Cindy Chung – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Cindy Chung currently serves as the chief federal prosecutor in Western Pennsylvania, and has now been tapped to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Background

Cindy Kyounga Chung was born in 1975 in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended Yale University, getting a B.A. in 1997. She spent two years as a Fellow at the Yale-China Association and then got a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2002.

After law school, Chung clerked for Judge Myron Thompson on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and then joined the New York District Attorney’s Office. In 2009, Chung moved to the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as a trial attorney. In 2014, Chung became a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Chung was nominated in October 2021 to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She was confirmed by voice vote on November 19, 2021 and has served since then.

History of the Seat

Chung has been nominated to Judge D. Brook Smith’s seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Smith, a Republican, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and to the Third Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2002.

Legal Experience

Other than her clerkship, Chung has spent her entire legal career as a state and federal prosecutor. She started with the New York District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted rapper Foxy Brown for violating probation after assaulting two manicurists. Judge Wants More Info on Foxy Brown’s Ear Woes Before Deciding Whether to Let Her Out of Jail, A.P., Jan. 18, 2008. She also sought the dismissal of charges against a bicyclist who was charged with assaulting a police officer, after videotapes on Youtube showed little support for the assault. See Barbara Ross, Bicyclist in Cop-Shove Vid Pedals Away a Free Man, New York Daily News, Sept. 6, 2008.

In 2009, Chung became a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she litigated civil rights cases around the country. In one case, Chung prosecuted police officers involved in the cover-up after the Danziger Bridge shootings in New Orleans. See Michael Kunzelman, Ex-Cop Says He Helped Cover Up Katrina Shootings, A.P., July 11, 2011. In another notable case, Chung prosecuted a Pennsylvania police officer for tasering an inmate while he was banging his head against the cell door. See Rich Lord, Millvale Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty: Says Plaintiff Was on ‘Substance’, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 25, 2014. This prosecution went to trial, which resulted in the officer being convicted of civil rights violations. See Brian Bowling, Jurors Convict Officer of Civil Rights Violation, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Nov. 20, 2014.

In 2014, Chung began serving as a federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, where, among other cases, she brought to the judge’s attention that the defendant’s counsel was sleeping through large portions of the trial, leading to a mistrial. See Joe Mandak, Man Gets New Trial for Mortgage Fraud Because of Sleeping Lawyer, A.P., May 2, 2017. She also prosecuted felon in possession cases. See Adam Brandolph, Jury Weighs Gun Charges Against Baldwin Felon, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, May 21, 2015.

Additionally, Chung prosecuted Ryan Kyle under the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act based on his assault of a black man at a Pittsburgh subway station. See Torsten Ove, Defendant to Serve Concurrent Prison Time for Federal Hate Crime, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 24, 2017. She similarly prosecuted Jeffrey Burgess for beating up an Indian man at a Red Robin. See Torsten Ove, Bethel Park Man Guilty in Hate Crime Beating of Indian Man, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov. 29, 2017. The two prosecutions were the first two ever to be brought in the Western District under the Shepard-Byrd Act. See id.

In 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Chung to be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. After she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Chung took charge of the federal prosecutions in Western Pennsylvania. While U.S. Attorney, Chung’s office indicted Zachary Dinell and Tyler Smith under the Shepard-Byrd Act for abusing residents of a special needs facility. See Torsten Ove, Pair Indicted on Hate Crime Charges; Prosecutors: Former Caretakers Beat Patients, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mar. 26, 2022.

Overall Assessment

Unlike Biden’s other Pennsylvania nominee to the Third Circuit, Chung has the support of both her home-state senators for elevation. That, combined with her painless and swift confirmation to her current post, makes it fairly likely that Chung will join the Third Circuit by the end of the Congress.

73 Comments

  1. I had thought that Judge Cathy Bissoon would get nominated, with Cindy Chung being nominated to succeed her on District Court. Dequan is probably right in why so few Federal District Judges have been passed over.

    In spite of the historic nature of Chung’s nomination, she is a pretty traditional nominee in most ways. The calendar is more of an obstacle for her than Republicans are.

