Jerry Blackwell – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

For more than thirty years, Jerry Blackwell has been a leader in the Minneapolis legal community. The outspoken attorney has now been tapped for the federal bench.

Background

A native of Kannapolis, NC, Jerry W. Blackwell received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1984 and then a J.D. from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law in 1987.

After graduation, Blackwell joined Robins Kaplan LLP in Minneapolis, serving as a partner until he moved to Nilan Johnson Lewis in 1996. In 2000, Blackwell started the firm of Blackwell Igbanugo in Edina, Minnesota. In 2006, he moved to Blackwell Burke where he currently works as a partner.

In 2015, Blackwell was named a possible candidate for the federal bench to replace Judge Michael Davis. See Randy Furst, Names Begin to Surface for New Federal Judge Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jan. 3, 2015. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhemina Wright was nominated instead and confirmed.

History of the Seat

Blackwell has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. This seat opened on December 31, 2021, when Judge Susan Richard Nelson moved to senior status.

Legal Career

While he has moved firms a few times, Blackwell has spent his entire legal career in private practice in the Minneapolis area. However, this has netted him some prominent representations, including being the attorney for Minneapolis native Prince. See Cheryl Johnson, Purple House is Demolished; Prince’s Neighbors Say They Don’t Know Why He Leveled It, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Apr. 3, 2003.

Early in his career, Blackwell represented the Government of India in suits related to the Bhopal gas explosion. See David Phelps, ‘Zealous Advocate’ Wanted to Be Lawyer From Second Grade, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 5, 2012. Later, he defended 3M against lawsuits alleging that the company’s air blowers deposited infectious bacteria in surgical incisions. See Joe Carlson, 3M Case May Alter Medical Lawsuits, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 28, 2017. Blackwell also authored a successful pardon application for Max Mason, who was convicted in 1920 for allegedly raping a white woman (whose own doctor had testified that she had not been assaulted). See Brooks Johnson, Historic Pardon in Duluth Lynching, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 13, 2020. The conviction had also prompted the lynching of three innocent black men in Duluth. See id.

Notably, Blackwell joined the prosecution team against police officer Derek Chauvin who was charged with murdering George Floyd in 2020. See Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, What to Know About Jerry W. Blackwell, The Prosecutor Making Opening Arguments, N.Y. Times, Mar. 29, 2021. As part of the trial, which ended in a conviction, Blackwell made opening and closing remarks.

Political Activity

Blackwell has been a frequent political donor throughout his legal career. Among the benefits of his donations are Governor Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and President Barack Obama.

Writings and Statements

Throughout the years, Blackwell has written and spoken frequently in the media, particularly on issues of race. In 1992, Blackwell commented regarding the acquittal of police officers charged with beating Rodney King and subsequent rioting, noting:

“When we have systems in place designed to protect people and mete out justice, and when it’s apparent that they don’t further justice, my concern is that people are left to their own devices. Self-preservation steps in at some point and you have outbreaks, resistance, throughout the country” See Mark Brunswick, Jim Walsh, Kevin Diaz, At Rallies in Twin Cities, Many Decry Injustices While Police Aim to Reassure, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 1, 1992.

In another article, Blackwell noted his emphasis on diversity in hiring, noting that it is “good business” as it attracts clients who are “reluctant to work with a firm that was hostile to hiring people of color and women.” Deborah Caulfield Rybak, Diversity ‘Good Business’ For Black-Owned Law Firm, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Feb. 9, 2003 (quoting Jerry W. Blackwell).

As President of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Blackwell had objected to the firm of Maslon, Edelman, Borman, & Brand from joining Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a consortium of corporations and law firms seeking to hire minority attorneys, citing the firm’s representation of white students challenging affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan. See Katherine Kersten, 2 Standards for Diversity in the Legal Fraternity, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sept. 7, 2006.

Overall Assessment

Jerry Blackwell would come to the federal bench with extensive experience with federal practice and with the Minneapolis legal community. While his outspokenness may draw some opposition, Blackwell is still nonetheless favored to join the federal bench before the end of the year.

146 Comments

  1. He would have been a solid nominee in 2015 when he was first named as a possible candidate for the federal bench. But now that he’s in his 60’s, his age is his only draw back. Unfortunately that’s a huge draw back in my opinion. He’s so good otherwise that I’ll still give him an “A-“.

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  2. Solid nominee, and good to see more black men nominated, there is a growing hostility black men have for biden and democrats, all the pandering and efforts go to black women but andre mathis still cant get a floor vote since being nominated in november. Black men wont vote .
    OT: The california nominees are really really terrible, whats their season for this? One state judge after another, prosecutor after prosecutor, this latest batch is unforgivable. Andrew schloper another white man who was prosecutor for over a decade, 2004 to 2016, this is as right wing as i will expect , and worst from California? This is inexcusable, i rather this be left unfilled than have this prosecutor on it. Enough is enough. California batches have consistently been terrible, this isnt a situation like in NJ with padin who has progressive affiliations, this isnt right.

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    • The California district court nominees have been mostly sub par. All but one was a sitting court state judge & most have been 50 or older.

      Even when they have some progressive background like Andrew schloper, there’s something concerning. In his case, he was a public defender back in North Carolina for less then a year then returned to private practice. That’s probably more concerning then if he had never been a public defender at all.

      James E. Simmons Jr. Is a 41 year old black man which is good, but he has no progressive background at all. They can’t seem to get it right in California when it comes to black men. Governor Newsome uses his first SCOTUS appointment for a black LGBT man which is fine but the problem is he was 62 years old.

      I find it hard to believe in a deep blue state with over 39 million people we can find young progressives in their 40’s if not 30’s to put on the federal bench. Whoever is on Feinstein & Padilla’s vetting committees needs to be replaced. I have read articles interviewing young progressives that said they applied for district court vacancies & were turned down. Clearly the vetting committee doesn’t know what Biden is looking for & with so many vacancies, the administration simply isn’t pushing back with time running out.

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    • I agree, one area where I’d really like to see Biden step it up is with black men. He’s done great with black women, of his 32 circuit court appointees 12 have been black women, but only 1 male so far and Mathis has been waiting for a floor vote since February.

      Biden still has 9 more potential seats to fill on circuit courts and I’d love to see at least 3-4 of those go to black men.

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      • I highly doubt we will see 3-4 black men for the remaining 9 circuit court vacancies. Part of the reason is I doubt we will see a nominee for all 9 vacancies before the midterms. Of course if the Democrats can hold the senate majority then over the next two years 3-4 is possible as more seats become vacant.

