There’s already media about how they’ve narrowed it down to 2 candidates, and with Whitehouse as one of CT’s senators and the Second Circuit having jurisdiction over Schumer’s home state of NY, I do think this seat will be one of the future nominees. Hopefully the administration doesn’t make this statement look foolish in a few months….

      On the subject of lack of faith about Biden, it looks like he’s made a deal to appoint a Fed Soc hack to a Kentucky court: I assume this is for one of the seats on E.D. Ky. and one of the Bush appointees will soon announce that they are going senior, and Biden seems to think that this will mean McConnell will allow votes on nominees in 23 in the (likely) case that Dems lose the Senate.

      My question is why the hell Biden thinks he can trust McConnell to hold up his end of the deal. If Biden nominates this guy this year (and wastes a district court judicial nominations slot), we all know Moscow Mitch is going to renege and block all circuit nominees as soon as he becomes majority leader again. Even if the blue slip means that any Kentucky nominee would have to get McConnell’s blessing anyways, I think it’s not worth the slot on the SJC and floor time required to approve this guy. Not to mention the optics of nominating an anti-choice, Fed Soc judge after Roe falls…the incompetence and naivete in this administration is truly mindboggling.

      I’m hoping they won’t nominate/process this guy until 2023 and will demand that at least one COA nominee be approved first. Otherwise, Biden must really have dementia or whatever the Republicans are always claiming.


      • I doubt that the deal would have anything to do with the next congress, but it can’t be ruled out entirely I guess. The optics are certainly bad for the Democratic base though to nominate someone like this so soon after the Dobbs decision, although I honestly was thinking a deal like this would’ve happened already.


      • The link you sent requires a subscription but I included a link you can view it without one.

        As for a response, I rarely curse but excuse me in advance as I don’t know any other way to say this… Hell mother fucking no, kiss my ass with this “deal”…

        This is exactly, exactly, EXACTLY why I say Schumer should cancel some recess weeks & just focus on confirming judges. Because when you work 3 days a week, you end up having to nominate conservative, Federalist Society, anti-abortion Republicans to the federal bench to get McConnell to allow fast tracking the other nominees when the midterms start to approach. I don’t care that it will take time to confirm them & I don’t care this is only one district court seat, no way, no how. I’m not opposed to nominating a reasonable Republican to a district court seat for a deal like this, but the article said he was considered for a seat under Trump & even Trump didn’t nominate him. This would be absolutely insane. If this is why Schumer hasn’t been rushing judicial confirmations then he should be ashamed of himself.


        Liked by 1 person

      • I am shocked to see your comments but so pleased with it because it’s how I feel about things! It sucks having your one voting issue neglected by the only guy you could vote for. I hope there is severe backlash to this. This is the Dems’ post-Roe posture? Ridiculous.
        And for those who’ll die on the hill that “candidate quality” will win Dems the midterm, you gotta ask yourself, why is Biden making such a crappy deal for an outcome you think unlikely?
        One thing Whitehouse is senator for RI, not CT. But Murphy and Blumenthal, who is a member of SJC, don’t strike me as slouches on judicial nominations.
        And I close with a sigh of relief at the nomination of Montgomery-Reeves. We cannot take Biden not nominating 60 year olds for granted.


      • I strongly suspect that the deal is that McConnell will tone down the obstructionism for judges in the rest of 2022, i.e. things like boycotting the SJC are completely off the table. If McConnell were to be trusted, which he is not, this would probably mean that any nominee appointed before the election would get a vote in the lame duck, and would be confirmed if Manchin supports them.

        There is no way that McConnell makes any such deals for 2023 without first seeing the composition of the Senate.
        I also strongly disagree that the Democrats losing the Senate is likely. I see 50 or 51 Democrats in the 2023 Senate as the most likely scenario. PA probably is a pick up, NV could go either way, GA/AZ more likely than not are holds, WI leans to Ron Johnson (at least until there is a nominee), outside shot for Dems at NC/OH.


      • Biden really does not want to be the nominee in 2024 or something. He’s gonna screw over senators too by making them vote for Meredith. Just as polls were looking good for Senate Democrats. Biden, just tell us you want to lose challenge


      • This isn’t news. Every president has nominated someone of a different party or philosophy to get other nominees through.

        You can’t have it both ways. They are obstructing nominees and there’s no way a progressive will be nominated with Rand Paul and Mitch Mcconnell in the senate.

        It’s best to get something out of it. I hope people won’t be offended when Biden has to do a hostage swap for Britney Griner.