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    • @Mitch

      It looks like in purple & red states, the administration is favoring nominees that can get the home state senators to return their blue slips. Even though it’s not required, they look like they are trying to avoid needing to discharge future nominees while the senate is 50/50.

      That wouldn’t be my particular strategy because I’d rather spend an extra 4 hours to get another Arianna Freeman over a Cindy Chung but just saying that’s what I see happening.

      5 of the last 6 circuit court nominees in a state with at least one Republican senator either had them turn in their blue slips or a GOP senators has said nice things about the nominee & are still evaluating.

      Also take a look at the article I just sent. I think Andrew Crespo’s comments pretty much confirm he isn’t being considered for a federal judgeship. I don’t believe he would be that open if he was being vetted

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  2. MALDEF isn’t happy about Jabari Wamble’s nomination to the 10th Circuit over a Latino. This release is a bit disingenuous, since it didn’t identify Wamble as a person of color… he’s just a “non-Latino.”
    On the other hand, this might prove to be the last nail in the coffin of Judge Hanks and any other non-Latino being nominated to Judge Costa’s seat on the 5th.

    You live by identity politics, you die by identity politics:
    https://www.maldef.org/2022/08/maldef-statement-on-the-biden-administrations-latest-judicial-nominations-stop-going-backwards-on-latino-representation/

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    • @Gavi

      Yup, I posted that article the other day on another post on this site. I believe out of the remaining 5 vacancies, at least 2 will be Hispanics. I think the 5th (TX) is a lock. I don’t think anybody outside of Angie on this site thought judge Hanks had any shot whatsoever at being the nominee before… Lol

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      • Oh you did? Sorry, I didn’t see it.
        The thing is I am not sure that Angie is alone. As Mitch says below, he could be a compromise nominee if Biden is foolish to let the seat go unfulfilled before January 2023. (Remember, I am always coming from a place of deep distrust of Biden’s urgency/capability.)

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      • @Mitch

        According to Dana Douglas questionnaire, her time line for her 5th (LA) nomination was first contact on March 8, 2022 & nominated in June 15, 2022. That’s 3 months & one week for the adjacent red state next to Texas. And senator Kennedy is on the SJC so that’s a similar situation. I’m not saying it’s going to take 3 months, but there’s a very good chance we can see a nominee not only this year, but even before the midterms of a timeline anywhere NEAR Douglas is followed.

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      • @Dequan

        You make a good point, but James Dennis announced in May of 2021 that he would take Senior Status. The announcement of Dane Douglas was over a year later.

        I’m speculating here, but I think that The White House and Louisiana’s Senators reached an impasse. And most Democrats didn’t want to alienate the state’s Senators because they are known for working across party lines.

        So Dana Douglas emerged as a compromise candidate and both sides were eager to end the impasse. My personal opinion is that Cedric Richmond recommended her, as they already knew each other.

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    • I hope that Biden’s team doesn’t choose to bend over at the knee for this guy, who I’ve never heard of outside of this site. Not sure why people think that what he is saying will carry any more weight for particular candidates for the remaining appeals court vacancies than what has already been seen.

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      • Biden’s team will “bend the knee” to Saenz (like they already did with the selection of Brad Garcia). While shitty Democratic establishment leaders regularly backstab their progressive base, they generally do pay attention to civil rights groups who represent people of color.

        Substantial GOP improvement among Hispanic voters is the main thing propping up their chances in 2022 and possibly 2024. I predict that the Democrats will do as well or better among white voters, especially women, as they did in 2020.

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  3. Let me say it again, George Hanks would be totally unacceptable even with a GOP Senate. It would be a grade of F even in that circumstance. I would FAR prefer leaving the seat open rather than to appoint a totally unacceptable person like George Hanks. The people who want Hanks can go grovel at Trump’s feet and convince him to appoint him.

    Furthermore this seat has to go to a Hispanic. Even if that person isn’t confirmed. In the unlikely case of a GOP Senate, one option might be Judge Diana Saldana, who was pushed by Cornyn.