        I think the best shot for a black man is the remaining 2nd (CT) seat since reports state 3 people are being vetted. If rumors are true, 2 of those 3 people are black men. CT SCOTUS justice Mullins would be the least progressive out of all 3. I hope either of the other 2 Yale law professors are chosen. Justin Driver would probably be the best black man chosen to the circuit courts since Thurgood Marshall. He’s born around 1975 & has a solid progressive background. I really wish the other of the 3, Cristina Rodriguez, had been chosen on judge Merriam. I think a Rodriguez & Driver picks would have been dynamic, albeit Merriam is good too.

        Zackary Myers is a possible black man for the 7th (IN) seat. But he is the US attorney for the Southern district & judge Kanne died holding a seat in the Northern district so we will see how the Indians senators feel about location of the 3rd seat. Also they just picked a black woman for the other vacancy so not sure how they will feel about 2 of the 3 Indian seats being blacks. And with the 7th circuit as a whole never having a Hispanic judge, Mario Garcia or another Hispanic will probably get serious consideration.

        Some on this site have mentioned judge Hanks for the vacant 5th (TX) seat. I see close to zero chance that seat not being filled by a Hispanic nominee.

        The 1st (MA) seat could go in numerous directions but I’ve heard no black men’s names floated at all for that seat. The other 1st (NH) seat probably has even less of a chance.

        There is a possibility that one of the 4th seats can go to a black man. I hope if it’s in Maryland it’s not judge George Hazel. While he is still young after being the youngest federal judge in the country after Obama put him on the district court, he’s not very progressive at all. South Carolina could see one but with senator Graham’s influence, I bet it wouldn’t be a black man we would be too thrilled about.

        I highly doubt the only Montana circuit court judge will be a black man. That just leaves the 10th (Kansas) vacancy. I have no clue what is going on with that seat that has been vacant for about a year & a half. It’s truly upsetting we still don’t have a nominee for that seat. I would love to see the administration shove another Andre Mathis type down the senators throats but this close to the midterms with a Democrat seemingly out every week in this 50/50 senate, I don’t see them rocking the boat much between now & the midterms.

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      • Dequan and Joe, this is an interesting discussion. Of the names Dequan put out, heres what I think. I agree with Dequan that the 2nd CT seat is the most likely chance for another black men nominee and the nominees there would be great picks, but what is funny is while I usually am against seeing law professors being nominated for judicial appointments by any president, I’d actually like to see Cristina Rodriguez be the pick there. As for the other seats, I’d like to see Myers be the pick for the 7th IN seat but doubt it will happen due to the location issue. More likely, Hazel will get the nod due to his relative youth and expertise to the 4th MD seat, and if he gets confirmed will be a great addition there. While I am less opposed to the idea than others, Hanks doesn’t have a different enough profile than other members of the 5th Circuit for me to support him over some other TX candidates, although I wouldn’t be upset to see him get nominated there.

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  3. @Dequan you are right of course, it is unfortunate. Even 1-2 more would be good though if we can get them over the finish line before January.

    Hopefully we retain control of the senate and we get much more leeway to find great candidates in 2023-24.

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  4. “As President of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Blackwell had objected to the firm of Maslon, Edelman, Borman, & Brand from joining Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a consortium of corporations and law firms seeking to hire minority attorneys, citing the firm’s representation of white students challenging affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan.”

    If Blackwell can object to a law firm because of its representation of a particular set of clients, then it’s perfectly fair game to object to Blackwell’s nomination based on the set of clients that he represented.

    Jerry Blackwell has regularly represented corporations against injured victims, victims of discrimination in the employment sphere, and other regular people. This is what his practice has been all about for decades. Yes I get that he has a progressive record on diversity and taking on police brutality. That’s the primary thing that prevents me from giving this nomination an F.

    I give this nomination a D based on his decades long record of defending badly behaving corporate interests against regular people, and his age.

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    • @Shawn

      I read that from the post here too. But was Blackwell partner at the firm for those years? I honestly don’t know the answer. If he was then I would say that is a reflection on him & deservingly so he deserves criticism. If not, I don’t know I can place blame at his feet for the firms decision.

      On another note, now that it has been 3,106 days since any black man has been confirmed to any circuit court, this week would be a great week to confirm Andre Mathis. Even with Leahy out, senator Kennedy voted for him in the SJC. I believe Collins also will vote for him. It’s time to end this ridiculous streak & confirm this man.

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      • Blackwell was not only a partner at these firms, they were HIS firms. He helped found them. Here’s an example of the kind of case his law firm specializes in and brags about winning.

        “Blackwell Burke secured a summary judgment win in Minnesota state court for this Fortune 500 coffee company with nearly 29,000 retail stores globally. Plaintiff alleged Starbucks discriminated against him in a public accommodation based on his status as a transgender male. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded this case of first impression and a trial on the merits is pending.”

        https://blackwellburke.com/blackwell-burke-wins-summary-judgment-for-starbucks/

        As admirable his service toward racial and social justice has been, and it has been quite admirable, I just don’t believe that someone with this sort of an anti-worker record is the best we can do in a solid blue state. There are plenty of qualified Black men in Minnesota that don’t have this kind sort of baggage and are younger than 50.

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      • Ok that’s definitely fair. I was considering giving him a B+ initially just because of his age alone. I wasn’t aware he was the founder of the firm when I read the article earlier.

        I can’t go as low as a D- just based on his outstanding civil rights portfolio. Plus I’ll give him some slack for the firms work being before his more recent civil rights work. I would take all that into consideration & re-evaluate my grade to a B- however. I

        t’s difficult for me to give somebody who is so solid in an area I care so much about much less. Especially when he helped secure the conviction of a dirty & corrupt cop for murder for the first time in the states history.

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      • You repeat this rant about Mathis. He does NOT have the support of both Tennessee Senators. In his hearing Senator said that she preferred another candidate; a black woman. Biden chose Mathis and both Tennessee are saying they were not properly consulted.

        I watched the hearing and he did well. Although arguably he had some issues with a traffic ticket that he didn’t address quickly enough.

        This is gray area. Under the previous practices if one Senator refused to return a blue slip that would block the nomination. It’s rather unfortunate that the Mathis nomination is left twisting in the wind.

        Having had a hearing but lacking support from both home state
        Senators, it may be while before Mathis can reach the Senate floor.