      • @Kevin Collins

        I have to disagree with you here. Yes deals happen in every administration. Trump did indeed put several Democrats on district courts. But NONE of them were general counsel for Planned Parenthood, which would be the equivalent of this nominee. This is way beyond the mainstream. I would argue this would be worth an all out fight even if Trump was president & Republicans had a 51-49 advantage. This nominee is so bad, he was vetted under Trump & still not nominated. This shouldn’t even be up for discussion under ANY Democrat president, let alone not even a week after Roe being reversed.

        Making a deal like this for a mainstream Republican is fine. I would even be ok with a mainstream Republican for a district court seat in Alaska or South Carolina to reward Murkowski & Graham. But under no circumstances should a nominee like this even make it into The White House Counsel’s office.

        I am perfectly fine with a prisoner swap to bring Britney Griner home. That’s totally different then a life time appointment to the federal bench so I wouldn’t compare the two here.


      • There’s no time to be picky over one judicial nomination.This is the nature of the Senate. Even Trump sent up nominees picked by democrats.

        It’s a 50-50 senate the Democrats don’t have to vote for him;Let’s see if people spend more time attacking this guy instead of Childs.


      • The alleged deal on Chad Meredith is the kind of thing that every White House does. Donald Trump nominated some Democrats he didn’t want to nominate under similar circumstances. The party in power never likes it, but it’s only one judgeship. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

        What I’m betting is that in exchange for Meredith’s nomination is that McConnell will expedite votes on the least controversial of Biden’s nominees. Perhaps a couple of voice votes will be coming this Summer or Fall.


      • Yes, there’s not enough floor time to get many of these nominees through. Roe is gone for good. All district court judges’ are gonna have to follow the decision or have the case reassigned to another judge.

        There’s only one way out. People have to vote. I’m tired of ‘hearing these excuses. It’s not Joe Bidens .Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer’s fault. We can’t have anymore these debates where democrats are turning on each other,

        It won’t make too many people happy but we tohave to stick with Joe Biden , The advantages of incumbency isn’t something that should be given away. He’s not leaving anytime soon,


  12. Tamika Montgomery-Reeves is a perfect example of why I stress age so much in judicial nominees. She was appointed to her first judgeship at the age of 34 by a Democrat governor. Now she is being elevated to the appeals court at 41. This is the same playbook Republicans use. Many 41 year old’s would be considered not experienced enough for such an elevation but when they have been a state judge for 7 years, it makes them highly qualified.

    When Democrat governors appoint judges in their 60’s such as governor Newsome’s first SCOTUS appointment, to me it’s a wasted opportunity. Montgomery-Reeves should be the standard for Democrat governors. Bild a deep bench & we can have more appeals court nominations like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Grades for today’s nominees.

    Tamika Montgomery-Reeves: B-. Corporate law partner with some progressive credentials in pro bono work. Background in securities law, at least not a management lawyer.

    Frances Behm: C-. State court judge with a corporate law background and zero progressive credentials. At least not a management lawyer.


    • @Shawn beat me to it as I was so upset about the apparent Kentucky deal from the news today, I didn’t get around to giving my grades for todays nominees.

      Tamika Montgomery-Reeves: A. This 41 year old black woman who was our front runner from the start & is a current state SCOTUS justice is just what the doctor ordered. Her pro bono work with the Prisoners Rights Project makes her a solid pick.

      Frances Behm: C-. Another Michigan nominee in her mid 50’s. This one I can’t even find any progressive credentials in her background. With the deep bench of potential nominees from this blue state, I have to agree with @Shawn on this one.


  14. New poll puts Warnock up 10 over Walker. I think this is far too rosy for Warnock. But Q-Pac has been the worst pollster for Democrats this entire cycle, so perhaps there is something to it. I suspect that Walker is going to tank among women far worse than Trump did. And I think Warnock is going to win (regardless of this poll, which I don’t trust anyhow). Candidate quality matters for Senate races.

    Or perhaps there is a huge bump from the backlash to Roe v Wade. In a Nebraska special election race yesterday in a solid GOP Congressional district, the Democrat who spent basically nothing on the race outperformed Biden’s 2020 performance by 5%.

    Regardless, there is no merit to the Charcuterie-style doomtrolling about the Democrat’s Senate chances here. I strongly stand by my comments that there is a greater than 50% chance of the Democrats holding the Senate, with 50 or 51 as the most likely possibilities.


    • @Shawn

      Thanks for the poll. It is welcomed news. I still think anything from cheating, the war in Ukraine taking a turn for the worst, gas prices going over an average of $5, the economy tanking, & unexpected bad news between now, Election Day (I’m looking at you Cal Cunningham) can change things for the worse. I want Dems to assume they will lose the majority. That way they won’t take anything for granted & if things turn out well, at least we can start the 2023 slate relatively clean.


