Jabari Wamble – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas

After his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit was unexpectedly withdrawn, the Biden Administration has renominated Jabari Wamble to a trial court seat in the District of Kansas.


Jabari Brooks Wamble got a B.A. from the University of Kansas in 2002 and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2006. After graduating, Wamble spent two years in the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office before becoming an assistant attorney general in Kansas.

In 2011, Wamble joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and has served there since.

On September 6, 2022, Wamble was nominated to replace Judge Mary Briscoe on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. However, despite a positive reception from Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, Wamble’s nomination to the court was never processed and Wamble was instead renominated for the district court.

Wamble is married to Marissa Cleaver, the daughter of U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver from Kansas City, Missouri.

History of the Seat

Wamble was tapped for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The seat was vacated by Judge Julie Robinson’s move to senior status on January 14, 2022.

Legal Career

Wamble has spent his entire career in criminal prosecution, albeit at three different levels. He started his career at the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. From 2007 to 2011, Wamble served in the Kansas Attorney General’s office. While at the Attorney General’s office, Wamble defended the conviction of Oliver McWilliams for Medicaid fraud. See State v. McWilliams, 283 P.3d 187 (Kan. 2012). While the Court of Appeals reversed McWilliams’ conviction, the Kansas Supreme Court reinstated it over the dissent of Justice Johnson.

Since 2011, Wamble has served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas. Among his notable prosecutions with the office, Wamble prosecuted Richard Ballard, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud for collecting investment for environmentally friendly bottled water and pet chews, and then using the funds for personal use.

Wamble has also briefed and argued a number of appeals before the Tenth Circuit. For example, he was counsel of record in a suit that affirmed the defendant’s conviction for failing to pay child support. See United States v. Fuller, 751 F.3d 1150 (10th Cir. 2014).

Overall Assessment

When Wamble was first nominated, we predicted a relatively comfortable confirmation to the Tenth Circuit. It is still unclear why Wamble has instead been put forward for the district court, but his nomination to a seat to which blue slips are still determinative suggests that Kansas senators have indicated that they are willing to back Wamble for the court. It is possible that the White House determined that nominating Wamble to the district court ensures that they fill two seats instead of one.


  1. I am still upset over the entire Wamble situation. I have spoken extensively about how Black men seem to always get the short end of the stick, if a stick at all, when it comes to the circuit courts. This is just another example of that. There are 5 pending circuit court vacancies. I hope to see at least one if not two filled with a young, progressive Black man, particularly since 2 of those vacancies are Black men leaving their seats.


    • @Dequan

      I believe that Wamble has extensive experience in the trial phase of the justice system, but little in the appeals. So being a trial judge is better suited to him. It is also possible that his interview at the White House had not gone well. In 2017, Reed O’Connor’s interview for the 5th Circuit had gone poorly and he didn’t get nominated as a result.

      I expect that Roger Marshall will turn in his blue slip after the ABA releases its rating. I wonder what is taking the ABA so long?


      • Exactly Mitch. Wamble has experience much more suited to be a district court judge, as much as people might want to overlook it. It should also be noted that there is nepotism still with his new nomination as he is the son-in-law of Emanuel Cleaver (which is noted here). While nepotism occurs in all industries, it is still something that should be avoided as much as possible.


      • I just can’t imagine somebody who has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2011 would do so poorly in their interview with The White House. Do we really think he did worse than Delaney after seeing his hearing? And being the son in law for one of the most senior congressman who was one of the first Biden endorsers further makes that harder to believe.

        I’m against nepotism when dealing with somebody unqualified for the position they were hired for such as Jared Kushner. But Wamble would have been experienced for this position even if he wasn’t related to Clever. I know he has more experience in trial phase but he has just as much if not more experience compared to some of the 54 Trump & 37 other Biden circuit court nominees.


        You probably will end up being correct that we won’t see a new batch this week but it will be a shame. We could have had three SJC hearings in the month of March with the every other week schedule. Because of a lack of nominees we will be lucky to have just one hearing. There are plenty of blue state district court vacancies (Over 20) plus the 5 circuit court vacancies. Even a batch of 5 new nominees would fill a SJC hearing next month. As for the “batch” we just got weeks ago, it only had one new Article 3 nominee. I hardly call that a batch despite what The White House calls it.


    • It is possible, and perhaps even likely that Wamble interviewed generally regarding judicial vacancies in the state, with the incorrect presumption that Biden would be nominating him to a district court seat instead of a circuit court seat since that is where he has much of his experience.


  2. Frank stop trolling go to breitbart please. Your right wing shtick and grift has grown old.
    Biden humiliated one of the few black men he picked for appellate judicial vacancy by demoting him to a lower court and implying he is too dumb or incompetent to sit on the court of appeals. I would have rather he wasn’t nominated at all and we had new nominees for both the dissect and appellate vacancies than this farce. To imply wamble who has been an AUSA for several years isn’t qualified for an appellate position is insulting
    Go away frank you’re a troll.