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      • Trump nominated a 3rd circuit court nominee before either New Jersey senator was even affirmed the night to meet with him. There were numerous Democrats that had circuit court nominees confirmed without them turning in their blue slips.

        I would argue confirming Mathis is more important then any other pending circuit court nominee right now. It will send a message we will at least play by the same rules as Republicans did. Every day we wait is another day saying we are thinking about having two standards, with the Republicans having the better of the two.

        I don’t give a crap if the Tennessee senators wanted Camille McMullin just like they didn’t care when Democrats wanted other consensus nominees but were over ruled. And the bottom line is Mathis has the votes to be confirmed. He wasn’t even discharged out of the SJC. This needs to be the week they get this done. After Childs, there will have been three circuit court & one SCOTUS nominee that has bypassed Mathis I’m tired of waiting. Get it done or they need to stop asking for black men like myself to vote for them. There’s plenty that we were promised & are not getting because of the 50/50 senate & I get that. Judges are not one of those things.

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      • It’s not just about Andre Mathis. Black men were promised a lot from this administration. Now a black man like myself understands the dynamics of a 50/50 senate, tie votes out of committee, senator Manchin representing a state that voted for Trump more then any other & so on. I’m not as confident that is the case for all black men. I know this because I talk to a lot of them that are frustrated.

        So confirming Andre Mathis, a young black man to the second highest level of the judiciary would make news. And good news. This administration needs good news. And besides that, it is the right thing to do.

        I don’t understand why you think there needs to be patience. He was nominated in November. He was favorably reported to the floor out of the SJC. There have been three circuit court or above judges confirmed that he was nominated before. It’s been 3,106 days since we have had a black man confirmed to any circuit court. What’s the different between confirming him this week versus October? We have been patient. It’s time to confirm this brother.

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      • I hear you. Some of the folks who confirmed before Mathis were in blue states. It’s easier to confirm judges in states like New York because Schumer is the majority leader. Also, republicans don’t care 2nd circuit now.

        The 6th Circuit however is much different, With the exception of Michigan it covers red states. It also covers Kentucy so I am sure McConnell has something to do with the Mathis nomination not moving.

        Iv’e said many times that voters don’t care about judges. So, placing one black guy on a relatively obscure appeals court based in Ohio isn’t going to make news.
        .
        There are several black judges on the 6th Circuit so I am sure they will be happy have him.

        I noticed that you mentioned the lack of black nominees from California. Actually they had several but most of them went to the central district of California (Los Angeles), The most recent batch went to southern district (San Diego) much less diverse than LA.

        On that court , Feinstein is going to send prosecuters and judges since alot of the cases border related.

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      • @Kevin Collins

        Actually I was complaining about the lack of black men on the circuit courts. When it comes to California, I was complaining about the lack of young, progressive black judges altogether. I

        ‘m not talking about the 9th (CA) because the administration is more involved in the early stages of that process & I feel Holy Thomas is an A+ nominee. But the district court nominees have been below par either because they are not progressive or old.

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      • How can you apply a label like “progressive” to a black person? I have trouble understanding what that means.

        The district court judges Slaughter and Garnett were elected officials with largest population of black voters in the state.

        For instance, would Kamala Harris be considered a progressive? Probably not. San Francisco had a white progressive district attorney and the black mayor had him kicked out of office.

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      • Good question @Kevin Collins

        So when I say a progressive background, I’m taking about looking into their history & seeing anything besides the standard run of the mill background that the majority of pre-Biden judges had. For instance were they a public defender, work for an organization like the NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, The Innocence Project, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Law Poverty Center or a like minded organization.

        Now if they didn’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a bad judge. But if I’m evaluations somebody for a job vacancies, you look at their history. President Biden has made it clear he wants to expand the diversity on the judiciary not just by ethnicity but also background. Therefore with that pledge, I look at the nominees backgrounds to see if he is upholding that pledge. When he does (Like many of his nominees) I applaud him. When he doesn’t, I point that out as well.

        As for your VP Harris comparison, I would probably have to do more research as she was never one of the candidates I was planning to vote for in the primary. Off the top of my head from what I remember, if she was a judicial nominee instead of a VP nominee I would probably say her pre senate career would not have much of a progressive background in it. But taking her senate career into account, I would say she was fairly progressive (Even if it was just an act to try to run for president).

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      • @Dequan

        There are two major issues that separate progressives from moderates regarding judicial candidates. One is on corporate power and economic issues, whether they represented workers, environment, and regular people or they represented corporations against them. The second is criminal justice issues, from police brutality, criminal defense, sentencing, etc. Most Democratic nominees will be pretty decent on choice, LGBT, civil rights, voting rights, etc, if they aren’t they are probably a F.

        Blackwell is beyond awful on the first and absolutely excellent on the second. Normally that would add up to a C for me. But because Blackwell is 60, I downgraded the nomination to a D.

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      • It’s truly surprising how somebody like Blackwell could have such a diverse career. It’s hard to believe anybody with his record on civil rights was so bad before.

        I noticed you gave Greg Williams a D+… Did you take into account Delaware is really looking for patent experts more then what we normally look for when we want young progressives on the bench? That grade seems pretty low. Was there something in his background besides him being in his mid 50’s & not being particularly progressive that makes you look so low on him for a D+ for Delaware?

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      • That’s from a white person’s perspective. There’s nothing wrong with representing people who have money. I would also say there’s nothing wrong with representing people accused of the most heinous crimes. I saw this Hawley guy trashing Rachel Bloomekatz because she had a client who had been convicted of an awful crime.

        It’s cheap shot to go after someone because of who they have worked for. These are phony labels casted by white liberal elites,It also doesn’t matter that a few token blacks sign on to stuff like that.

        It’s people insulting their own race. This guy Blackwell started his own law firm. That’s a feat in itself because black people have to work harder to get their work noticed and respected.

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      • So once again (At least from my perspective) I’m fine with whenever a lawyer represents because no matter what, everybody in this country deserves a defense. Even mass murderers or rapist deserve a defense & a vigorous defense at that per our constitution.

        For the sake of this conversation & this site overall, we are evaluating nominees to be federal judges. As I said early, pre-Biden we had a traditional route most lawyers took to become a federal judge. When candidate Joe Biden was running for president, he made it clear he wanted a break from the traditional nominees we are use to.