    In all seriousness, Ted Cruz is not going to turn in a blue slip for anyone who is not from the Fed Society in a GOP Senate. Not even in an election year. We saw what he did in 2013, reneging on a deal with the Obama admin to fill three 5th Circuit vacancies (and only allowing Gregg Costa through). Unless Grassley and McConnell is willing to override Cruz for a nominee that Biden and Cornyn agree to, this seat doesn’t get filled.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It just pisses me off so much how unserious biden and the democrats are, who cares about ted cruz opinion about the 5th circuit, give him the same treatment trump afforded to cory booker and menendez when he was putting his right wing hack on the 3rd circuit. Biden values congeniality and bipartisanship over tangible gains in the judiciary, that’s the crux of the issue. Its simply political cowardice, nothing stops him from filling those seats before the end of the year/congress. When i read hacks like van dykes opinions, it pisses me off even more, this were the type of despicable people mcconell put on the bench without care or regard to what dems thought. shameful stuff. its all down to cowardice and afraid of the GOP

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s an interesting fact I just looked up. In the entire history of the country, 9 out of the 23 longest serving federal judges of all time has either left the bench or has announced they are leaving the bench since 2017.

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    • As I said before, I actually expect the Democrats to possibly do as well or better among white voters than they did in 2020. I expect them to do roughly the same as 2020 among Black voters (maybe slightly worse). What is keeping the GOP alive is potentially a substantial improvement among Hispanic voters, to the point that some polls have the generic ballot among Hispanics roughly tied.

      I will be blunt. There are really two ways that the Democrats can lose the Senate in November. One is low youth turnout. The second is to drop 20+% from 2020 among Hispanic voters in crucial states like Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia.
      I don’t think either is likely, especially with the kind of shit candidates that the GOP has put up (in Arizona and Georgia), but if they do lose, this would be why. It is also likely that due to the shit candidates the GOP has put up, Kelly and Warnock may do improve a few points among white voters, especially women, to overcome a major drop in Hispanic support. But let’s not chance it.

      Getting a Texas Hispanic for the 5th Circuit nominated before the midterms is crucial. Having zero Hispanic representation of the 5th Circuit is really unacceptable. Whether that nominee can be confirmed before the end of the year is less important. Consider this nomination comparable to Julie Rikelman in that the purpose is base turnout. If they can get confirmed, great, but get one nominated ASAP.

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      • I agree Shawn. It is unlikely any circuit court nominee nominated from this point until the midterm will be confirmed. So if I were Biden, I would just nominate a young, Hispanics (Preferably Latina) progressive to the Texas seat. Their hearing will likely be a couple weeks before the midterms. Let Cruz, Hawley & Lee tear into her & plaster it on every television set from the Rio Grande to AT&T Stadium.

        I would be up front with the nominee. Let them know they will not be renominated if Republicans gain control after the midterms so don’t quit your day job so to speak until after the elections.

        Now there is one thing I would add to what Shawn said. I think some student debt relief would help with young voters. I personally am not for doing it but Biden did make it a campaign promise so he should cancel some & do it in late September or October.

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      • I think selecting someone with ties to the Rio Grande Valley would be best. People are very parochial down there, and someone from that area could provide a substantial boost.
        The most likely names that could be nominated right now are Amparo Guerra, Nadia Medrano, Marina Marmolejo (who Cruz reneged on). All of them are judges, so they won’t lose anything by accepting the appointment.

        Student debt relief should be done for sure. Personally, I would start by cancelling all interest payments (including interest already paid to be applied against the principal). As far as the debt due to the actual cost of college, I’m actually with Paul Begala, earn it. People who served their country in any way (including civilian service) or worked in a government or public interest career should get their debt cancelled. Others should be given an opportunity to get their debt cancelled through public service.

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      • On your second point Shawn, that is EXACTLY how I feel. I didn’t know Paul Begala said that but always felt (As somebody that paid off both of my college student loans myself) that I’m ok with cancelling debt for military or health care workers (Especially if they worked through the pandemic). They can also set up a minimum hours for volunteering for approved services & I would be ok with it in those cases as well.