    Biden is very likely going to finish his first term in office with less black men sitting on the appellate courts than when he took office. An absolute disgrace and shame.its literally the bare minimum and Biden could not reach it.

    Dequan you are way too optimistic there won’t be any nominations this week! Also it’s March no word or even a whiff about nominees for the 7th circuit vacancy..
    Again I will repeat my prediction there will not be a judicial nominee sent to the senate this year for the open seat on the 7th circuit simply due to bad faith stalling tactics by the Indiana republicans and cowardice by Biden to ignore them and move forward. This is already march. Time is going..


    • Three months into 2023 & my loud & complete disagreement with you about no way the year will end without a 7th circuit nominee or a nominee so bad I would rather the seat remains vacant has gone from no way it could happen to it being possible. Scary to think the thought of you being right can even be a slight possibility but after you were right about Wamble, I can’t rule it out any more sadly.

      As for the “We have plenty of time” crowd, if we don’t get a new batch this week that will be TWO SJC slots missed so far this year & it’s not even Easter. But hey don’t worry, they can always make it up by having hearings during recess weeks, in back to back weeks or during the entire month of August when they are off… Haaaaaaaaa, that might be the funniest thing iv said all year… Lol


  3. Incredible

    It’s like we have short term amnesia. Reading Mitch’s and Frank’s comments one can totally think that Wamble was NEVER nominated in the first place:
    “It is also possible that his interview at the White House had not gone well.”
    “It is possible, and perhaps even likely that Wamble interviewed generally regarding judicial vacancies in the state, with the incorrect presumption that Biden would be nominating him to a district court seat instead of a circuit court seat”

    The man was literally and officially nominated for a circuit court judgeship. So you mean to say that that happened AFTER he 1) did poorly on a WH interview? 2) Mistakenly assumed that he was being considered for a circuit court judgeship instead of a district court judgeship.

    Perhaps this is the one question you can manage to answer: can you please name the circuit court appointees of the Biden and Trump presidencies that have more experience than Wamble? And your method of weighing their qualifications/experience against Wamble’s? What makes his decade+ experience limiting and unfit for a circuit court judgeship? I don’t expect everyone on here to be a practicing attorney who knows the ins and out of trial and appellate practices, but I do expect us to not make up things on the fly.


  4. I agree that the idea Wamble did badly in his interview or didn’t know he was interviewing for the court of appeals is silly, but his experience does seem to be a better fit for district court. It looks like most of his experience as an AUSA was at the trial level/it’s unclear how much appellate work he had done. I’m the last one to support more former prosecutors on the bench and was always lukewarm on his nomination to CA10 (because of the nepotism issues below), but he is leagues more qualified than Trump’s Fed Soc hacks.

    At the same time, the fact that he is Cleaver’s son-in-law definitely gives the appearance of nepotism (it seems like Cleaver recommended him?), and it’s not unreasonable to wonder whether he would’ve been picked over other candidates for the 10th Circuit (such as Jacy Hurst) if that weren’t the case. The evidence does not suggest that Black men are getting the “short end of the stick” in judicial nominations with the Biden administration any more than Asian men or Latinas are, but it can’t be that hard to nominate a Black man who isn’t a Congressperson’s family member.

    My ultimate guess is that the KS senators indicated they would not return a blue slip for Wamble for CA10 but would support him for the district court if Biden nominated (I’m guessing) an older white moderate, and both Wamble and the administration were ok with that trade because they’d fill two seats instead of one and Wamble’s experience is better suited for district court. I personally think this is a bad trade because ideology matters more on the appellate courts, but it wouldn’t be a surprise given that older + more moderate nominees are all we’ve been seeing out of the WH as of late (including in blue districts like NDIL).


    • “The KS senators indicated they would not return a blue slip for Wamble for CA10”
      I know we are all guessing. But the record matters:
      Wamble’s CA10 was supported by Jerry Moran. While Marshall said he’d wait for ABA rating. This doesn’t sound like a nominee being blue slipped.

      “Another possibility (though unlikely) is that the Kansas Senators wanted someone based in Lawrence (like Mary Beck Briscoe was), instead of Kansas City like Wamble”
      Extremely unlikely.
      1: See above.
      2: Wamble wouldn’t have made it past the vetting, let alone be nominated in the first place.


      • @Gavi fair enough re: the KS senators’ statements. I just don’t trust anything GOP senators say by default and assumed that they would still be putting up a fight – doesn’t seem inconsistent for them to say he’s qualified but still want a different candidate. Maybe it’s not even their fault and it’s truly the WH being incompetent.

        @Dequan to the extent that previous administrations have not elevated people of color to the bench, that isn’t specific to Black men and applies just as much (if not more so) to Black women and Asians/Latinos/Native Americans of both genders. I know we’ve discussed this before and I’ve pointed out that there are around 15 active Black male appellate judges at the moment, which is around 8% of all appellate judges and above the proportion of Black men in the general population (about 6%, with the assumption the Black population is 50-50 men and women). Even with Watford and Greenaway resigning, it’s still around 8% since Mathis was confirmed.