        So for me, when I evaluate one of his nominees, I’m basing it off of his pledge. As I’ve said before out of his 123 nominees, 122 of them are qualified to be a federal judge. That doesn’t mean I feel all of them should be President Biden nominees based off of his pledge. Now of course we have to take things into consideration such as is the nominee from California versus Iowa. But evaluating somebody & saying there were better picks doesn’t mean that nominee is a bad person or unqualified.

        I know some on this site for instance has said J Childs unqualified for the court she was nominated for. I completely disagree with that & will defend her being qualifiedeven though I think her nomination to that court was horrible.

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      • @Dequan

        Even among patent experts you can find candidates who are progressive in other ways. And not all the cases in Delaware are patent cases, so general legal philosophy still matters, and even on patent cases it still matters.

        Greg Williams doesn’t have much of progressive background (he did chair a Legal Services committee), and he is over 50. I see no progressive pro bono work either.
        He has also defended corporations in class action suits, torts, and employment cases, and this was pretty recently.

        “Outside of Delaware, Williams defended Megabus in a D.C. suit for racial discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault. See Davis v. Megabus Northeast LLC., 301 F.Supp.3d 105 (D.D.C. 2018).”

        I think D+ is a pretty reasonable grade. Could argue for a C-, but that’s probably the best I could do.

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  5. I agree, just no reason to let this sit any longer. The next time we have all 50 Dems in the senate (which might be this week) we need to hold a cloture vote and then confirm him the next week. He isn’t particularly controversial and passed out of committee, so we Manchin, Sinema should be yes votes.

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  6. Schumer has filed cloture on Gregory Williams and Natasha Merle for District seats in addition to Wang and Maldonado. I know he is also planning a preliminary vote for some of the Chips bill tomorrow as well.

    Still keeping my fingers crossed for a Circuit Court cloture vote Thursday, but we will see.

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    • I’m actually fine with him taking care of district court nominees throughout the week. He needs to focus on Thursday’s for circuit court nominees. If he can vote for cloture on at least two (Preferably 3) of them every Thursday & then confirm them the following Monday, we could confirm all circuit court nominees before the midterms.

      He theoretically could vote for cloture on 4-5 of them the Thursday before the August recess & confirm all of them when they return in September but I’m not gonna be greedy & ask for him to be that strategic.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So since we were speaking about black men Biden has nominated so far, here’s my evaluation of each.

    1. Andre Mathis (1980) – Has pro bono work with the Innocence Project. He has worked on management side but for Tennessee I think he is a solid nominee. If he was a nominee in New York or California I would rate him lower but for Tennessee… A

    2. Julien Neals (1965) – We all knew he would be nominated the minute Biden won. I will give him 5 years credit on his age since he was never given a vote when Obama nominated him plus he’s a good nominee… B+

    3. Omar A. Williams (1977) – A public defender, involved with the New England Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative & he was on a task force that provided recommendations on reforming the way jurors are selected for trial in Connecticut.. A

    4. Fred W. Slaughter (1973) – A state judge that was a coordinator for Project Safe Neighborhoods… B

    5. Gregory B. Williams (1969) – For Delaware there is a major focus on patent law so that is more pertinent then being a progressive. He is solid in this area… B+

    6. Jerry Blackwell (c. 1962) – We have discussed him at length on this post of his today. I feel any nominee in their 60’s is too old but he SOLID on his civil rights portfolio which ultimately leads me to give him a higher grade then some others with his age.. B-

    7. Jamal Whitehead (c. 1982) – This is an absolute rock star of a pick. I as hoping either him or Marsha Chien got the 9th (WA) seat. He has a solid progressive background & very young. Should the other Washington state seat open up, he should be given immediate consideration. He’s that good… A (I will probably change this to an A+ later).

    8. Jamar K. Walker (c. 1986) – A young, LGBT nominee. A really good nominee as well… A-

    9. James E. Simmons Jr. (1979/1980) – A state judge who has worked in the juvenile division, the Superior Court division and the Gangs division. He has volunteered for Project LEAD. But for California this is a disappointing nominee but I hope he proves me wrong… C+

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  8. My grades for the Black men who have been nominated so far:

    1. Jamal Whitehead- A

    2. Omar Williams- A

    3. Jamar Walker- B+

    4. Andre Mathis- B-. He is a management lawyer who I would give a D/F if nominated from a blue state.

    5. James Simmons- C

    6. Julian Neals- C-

    7. Fred Slaughter- D+

    8. Greg Williams- D+

    9. Jerry Blackwell- D

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    • It’s a great idea and really the only reason why I should even consider voting Democrat for the House. It also has no chance due in large part to the shitty older leadership.
      So I would rather use the 2022 election to clean out the House leadership and let a new generation take over. Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn all should leave the House in early 2023 once the GOP takes over the House.

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      • Why is it a great idea? It only works to weaponize the Supreme Court even more than today and Republicans would simply install dozens of Federalist Society members upon regaining the Presidency and Senate. While I agree reforming the court is certainly needed, many of the ‘solutions’ proposed by the ACS, Demand Justice and other ‘progressive’ legal groups are plain garbage.

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      • I disagree with Shawn a lot but he’s right here – @Frank is your solution just to accept a 6-3 majority now into the foreseeable future? SCOTUS has already been weaponized, and the Republicans are winning right now because Democrats don’t fight back.

        I’d prefer Buttigieg’s proposal where Democrats and Republicans nominate equal numbers of justices and then the justices themselves decide the last few seats among themselves with a focus on picking non-ideological judges. It would actually restore a semblance of “neutrality” to a Supreme Court that has become nothing but an arm of the Republican party at this point. But since the Republicans control SCOTUS right now, they’re not going to willing to consider negotiating to reduce its politicization until they have something to lose.

        Besides, the lesson from Roosevelt’s court-packing that people forget is that it got the court to moderate its anti-labor bias – had Democrats seriously been talking about adding seats to the court, the Republican hacks on it now would have felt at least felt some pressure to moderate themselves, whereas right now they feel like they can do what they want with impunity.

        Folks act like continually adding seats to the court is some nightmare or the end of democracy, but the actual end of democracy is when we allow this 6-3 Republican Court to strip the rights of anyone who isn’t a Republican voter.

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      • I think Democrats need to focus on the reason they want to add seats is because we use to have 9 circuits, therefore we had 9 justices. We added 4 circuits plus hundreds of millions of people since the 1870’s when the courts composition last changed, yet no additional justices.

        Of course it will still be seen as political, but at least give a reasonable reason to adding the seats. Or take my suggestion & just focus on impeaching justice Thomas when you get enough of a majority. Either adding seats or impeachment will require an increase in the majority.