        As for your first pint, Amparo Guerra would be great. I haven’t heard of Nadia Medrano so I’ll have to look her up. While I agree Marina Marmolejo would be good, I don’t think Biden should upgrade any district court judges from red or purple states, but particularly any in their 50’s like her. Not unless Democrats hold the senate & Durbin gets rid of blue slips completely but we have had that conversation on other threads so I won’t rehash my opinion on that.

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  6. @Dequan

    If Democrats hold the U.S. Senate this November, than I think that Amparo Guerra is the front-runner to succeed Gregg Costa. In fact, I think Texas Democrats would be urgent in promoting her, even over those more progressive than her.

    The Texas Court of Appeals is an elective post. Guerra won by 4,538 votes out of 2.3 million cast.

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    • Good info Mitch. I’m not too keen on how each states get their state court judges (Other then their supreme courts) so I was curious how it worked in Texas. So pretty much as long as governor Abbott doesn’t get to appoint the replacement or Ted Cruz & John Coryn can’t block a replacement by not turning in their blue slips, then I’m game for them being the nominee.

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    • Yes, but that district (Houston area) is becoming more blue in a hurry. Even 10 years ago, a Democrat had no chance in hell of winning in that district. Every single judge elected there was a Republican before 2018.
      In 2018, a truckload of GOP judges (including several who have since been elected/appointed to the state SC) were defeated.
      The 5th District of the Texas Court of Appeals (DFW area) is even more dramatically changing. There were several GOP judges who were unopposed in 2012/14 who were thrown out in 2018 and 2020.

      My guess is that Amparo Guerra would be certainly be reelected in an average or better year for the Democrats.

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  7. On another note, does anyone have requests for particular districts/ circuits that you would like me to add more potential judges too? (@Dequan, you’ve said you check my list more than myself lol, I don’t even check it every day). Any areas that are lacking potential names?

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    • Ethan, I love your work and you have a fantastic set of names. I especially like your effort in finding good candidates who work in the government because that is one place I have had little luck.

      Here are some regions that we could use additional names. In addition, I would suggest looking for more Hispanic candidates.

      Delaware
      W PA
      West Virginia
      W NC- Charlotte area
      San Antonio area, TX
      DFW area TX
      Cleveland area OH
      Eastern WI
      Arkansas
      Nebraska
      W MO
      Orlando area, FL

      I also have a few names for you to consider that I will list later today.

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    • It’s not true. There are a lot of junk polls out there and this is why I don’t really trust polls. I really don’t trust the sentiment that Ryan is ahead in Ohio and Demings in Florida. I think Ryan has a path to victory given that he is a strong candidate and his opponent JD Vance is a loon. But Ryan is an underdog and if he somehow wins it will be barely. I just don’t see a path for Demings this year against a Hispanic Republican.

      That said, Florida is a pro-choice state. I could easily see a right to choose ballot referendum get the 60% it needs in 2024. As such I wouldn’t be surprised to see Demings lose by 2-4% instead of 8-10% though. But Rubio will clean up among the South Florida Hispanic vote, and without getting 2018 numbers in South Florida, there is no path to victory for Demings. That said, it is still worth a shot to spend money there, you never know, Rubio could have another moment like the robot debate and weaken himself badly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope the poll is true but I’m a little skeptical of just 2,750 eligible voters getting polled over six states. That’s a real small sample size for that many different states. I’m just not a big fan of polls period these days but I certainly hope this one got it right

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      • So 2750 voters is a large number for a poll. You can get a good poll result with far less, so the sample size is quite good here.

        The much bigger problem is whether this poll is actually representative of the Latino voter electorate. I would be worried about two things here, one is whether college educated voters are overrepresented (which tends to often be the case in some of these polls) and whether Spanish speaking Latinos are underrepresented.

        Even if you properly weight the sample to ensure the correct percentage of Trump voters, the kind of Trump and Biden voters in the sample matters. College educated Trump voters are more likely to switch to Democrats than those who are not. Non college Biden voters are probably more likely to vote GOP than college educated Biden voters.

        Polls that do not properly weight for education are not good. However in midterms, college educated voters are more likely to show up, so overdoing it could result in a strongly GOP lean (like what you get out of Trafalgar and Rasmussen).