      • The problem is there is a cost with just assuming that you will lose the majority in advance, you end up making bad deals with Mitch McConnell in advance.

        Candidate quality matters for statewide races. I’ve been consistent about this for months now, even when the polls didn’t look good at all. Warnock is consistently performing 8-10% better in margin than Stacey Abrams (who herself is a pretty strong candidate). The GOP is about to nominate another far right extremist who think birth control and gay marriage should be banned in Arizona to take on Mark Kelly. At the end of the day, even if the political environment isn’t great, I think Fetterman, Kelly and Warnock are so far better candidates than their horrendous opponents that they can win in a bad environment. It’s not too different than Harry Reid in 2010, when in the middle of that year, he looked dead in the water.
        Yes, if there are limits, if the political environment gets bad enough, one or more of these GOP nominees can and probably will win. But right now I don’t see it.


    • I am feeling better and better about retaining the senate as well. However I still would aim to fill all 41 Circuit seats this term. If we win it’s a bonus and we can take our time in 2023-24 to fill District seats and convince some more Clinton people to hang them up.


  15. I think one can honestly say the the SCOTUS abortion decision is TRULY a life and death matter…….This isn’t your typical bad decision where all might be forgotten in a few days……This might be the most consequential decision in 5 decades……And it should absolutely help Democrats in the suburbs…..Furthermore, the GOP is going to have some REALLY anti-abortion governor and senate candiates whose views won’t fly in blue and purple states…

    The high gas prices & overall inflation is a big inconvenience, but what happened @SCOTUS w/the Hobbs decision is life and death….

    If there was ever a SCOTUS decision that could propel Democrats over the top in their races, this one is it…..


    • I actually think the two unexpected groups that could have a shift to the Democrats are pro-choice white working class women who voted for Trump (there are a surprisingly large number here) and fathers of young women between 15-30 (i.e. “girl dads”). Many in the former group voted Democrat before Trump due to this abortion rights.

      The other thing to notice is that much of the discrepancy between Biden approval and Democratic vote % in 2022 is coming from young voters. Biden’s approval numbers among the under 40 vote is in the 25% range. Biden is actually doing considerably better among 65+ than he is among Gen Z and Millennials.


      • I agree, I think a lot of the low approval numbers come from supporters that think Biden isn’t being liberal enough. I think this probably won’t extend to senate candidates and also will end up evaporating once the candidates and stakes are clear in November.


  16. This is precisely why I do not think that the hold up on announcing judges for the Massachusetts vacancies is caused by the two senators. Also, this simply cannot be because of a backlog at the FBI in vetting nominees:


      • So I don’t see the Massachusetts & Pennsylvania vacancies the same for two reasons. First, the most obvious is Pennsylvania has a split delegation with one Republican & blue slips are in play. So it’s very possible an agreement just hasn’t been reached in a package that is acceptable for Toomey to turn in his blue slip or a package in which the Toomey nominees are too far out of the mainstream for Biden to accept.

        Massachusetts doesn’t have that issue. It’s highly unlikely there is a fight between any would be recommended nominees & The White House in this case. For the most part. every time a state with two Democrats have recommended nominees, I have seen The White House make a nomination within 3 – 6 months. The only instance I can think of in which a public recommendation from two Democrats haven’t been nominated in 6 months is Juval Scott in Western Virginia. So I just don’t buy there are names sitting on the resolute desk from Massachusetts & none of them are being nominated.

        The second reason is one I have mentioned several times on this site in the past. I know some disagree with me but I would not fill any of the Pennsylvania district court seats. I would guess that view point has reached The Legal Counsel’s office as well.

        The reason I wouldn’t fill any of the seats is because I think the reward is worth the risk. The risk is Toomey is replaced by a more conservative Republican & the Republicans take the senate after the midterms. In that worst case scenario you either have the same deal then that you have today in which the new Republican senator gets to pick 1 ultra conservative for every 3 Democrats pick. If a deal can’t be reached then all of the seats can remain vacant.

        However the reward is Democrats flip the Toomey seat & Democrats hold the senate. In that case, not only do you not get any conservative judges but you also can get much more liberal Democrat picks. Right now I doubt you could get an Arianna J. Freeman (That’s probably why she applied for a district court seat but was offered a circuit court seat instead) type nominee for any of the Democrats picks because Toomey will not turn in his blue slips. Instead of getting 6 left of center progressives & 2 conservatives, you can next year potentially get 8 solid young progressives just by waiting another 9 months. I think it’s worth the wait so I would not fill these seats this year.


  17. Pingback: The Unexpected Opportunity – Assessing the Landscape of Judicial Vacancies | The Vetting Room

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