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      • Hank, I think that the issue with most of the Democratic proposals, such as the one by Buttigieg, is that it places everything based on political parties of today and not about getting the court to decide based on the facts of the case, which the current ideological hacks don’t do. What happens if or when a new party emerges (while I doubt it happens anytime soon, it will at some point I think)? A great start towards legitimizing the court would be to require a 60 vote requirement in the Senate for all future SCOTUS appointments, as to nearly always have nominees with bipartisan support. Sure, you’d have the current hacks around until they retired or died, but after that you’d have a court dedicated to deciding cases based on facts and not ideology.

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      • @Frank

        I’ve heard that & similar arguments made about court reform. The problem with it is no matter what laws you pass, even your well thought out law, politics will still be a factor.

        Let’s take your proposal for example & make it law tomorrow. Now let’s say the Republicans win control of the senate in the midterms. On January 3, 2023 Mitch McConnell becomes the majority leader. Now let’s say on January 4th & 5th (God forbid) justices Thomas & Barrett leave the court for whatever unexpected health reason or accident.

        Now let’s say Biden names J. Childs & Steven Lochner as his new justices. Childs should be confirmed tonight with overwhelming bi-partisan support & Lochner was confirmed last week by voice vote.

        Do you actually think chairman Graham would give his home state judge or the home state judge of the most senior senator in the SJC (Senator Leahy would he retired by this time next year) a hearing. If So, do you think leader McConnell would bring them up for a vote on the floor? I would argue no… Actually I would argue HELL NO.

        But let’s say even that miracle happened & they were given a floor vote. Do you think you could get 11 Republicans (If the senate majority was a bare minimum 51-49) to confirm either of them? I still say no. That’s because no matter what law you pass, there’s always gonna be politics involved.

        Believe me, I am not saying I have all the answers. I’m just saying I think the Democrats are gonna have to get a little dirty to have any chance at regaining the judiciary. The Republicans have no problem breaking precedent or changing the rules.

        In 1968 Republicans blocked justice Fortas from becoming Chief Justice, leaving the seat for Nixon to fill & he did a thymus of what Justice Thomas has done. I won’t rehash everything we know they have done over the past couple of decades. I’m not saying court packing is the answer, but I do believe Democrats need to do something big, something bold & yes maybe even something unprecedented in this time in history.

        Like

  9. Well were taking some baby steps, Wang & Maldanaod will definitely be confirmed Tues, and Childs as well..

    But damn, can Schumer please work thru the Circuit nominees, other than Childs before the recess..

    Like

  10. Josh Kraushaar is a well known right-leaning reporter with ties to establishment conservatives. He’s saying openly what is becoming more and more clear to most political observers.

    “Top Republicans, once confident about winning control of the Senate in the midterms, fear they’ll blow it after nominating several deeply flawed candidates in winnable states, according to conversations with GOP strategists, pollsters and other officials.

    Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been sounding this alarm for months: electing fringe candidates with checkered pasts could squander a golden chance to reclaim power. Now, McConnell is left hoping for a red wave so wide and powerful that candidate quality is irrelevant.”

    https://www.axios.com/2022/07/15/senate-republican-candidates-herschel-oz-masters

    I agree with Kraushaar on Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, as the Democrats have excellent candidates and the GOP disastrously flawed ones. I also agree with his general thesis on Ohio, however, the state is so red that Vance has to be considered a favorite, although I see a clear path for Tim Ryan (who may run 10% ahead of the baseline there and still lose).
    However, I strongly disagree with him on Missouri. Eric Greitens is an extremely flawed candidate, almost at the level of Roy Moore. But the state is gotten so red and the Democrats do not have a strong candidate there.

    This article doesn’t discuss Wisconsin and North Carolina, where the GOP also has flawed candidates. Right now I still think the GOP is favored in both states. Beasley has a shot in NC, but is an underdog to Ted Budd. The Democratic candidate in Wisconsin has not yet been selected, but I don’t see an above candidate in the field. My fear is that Ron Johnson, although flawed, is a credible incumbent and would defeat an average or worse Democratic candidate.

    My current forecast is 50-51 Democrats in 2023, with Pennsylvania flipping to the Dems and Nevada possibly flipping to the GOP.

    I will end by saying that it is very possible that we get a massive red wave such that even awful GOP nominees still win. Given Joe Biden’s horrible approval rating, that cannot be ruled out. But I’m less and less convinced that it is a likely scenario.

    Like

    • 2022 looks little like 2018 in reverse…..In 2018, Democrats won 41 House seats and 7 governorships, but lost -2 senate seats….

      I just think the Hobbs abortion ruling is so monumental that it will make a difference in state wide races……A right is being taken away that’s been around 50 years, this is not a run of the mill bad SCOTUS decision that will be forgotten about 2 weeks after the opinion is released…..Throw in some awful GOP candiates, and I believe the Democrats can win 1-3 seats net….

      That abortion decision and more bad GOP governor candiates should help Whimter, Shapiro, Evers……Whitmer has had doulbe digit leads in recent polls, well, it also helps that the 2 top GOP contenders in MI couldn’t even get on the ballot due to forged signatures….And Democrats should win back governor mansions in MA & MD to

      Like

    • I we can keep gas prices going down, avert the market crashing, keep Russia at bay in Ukraine, avoid any major disaster (Ex: terrorist attack) while Republicans keep over reaching on abortion & their bad candidates keep making dumb comments, I do agree Democrats have a good chance at 50-51 seats.

      I still think the GOP voter suppression, Dems losing Hispanic voters & inflation (Which will not be solved by November) could lead to a red wave. I’m just hoping gas prices keep lowering more then anything else. Too many people care about that more then the things most of us care about sadly.

      Like

  11. Re: Rand Paul/Chad Meredith
    Still think Biden is to be praised for tanking this “deal?” Paul more or less confirmed what McConnell said last week, which some here think was a lie. WH press secretary Jean-Pierre also confirmed Paul’s opposition.

    Like

    • @Gavi agreed – Biden should be getting 0 praise for anything related to Meredith. The idea that he can do McConnell a personal favor and get something in return is delusional – when has McConnell ever done the Dems any personal favors?

      The White House went out of its way to say it was because of Rand Paul, and there’s no logical reason to be bending over backward to make excuses for one of its worst decisions yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the real question is why Rand Paul refused to accept the deal? He said he thought Meredith would be a good judge.