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      • So the way I am looking at it, 2,750 eligible voters would be a good amount for one state. My issue is spread over six states, I just don’t know if that’s nearly enough voters to get a good poll. Not unless like you mentioned, they took representation of those states demographics & educational backgrounds of the likely voters into the 2,750. My guess is they didn’t. But I agree with you on the premise of what you said yesterday, I hate most polls too… Lol

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    • David Hurd is a lowlife piece of shit. My suspicion is that his successor being Latino may be part of the reason why he rescinded his senior status.

      Personally I would have preferred Syracuse area labor lawyer and former Hurd clerk Brian LaClair for this seat, but I wouldn’t appoint him now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Shawn

        I concur with your suspicions too. My guess is if the nominees last name was Thompson or Smith instead of Rodriguez, judge Hurd would be well on his way to senior status.

        I was actually disappointed to see only Latino rights groups sign the joint letter. I think this would be a good opportunity for other non Hispanics groups (NAACP, LGBT, disable rights, etc) to sign on the letter too. Similar to my personal support for women’s right’s to choice, even though I will never be a woman or be pregnant, I think it’s just as, if not more important for me to stand up for their rights as it is a woman.

        Non Hispanic civil rights groups should stand side by side with Hispanic rights groups on this issue demanding judge Hurd to step down & if he refuses, for the House to introduce articles of impeachment. That would not only be more likely to work in getting Hurd off the bench (One way or another) but more importantly then this one seat, discourage future judges to try & pull similar crap like this.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a sucker for polls, I do think most of them are fairly reputable, there are a few hack pollsters out there (Traflagar, etc) but by and large they know what they’re doing.. .

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    • I was just about to post this. I’m just absolutely NOT a believer in polls, because so many of them are done poorly, even the best ones. I look at fundamentals and candidate quality more than polls. I thought the Democrats had a greater than 50% to hold the Senate last February when polls were telling us that a GOP majority in the Senate was certain, due to the quality of the kind of candidates that Trump was endorsing.

      That said, I think Barnes was the only one of the Democrats in Wisconsin who had a decent chance to beat Ron Johnson. I said before that I do not think an average Democratic candidate would beat Johnson. The rest of the Democratic candidates were all standard average candidates, and I don’t think that would have gotten it done in a year like this, even against a below average candidate like Ron Johnson. I think they would have lost by 1-2%.

      Barnes is charismatic and likable, which is most the battle. He is potentially the above average candidate the Democrats need to beat Johnson. However he is very progressive, and while he focuses on economic issues (which could be very helpful), he could also be saddled with the two worst parts of the progressive platform, “defund the police” and abolish ICE. If he sidestep or reject some of his previous comments on these issues, I think Barnes has a very good chance to become Wisconsin’s next senator. Barnes is high risk, high reward, but given that the other candidates were likely to lose, I’ll take it.

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      • Sen Baldwin is probably as progressive as Barnes..

        Then again, WI. elected Gov Walker twice, plus he survived a recall…..And the WI Supreme Court has a couple far right kooks, most notably Rebecca Bradley….So Wisconsin is one state that has elected far left and far right people in various elections

        Also Ron Johnson is a FAR different person than he was in 2010…..He is a hard core election denying Trumper

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      • @Rick

        If Barnes was only as progressive as Tammy Baldwin, it wouldn’t be a problem at all. I suspect he’s about as progressive as AOC, frankly. But that doesn’t matter as much if he can sell his vision and avoid the GOP traps and make Johnson the primary focus of the campaign.
        That means from now until the election is to not say anything far left on social/cultural issues. The two issues that really hurt progressives as policing and immigration.
        Express a balanced view on policing and immigration, similar to the party mainstream and fight back hard when Johnson and his thugs twist his words. As long as Barnes is seen like Baldwin, progressive but not too far left, he’s got a good chance.

        Wisconsin has a long history of electing people who are both hard left and hard right. That’s one reason why I think Barnes can (and probably will) win in November, the other is his charisma. This will come down to whether likability of ideology matters more, and it doesn’t hurt Barnes that Johnson is just as far right.