        There’s more to Paul’s opposition than he wasn’t informed, Why would McConnell hide an agreement on a person they both approved of?

        I can only conclude that McConnell had made an offer that wasn’t on paper. It’s like throwing a rock and hiding your hands, There had to be something in return for Biden.

        Like

    • @Hank
      That’s what gets me. The White House doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s an awful deal. Shameful

      @Kevin:
      The answer to your question is literally in the previous NYT article shared last week, pasted and clipped for conciseness here:


      Mr. McConnell […] doubted Mr. Biden would have given Mr. Paul the same consideration regardless.

      “The president would not have been taking a recommendation from Rand Paul, I can assure you,” said Mr. McConnell, who noted his longstanding personal relationship with Mr. Biden.

      Very happy that this sad saga is almost behind us. Now, more circuit court nominations, please. And confirm Dale Ho and Mattis!

      Like

  12. @Dequan, while I think he’d be more likely to be picked for a district court seat, one black man who could get consideration for the Massachusetts 1st Circuit seat is Wilmer Hale Partner Kevin Prussia (1979). While he is with a big law firm, he was President of the ACLU of Massachusetts from 2015-19 (and remains on the board). It also says he has a “deep civil rights pro bono practice”.

    Like

    • I actually think if the Dems hold the senate, the Federal Circuit would have 2 or more vacancies over the next 2 years. But I would much rather people like Kevin S. Prussia & Manuel Andrew Crespo be nominated to vacancies on the 1st (MA) or one of the 2 district court vacancies in Massachusetts. The problem is they can’t seem capable to put anybody under 55 in these seats. I expect additional district court vacancies over the next two years from Massachusetts as well so I hope they figure out how to start doing so.

      Like

      • Cool then when the 55 year olds die and can’t walk before I reach age 50, then Republicans can replace them with thirty something’s who will be there for life. Great summary of why Democrats are unable to think long term to save their life while Republicans make a living doing it and stacking the courts because of it. Congrats Angie.

        At 55 I’ll be looking at the money I’ve been saving and investing in since high school to retire by time I’m 60.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Delco

        Correct. When a 55 year old judge dies then that willl happen. Since that almost never happens I will focus on the judges in their 8’s0 that die after a Democrat put them on the bench in their 60’s & then are replaced by a Republican like RBG unfortunately was.

        Like

      • vote blue no matter who! that is lie as #khive and Kevin know full well. They have called Fetterman a white supremacist since he beat Lamb in a landslide. Fetterman is one of the only candidates running in this entire country let alone among Democratic candidates who has supported the decriminalization of marijuana before it was remotely popular. Yet he still gets disgusting smears. They have dumped Barnes in WI because Sanders has the audacity to endorse him.

        But Kevin please tell people who have already voted for Democrats for years including me to just vote harder. That is offensive not to mention tone deaf. Tell women, who now have less rights than when their parents grew up, who have voted Democratic for ages to vote harder.

        Read the news and tell the woman who was forced to carry her dead fetus for two weeks to vote harder, tell the women who are being forced to have their ectopic pregnancies rupture to vote harder, tell the women who are being forced to bleed to near death for 10 hours to vote harder, tell the parents of the 10 year old rape victim who had to cross state lines to vote harder. Shame on you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @delco
        100%
        It’s one of the most offensive things (and I’m no crybaby snowflake) in our politics today. As if we have the government we have because we don’t vote and thus, deserve what we got. As if the electoral college, malapportionment, gerrymander, voter suppression and disenfranchisement laws, etc. have nothing to do with anything.
        That’s why I simply ignore some of the comments on here.

        Like

  13. As well they should be picking legal scholars who have wide amounts of experience and wisdom, agree 100% with Angie regarding this. I’m never in favor of nominating a 35 year old hack simply because other administrations did so. That being said, I’m also in favor of picking nominees from underrepresented backgrounds if they are the best candidate for a particular seat.

    Like

      • While I’m perfectly fine with Democrats nominating progressive 35 year old hacks, this administration hasn’t. All of their 35 year old nominees have stellar credentials so we get the best of both worlds.

        Brad Garcia has only lost one case out of his 20 plus including appearing before the US Supreme Court. He was partner for a prestigious law firm & worked in the justice department.

        Tiffany Cartwright & Jamal Whitehead are two of Washington state’s foremost civil rights attorneys. Lauren King had a deep history in Indian rights as well.

        So even though I wish the administration would just tan through some more liberal nominees in their 30’s to make up for Trump doing so, the ones they have are highly qualified.

        Like

    • I just noticed that too. Leahy is the only Democrat out. Both Alabama senators are out so it makes me think they are truly out of town. It’s highly unlikely they both would miss a vote because they were in the bathroom or something like that.

      These are the opportunities that Schumer needs to take advantage of. It’s Tuesday so you can’t say they need to leave at 3pm like Thursday’s. He really needs to get to work today & tomorrow while Dems have a temporary majority even with Leahy out.

      Like

      • So question for the non lawyer, non never stepped foot inside of a law school before… How exactly does cloture work? Can the leader announce he’s invoking cloture & there can be an immediate vote for the circuit court nominee or does announcing you are going to vote for cloture still require you have to wait a certain time for the cloture vote?

        I know once cloture is invoked you have to wait 30 hours (I’m still confused as to if Democrats say they don’t want any of their time why it can’t be reduced to 15 hours), but what about the time between announcing s cloture vote & the actual vote?

        Like

  14. Nancy Maldonado confirmed 53-45, so only two votes missing. Whatever small window there was with several GOP senators absent has closed.
    Will now be interesting to see how they juggle judicial votes with this Chips bill they’re trying to process now.

    Like

  15. @ Dequan I am not a lawyer either but I believe there has to be 48 hours from when they file to when they have the first vote. So for example Schumer couldn’t file for Mathis and then turn around and hold a cloture vote, he would have to wait until Thursday afternoon.

    I am not sure on the 30 hours of debate either, but I remember a few times where they’ve shortened it.

    Like

    • @Joe

      Ok great, thanks for the info. Now with that info, I wonder why every Thursday they just don’t file for cloture for a half dozen or so nominees. It doesn’t take any time just to file for cloture. If we have to wait 48 hours, at least use the weekend (And Friday since they can’t seem to work that day either) to kill the 48 hours. Schumer needs to start being more strategic with this time.

      And if it’s possible for Democrats to give up 15 of the 30 hours for circuit court nominees they need to start doing it. Whatever they say during those 15 hours aren’t gonna change any votes any way so just start reducing the time it takes to confirm them.

      Like

      • I agree with you. I don’t fully understand their strategy, but I assume there must be one. Some Thursdays they file for a huge batch, on other Thursdays they only file for enough to set up votes for Monday/Tuesday. Lately they’ve been doing the latter, but we’ll see if Schumer sets up any more for Thursday since everyone but Leahy is here.

        I know Schumer and Durbin are committed to confirming judges and have made it a priority but there are only 15 weeks left in the year and that’s counting this week and a few other short ones. With 15 nominees left (not counting Childs or any additional nominees) we are quickly running out of time. It’s going to be an interesting finish to the year.

        Like

  16. Ok good news for those of you that use Wikipedia. I have spoken with the administrators & have cleared how to post the pictures for the federal judges. I just uploaded Arianna Freeman & they approved it. So I have to go back through each picture & do what they said so that each are approved. That will take me the rest of the week but at least I know what needs to be done & we will have the pics up by the end of the week.

    Like

  17. Childs got confirmed today with substantial Republican support (64 total yea votes!) considering the current era. Hopefully some of the more uncontroversial circuit court picks like Lee and Mendoza will get confirmed soon.

    Like

  18. I am very happy for Judge Childs.

    I know she has her detractors here, with some good reasons, but I believe many will be pleasantly surprised by how great of a judge she ends up being for the DC Circuit

    Like

  19. @Dequan
    Re Cloture
    As rayspace said, 30 hours of postcloture debate isn’t divided between parties, so there is no given up any. And the number isn’t 48 hours like what was suggested. It’s 30 hours for cabinet, SCOTUS, and CA, and 2 hours for all other nominees. This wasn’t changed in 2021. This change was introduced and passed as an operating resolution when the new Congress convened in 2019, and the precedent continues in this congress.
    Also, it’s not like the senate is sitting and waiting for the 30 hours to run out. They can do other business, providing that any senator who seeks recognition to speak on the clotured matter, gets at most 1 hour to speak on the issue.

    On Childs
    Thank goodness that’s out of the way. That’s probably over 50+ hours total (SJC, floor, etc.) that we can’t get back. Now let’s get to Ho, Mattis, Bloomekatz, and all the vibrant future judicial scholars who can engage with the law with singular vigor.
    I think some on here probably take it as a personal slight when some of us talk about our preference for younger judges. I can only speak for myself when I say that you shouldn’t take it as an attack on you, if you are closer in age to those nominees. I make a distinction between the need for young and vigorous judges and a society at large that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age. Age is important in the federal judiciary because Republicans made it important. And I am not one for unilateral disarmament. I was never part of my fellow generational cohort’s “OK, boomer” retort, but when was the last time a Democrat won the WH with 50+ year olds? There’s a time and place for everything. Let’s give lawyers who are still worried about paying off their student loans a chance.

    Like

      • @Frank

        Some of Biden’s nominees include three district court judges from Ohio approved by senator Portman. They still had to go through a cloture then floor vote. But I’m actually fine with very few voice votes if it means we get more Dale Ho type nominees. As long as Schumer gets them confirmed it’s worth the extra time it takes.

        Like

      • @Frank

        Haaaaaa… Well I can’t argue with you there. I have little to no hope on those two remaining vacancies in New Jersey being any better then the Ohio nominees that had to get a Portman to turn in his blue slips. Not much more hope for the remaining California ones either.

        Like

      • @Frank

        We have 9 circuit court vacancies with no nominee. I think the first question is how many of those 9 will we even get a nominee for before the midterms. My guess is not all 9.

        The second question is what kind of nominees will we get. I think your correct, the majority of the remaining nominees we get will probably be sitting state court judges. We may see another magistrate judge, a law professor or two (2nd circuit vacancies is almost certainly going to be a law professor), maybe a district court judge & possibly a US attorney.

        Like

      • For CA, I think all of the district court seats which have had vacancies dating back to earlier this year will get filled (which should mean all but 2 get filled). While I’m not a big fan of law professors getting appeals court seats in general, I hope Rodriguez gets the 2nd circuit court nomination.

        Like

  20. There will soon be a vote on Gregory Williams of Delaware. He’ll be confirmed and might win a comfortable margin, he doesn’t seem to be controversial. Will Schumer schedule a vote on Jennifer Rearden? I know that people here aren’t thrilled at all by the corporate lawyer, but she’d be an easy win.

    There are some Circuit Judges awaiting a vote. John Lee of Illinois seems to have drawn less opposition than the other nominees. Again, people here are lukewarm about him, but he’d be another guaranteed confirmation.

    Biden is doing well with judicial confirmations. Not since Jack Kennedy has a Democratic President gotten this many nominees confirmed in such a short time. In fact, Biden is running slightly ahead of Trump at this point of his Presidency.

    Like

    • Biden is doing good but the Democrats bed to be exceptionally great to have any chance of catching what Trump did in 4 years, & that’s not taking the 3 SOCTUS justices into account. Also Biden is doing better then Trump overall but when it comes to circuit court judges he is behind by six. They need to start filing for cloture today on some circuit court nominees so they can vote for cloture tomorrow since both can’t happen in the same day, then be confirmed on Monday.

      The nominees you mentioned should be able to get confirmed relatively easy it but Trump’s 24 voice votes compared to just ONE for Biden sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s just another reason Dems need to break norms such as cancel at least one if not two weeks of the August recess & Durbin either needs to start having more then 5 nominees per hearing or have back to back weeks of hearings & maybe 1 during the recess as well.

      Like

      • Get well soon senator Leahy. Schumer will need to be strategic & vote on the nominees that should be able to get Collins and either or both of Murkowski & Grahams vote until Leahy is back which probably will be in September after the August recess.

        Meanwhile the other two wheels on the spike need to be running at full throttle. Hopefully today the SJC site will post a nominations hearing next week. Also it would be nice to see some more circuit court nominees from Biden either today or next week.

        Like

  21. Interesting, hope Durbin can talk other senators into staying in longer

    Like

    • There’s too much ambiguity in that statement. He needs to say leader Schumer & I have decided to cancel the recess & explain how much work needs to get done for the American people. Schedule recess weeks as if it was a normal week. All Republicans will not be present. Barely half will probably be there. They can ram through every judge no questions.