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  9. Ok here’s my first batch of candidates.

    Tieffa Harper (Black, public defender, DE) 1976
    Matthew Meyer (politician, DE)
    Amanda Green Hawkins (Black, labor lawyer, W PA)- 1972
    Nick Smyth (deputy state AG, W PA) 1983
    Christine Elzer (plaintiffs, W PA)- 1983
    Tiffany Sizemore (Black, state judge, W PA) -1977
    Margaret Gleason (Big Law, W PA)- 1977
    Lisa Zeidner Marcus (DOJ, W PA)-1978
    Booth Goodwin (former US Atty, S WV)- 1971
    Joshua Wisehart (N WV)-1979
    Meshea Poore (Black, former WV Bar Pres, N WV)- 1975
    Sam Petsonk (S WV)- 1983
    Jennifer Wagner (Mountain State Justice, S WV)- 1979
    Erin Taylor (Black, FPD, W NC)- 1980
    Brandon Lofton (Black, W NC)-1978
    Melissa Owen (W NC)-1974
    Tomas Lopez (Latino, M NC)- 1984
    Jacqueline Grant (Black, state judge, W NC, Asheville) -1970

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    • Amanda Green Hawkins was my 3rd circuit pick at the start of the administration but I am very happy with Arianna J. Freeman being the pick. Even though I advocated for not filling any of the district court seats in Pennsylvania until after the midterms, I don’t think the Republican pick Murphy is a right winger so I’m fine with the deal they made. I would leave all remaining seats vacant until after the election however. I think if Fetterman wins & Dems hold the majority, we can get some of the names mentioned above as nominees.

      Booth Goodwin was my West Virginia pick but after judge King’s crap, I think I wouldn’t pick him out of principle now.

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      • Oh yea, there are two West Virginia Goodwin’s. Actually I am fine with either for a state like West Virginia. Plus it won’t hurt that they are probably the most politically powerful family in the state. It’s good to keep them in the good graces of the Democrats. Especially after the richest man in the state switched parties after he was elected governor as a Democrat.

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    • Next batch of judicial candidates to consider, Texas edition.

      5th District Court of Appeals, TX (all DFW):
      Amanda Reichek (labor lawyer)- 1976
      Erin Nowell (Black, plaintiffs atty)- 1978
      Maricela Moore (Latino, district judge)- 1975

      Manuel Barrelez (Latino, Big Law, DFW)-1978
      Gabriel Reyes (Latino, former FPD, DFW)-1982
      Paul Castillo (Latino, LGBT, DFW)-1974

      Mary Lou Alvarez (Latino, state judge ,SA)
      Marisa Bono (former MALDEF, Latino, SA)-1979
      Lawrence Morales II (Latino, SA)-1979
      Jorge Herrera (Latino, SA)- 1979
      Justin Rodriguez (Latino, Big Law, SA)-1975

      Francisco Dominguez (Latino, state judge, former ACLU, El Paso)- 1969
      Feliz Valenzuela (Latino, El Paso)-1980

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  10. Shawn said “That’s one reason why I think Barnes can (and probably will) win in November, the other is his charisma.”

    And that’s one big thing Fetterman in PA has going for him to – Charisma…..He had a campaign event in Erie, PA last Friday and there was line around the block to get in to see him…..Whether it’s fair or unfair, having charisma and or a big likeability factor is important……Much better to have charisma than be a Mr Blah..

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    • Absolutely true with Fetterman. It’s why I saw that seat as possible pickup from the beginning. Both Fetterman and Barnes are from the left (and have done joint fundraisers from the beginning, they are both Lt. Governors) and they are grassroots candidates. Even a few years ago, the shitty Democratic establishment would have strangled these two in their crib. Like they did to Fetterman in 2016 (had he been the nominee then, he would be running for reelection now). Even now, the PA Democratic establishment wanted the left-bashing trash guy Conor Lamb.

      But it can help the GOP too. Look at Donald Trump. If Sarah Palin had been the least bit competent, she would have been a force to be reckoned with.
      This is why I’m not convinced that Trump is a much less electable (if at all) candidate than say DeSantis. Trump will get millions of largely apolitical voters to turn for him due to his celebrity and charisma that would stay home with DeSantis. Also Trump isn’t seen as an ideological right-winger the way that DeSantis is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Democrat establishment needs to stop trying to cheat in primaries for more established candidates to win. If they can’t get enough votes to win in the primary, what the Hell do they expect them to do in the general.

        Just today on line I saw some complaints about Louisiana Democrats trying to stop Gary Chambers from being the nominee for US senate. Like senator Kennedy is a clear favorite to win that seat. You mine as well put the Democrat that is the most energizing up against him. Even if he gets out the Black vote & makes it a close race, you still force Republicans to spend money in an otherwise easy to win race for Kennedy. Or just let the primary run it’s course & if the establishment candidate wins fair & square then at least you don’t piss off the left.

        And I absolutely agree with your last statement Shawn. Trump is the easier candidate to beat. DeSantis is much more formidable. He has the same policies, but he’s not a complete idiot, not openly corrupt, he actually is getting things done in Florida (Albeit not things I like) & is a veteran.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Dequan

        Actually, what I’m saying is that I *disagree* with you. I suspect that millions of working class voters who don’t follow politics all that closely will come out for Trump but stay home with DeSantis. So it is not at all clear to me that Trump is easier than DeSantis at all.

        It’s much easier to pin down DeSantis on policy and attack him hard based on that. With Trump that’s a lot harder. Trump was able sell lots of working class voters on his economic prowess despite screwing workers and refusing to pay small businesses and leaving us with the worst recession since the Great Depression due to his COVID policies. It was political malpractice for Clinton and Biden to eschew economic populism to focus on Trump’s personal failings, I can assure you the more left-leaning candidates would have never made that mistake, nor would have President Obama.

        DeSantis reminds me of a more intelligent version of Scott Walker. My sense is that he’ll struggle a lot more than people think in a Presidential campaign. While Trump is tailor made for one.

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      • I think that was true in 2016. But in 2024 I don’t believe so much so. There are far too many Republicans & Independents that wouldn’t vote for Trump now that would have in 2016. Plus a lot of Democrats that stayed home then I don’t believe would do so in 2024.

        For example I believe Liz Cheney would vote for Ron DeSantis in 2024. So would Adam Kingzinger, Evan McMullin & likeminded Republicans. I just don’t see how he gained votes from 2020 but can certainly see a path for him losing millions of votes.

        As for the Texas batch of possibilities, some really good names. I truly hope Dems hold on to the senate & we get some more Texas vacancies. Btw, for Gabriel Reyes, what does FPD stand for???

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      • @Dequan

        FPD is Federal Public Defender.

        ” I just don’t see how he gained votes from 2020 but can certainly see a path for him losing millions of votes.”

        See this is exactly why Trump did well among apolitical working class voters of all races. He’s a hell of a showman and promoter of himself often with exaggerations and complete lies. If Trump can convince them that he alone can or has helped them, and his enemies have hurt them, he wins their votes. He can J6 on a much grander scale and he would still win their votes. It’s not too different that other dictators in history.

        I agree with you that he will lose millions of votes from 2020 due to J6 and his criminal activity that he will be charged for. But I also think he will keep/gain millions of votes from apolitical voters that someone like DeSantis will never be able to get.

        And Joe Biden sat in his basement and never challenged Trump’s lies about his economic record. Both him and Hillary focused on all the bad things that Trump said rather than his long record of screwing over workers and small business.

        President Barack Obama said this at the DNC:

        “And then there’s Donald Trump. He’s not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.
        Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?”

        This was the way to beat Donald Trump in 2016. And for half of the first debate, Hillary Clinton made this argument. She went up 10% after that debate. Did not bring it up again in the rest of the campaign, and did not run one ad about this. When a third party group ran a focus group with proposed ad around this, it got the highest rating of any anti-Trump ad in that cycle.

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      • Oh, Federal Public Defender. I guess I had a blonde moment, I wasn’t getting the acronym Lol

        And yup, good points about the 2016 mistakes. That plus Hillary apparently not being able to find Michigan on the map gave rise to Trump’s presidency. Of course Jim Comey didn’t hep either. Truly a historic perfect storm.