      Plus hold some hard votes on all the other important issues that even though they won’t get 60 votes, at least will show the American people they are fighting for them while the other party obstructs. I can assure you them spending 4 weeks on beaches & trips overseas won’t inspire non political people like most of us on this site to get up & vote in a midterm year.

      For God’s sake this shouldn’t be that hard if a decision. They have their 3 day work weeks & now their chickens have come home to roost 3 & a half months before the midterms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d bet 48 Democratic senators would gladly stay later in August, but if the vote is 48-2 and the 2 Democratic senators opposing are Manchin and Sinema, then the 2 wins…

        But even if Manchin and Sinema went home, many Republicans would likely leave DC anyway…..

        I think the big issue is, what quorum is needed to conduct a nominations hearing…..Back in 2018, Republicans held that nominations hearing in late Aug (think it was the 22nd) but since they had a majority (54-46) they could have hearing with no Democrats present…….

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know you need a quorum for a vote in the SJC but do you need one for a hearing? Even if you did, Manchin & Sinema are not on the SJC so they shouldn’t stop them from holding additional hearings.

        As for the floor votes, I thought at least one Republican has to be present or the Democrats could just cal for a voice vote & no Republican would be there to object. So if one Democrat is missing wouldn’t they still have a quorum or even better if no Republican was present just confirm everybody with a voice vote? Or am I missing a rule that prevents any of that?

        Like

    • I have been wondering if this is the route they’d go for a while Montgomery Reeves and Chung were all curiously sent to the senate 28 days before a potential hearing date that first Wednesday of the recess. Could be a coincidence, but if not it works out perfectly to push through two more nominees before the end of the year.

      Like

      • Cindy Chung has the support of Pat Toomey. I don’t think she’s ever made any campaign contributions or been involved in any campaigns. I think she’ll win confirmation by a comfortable margin..

        I’m unable to find any campaign contribution by Tamika Montgomery Reeves, either. She’s a corporate lawyer, but also did pro bono work for prisoners.

        Like

    • She must be coming down to a close vote and with Leahy out and the MA senators on a field trip with Biden today, they couldn’t get her done..

      Not sure why that means it has to be rescinded though. Maybe cloture motions expire if they can’t be acted on in a certain time?

      Williams has been confirmed, and now an ambassador. Will be watching cspan to see what gets scheduled next.

      Like

      • I’m happy the pulled Merle. They need to start confirming the nominees in order of age to maximize how many Democrat appointees will be chief judge decades from now. Nursat was nominated the same day as Merle & both were voted favorably to the floor.

        Putting Merle first means Nursat will never be chief judge of the district. If they can confirm Nursat first or at least close to the same time, if Biden signs their commissions on the same day we can later maybe get Nursat to be chief judge. Since Merle is 13 years younger she certainly would still be young enough to also be chief judge.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. The Senate has had 264 votes as of right now, exactly 1/2 of 528, which is the number of votes they had in 2021. Since it’s day #201 out of 365 (approximately 55% through 2022), this means that compared to last year, the Senate is behind schedule this year.

    Like

    • Yes yes yes. You see, this is why I say it’s imperative to call out Democrats when they are falling short. I guarantee this doesn’t happen without pressure from Demand Justice & other progressive groups. This should have been done but better late then never. Hopefully the increase starts next at next weeks hearing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think it makes sense to get rid of blue slips in a 50/50 senate. The Republicans can respond by forcing a tie then discharge vote on every nominee out of spite. If the Democrats somehow can pick up an extra seat in the midterms, I would start keeping blue slips. Let Cruz, Hawley, Lee, Johnson (Hopefully he won’t be around next term) & others start abusing it as they inevitably will then get rid of blue slips then.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Sen Tina Smith has COVID..

    Like

  24. Bummer. She will likely miss most of all of next week as well.

    We just can’t seem to get everyone on the same page. Schumer definitely needs to cancel that first week of recess just so we can catch up

    Like

  25. The senate adjourned until Mon, no cloture motions filed on any nominees

    I guess it’s wishful thinking to have all the circuit court nominees confirmed before the recess……And Andre Mathis & Dale Ho continue to collect dust as they await confirmation, or not ?

    Like

    • Can anybody answer once a cloture has been filed if there is an expiration time for it? If not, why not just file a motion for cloture for every judicial nominee once all 50 Dems are in town? There has to be either an expiration or a maximum amount of cloture motions you can have pending at once.

      I just can’t imagine me, somebody that has never stepped foot inside a law school can think of doing that but the majority leader of the US senate can’t. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that one of those two reasons are preventing him from doing it.

      Like

      • I think Schumer should push harder for the few nominees that will gain some GOP support to have as voice votes…..Being able to knock off a few nominees will voice votes will save some precious time…..In the last admin, there were plenty of voice votes for District Court nominees, including some that would be deemed as more Democratic choices, ie: John Younge (EDPA)

        See, here is the difference between McConnell and Schumer….McConnell says “we are going to confirm nominees, whether it’s roll call votes, voice votes, and we will stay weekends and I’ll cancel recess(es)…..On the other hand Schumer is more like “Ok, if you (meaning GOP senators) don’t want to confirm judges, then that’s ok by me, we can confirm them at a time convenient to you”….If Schumer would just add a Friday or two, and have multiple votes on a Monday, simple steps could speed up the confirmation process AND they can still have the weekends off….

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Rick

        Your 1000% right. I just wrote the other day the number of voice votes (I think it was 16) by this time in Trump’s term versus ONE so far for Biden. Just the threat of working on Fridays, weekends or cancelling recess would probably produce voice votes.

        Like

      • Umm they filed some large number of cloture motions on December 17, 2021 (a Friday), though the # of hours was waived by unanimous consent bcuz everyone wanted to go home for the holidays. Also, on that day, the confirmation vote came immediately after the cloture vote, for all nominees except for the 2 9th circuit ones who were held over until January.

        Like

      • I remember that. My fear is there won’t be another unanimous consent as we get closer to the midterms. Especially if there’s no threat of working through the recess. And even on that day in December, no circuit court nominees were in the agreement. So if Leahy will return by next Thursday like Durbin hinted at this morning, Schumer needs to get some urgency in him.

        Like

    • I believe before the actual cloture vote on the bill, Schumer can put a motion for cloture on nominees. But once cloture is voted on for the bill, I don’t believe no other votes can take place during the hours that it takes for bills. I’m not sure how many hours that is. I know SCOTUS & circuit court nominees take 30 hours & district court nominees 2 hours after cloture votes. I’m not sure about how many hours for bills though.

      Like

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