        Like

  11. Dequan, I agree on Chambers. We most likely are not winning that seat anyway, so we might as well go down swinging with a younger, progressive candidate. I felt the same way about Charles Booker against Amy McGrath in 2020, though he

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    • Absolutely. I would never endorse Chambers in a swing senate race like say Arizona or Nevada. But in a race Dems are 95% likely to lose without a major scandal or screw up by the Republican, put your most progressive nominee up. If anything at least you got Blacks n the state registered to vote & engaged & maybe the next election your set up for a win. Look at all the work Stacey Abrams did over a decade in Georgia before Warnock & Ossoff.

      And yea I love Charles Booker as the nominee too. I really wish Paul would piss McConnell off so badly with the Chad Meredith nomination plus other issues they have, that Mitch doesn’t lift a finger to help him.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I really hope at the very least Durbin is planning on holding at least three, preferably four SJC hearings in the month of September. And there needs to be 2 circut court & at least 4 district court nominees in each hearing. Right now there are 21 district court nominees (Not including William Pocan & Jorge Alberto Rodriguez) that needs hearings. Either three or fourth straight weeks of hearings or more then one hearing in a week will be required to get hearings just for the pending nominees with enough time to confirm them before the midterms, let alone any additional batches that may come. Here is a mock SJC hearings schedule;

    September 7th – Cindy Chung & Tamika Montgomery-Reeves… All 4 Pennsylvania district court

    September 14th – Maria Khan & Julie Rikelman… Adrienne Nelson, Robert S. Ballou, Jamar K. Walker & Jeffery P. Hopkins

    September 21st – DeAndrea Benjamin & Jabari Wamble… Matthew L. Garcia & all 3 Massachusetts

    October 5th (Skip September 28th) – Kymberly Evanson, Jamal Whitehead & all 5 California

    October 19th (Skip October 12th) – Hopefully 2 circuit court nominees will be announced by then… Lindsay C. Jenkins (Lee should be confirmed by then), Todd E. Edelman (Pan should be confirmed by then) & a couple future announced district court nominees.

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      • With the August recess, you could theoretically move Rikelman to a October out of order without it seeming as though you know she won’t be confirmed with 50 Dems before the midterms anyway. I’m not confident Durbin will be that strategic, but it would be smarter to move either Benjamin or Wamble ahead so they dam be confirmed before the end of the year.

        I definitely would still love Rodriguez forward. I don’t think this president or senate will do that but I certainly would if I had a say in it.

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  13. Third batch of candidate judges.

    Marisa Darden (Black, US Atty nominee, ACS, N OH)- 1983
    Jonathan Witmer-Rich (former FPD, N OH)- 1975
    B Jessie Hill (reproductive rights law prof, N OH)- 1970
    Jason Bristol (LGBT, plaintiffs atty, N OH)-1975
    Subodh Chandra- N OH 1967

    Chris Donovan (defense atty, E WI)-1980
    Christopher Ahrens (labor lawyer, E WI)- 1976
    Pedro Colon (Latino, state judge, E WI)-1968

    Tiffany Murphy (Black, former FPD, W AR)- 1975
    Cameron McCree (Black, AUSA, E AR)-1980
    Ross Noland (E AR)-1981
    Clarke Tucker (E AR)-1981
    Nate Steel (E AR)-1982

    Yvonne Sosa (Latino, FPD, NE)-1983
    Scott P. Moore (Big Law,NE)-1969
    Nicole Ducheneaux (Native Amer, NE)-1981
    Jennifer Gilg (FPD, NE) -1970
    Maren Chaloupka (Civil rights, NE)-1970
    Megan Wright (Big Law, NE)-1974

    Tricia Rojo Bushnell (Latino, Innocence Proj, W MO)-1981
    Quinton Lucas (Black, politician, W MO)-1984
    Katherine Snow (Corporate, W MO)-1981
    Gabe Zoragastua (Latino, LGBT, Big Law, W MO)-1981

    Like

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