        I don’t think we actually disagree on the fact that more Black male nominees would be good, but I just want to push back on any implication that nominating a historic number of Black women appellate judges is not as good/important. The problem is that (1) every demographic group wants more representation on the courts from Biden, (2) it’s hard to argue that the WH isn’t prioritizing Black judges when Biden’s nominated so many Black women, (3) there’s only so many vacancies to go around, and (4) the preferences of Dem senators (like Shaheen/Hassan) limit the WH’s ability to improve the diversity of the courts. Biden can’t do anything about #3 and #4, and it’s hard to argue that he should be nominating Black men over other underrepresented groups given #1 and #2. I think that’s why there hasn’t been much (if any) critique of the relatively few Black male nominees from the advocacy groups – part of being in a multiracial coalition is learning to share even though it’s hard.

        I also think the focus should be on Black nominees who have (for example) worked at LDF rather than nominating big law lawyers and prosecutors with just because they’re Black men. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt either you or I want more Clarence Thomases on the bench.


      • @Hank

        Agreed on just about everything you said. Black woman definitely needed additional representation on the circuit courts & understandably that would come at the expense of some Black men. If you remember when Wamble was initially nominated I said back then I would be fine with him & Mathis being the only two Black men nominated by Biden in his first term because of both their youth combined with the number of Black woman nominated.

        Now after the Wamble downgrade along with both Watford & Greenway, I truly hope we see two more Black men between the 5 current plus future circuit court vacancies. I know that would still put Biden at a net deficit of Black men but I would be ok with him putting three young Black men on the courts. And I do agree I would hope they are a little more progressive than Wamble as to your point, we just don’t want any Black man.

        The main disagreement I have with your statement is the numbers themselves. While the numbers you listed are factual, it still misses my point about how Black men are treated when it comes to circuit courts. Let’s take the last three for example;

        Robert Wilkins – The a nuclear option had to be invoked to get him on the court. He was nominated along side two other White nominees. They were confirmed immediately while he had to wait until the next year after the recess to be confirmed.

        Andre Mathis – He was accused of having a “rap sheet” because of three parking tickets. Then he had to wait almost a year to be confirmed.

        Jabari Wamble – No need to rehash his downgrade.

        So my point was it seems Black men either have to wait, jump over hurdles others don’t have to or have rules changed just to get in the bench & that’s after the difficulties of getting them to be considered in the first place. And while I know you have the numbers that make it seem as though Black men are over represented, the fact is we still have had only 3 nominated in the past 3,340 with one now downgraded.

        So once again I mostly agree with you & certainly am not blaming Biden solely for this problem. I just hope one or two more Black men nominated before he leaves office will alleviate the issue.


      • @Dequan I agree that it’s not too much to ask for the WH to nominate at least one more Black man to the appellate courts – I would just add that it ought to be a Black man with at least a somewhat progressive background and not just the first Black AUSA/Big law partner they find.

        Also agree that the WH has made a mess of the Wamble/CA10 situation. Also I would agree that Black nominees (male or female) are treated worse than white nominees, but on Mathis and Wilkins:

        1. Mathis — the comments about his “rap sheet” were by Blackburn, and it’s hardly a surprise to anyone that she’s a racist hag. It’s also no shock that a nominee with no Senator that will advocate for him would wait longer than nominees with at least one Senator’s backing, and Mathis ultimately waited 10 months – Abudu has been waiting longer, and Bloomekatz is likely to wait just as long before confirmation (she was nominated last May and it’s March now).

        2. Wilkins — I’m actually proud of Obama/Harry Reid for nominating and confirming him and using the nuclear option here. I don’t see Wilkins’ confirmation happening later as meaning that it was any less of a priority – the Senate often confirms judges alphabetically if they were nominated together, and they confirmed Millet, then Pillard, then Wilkins. Wilkins was confirmed in early January while Millet/Pillard were confirmed in mid-December (and the Senate had the holidays in between), and there was also a several-week gap between Millet’s cloture and confirmation votes. As a result, I think it’s hard to argue that Wilkins got screwed over by having to wait a few extra business days — in comparison, Goodwin Liu had to withdraw his nomination because the Dems didn’t want to nuke the 60-vote threshold for him.

        To me, the bigger insult is that Obama didn’t even consider any Black judges (male or female) for the SCOTUS seat that Elena Kagan eventually filled (I’m pretty all the judges on the shortlist were white women and Obama didn’t want to be seen as nominating two minority justices in a row). I also don’t doubt that Black male nominees (and all nominees of color) are treated worse than White nominees by Republicans – just look at the BS that KBJ had to sit through during her confirmation hearings. But in comparison, I don’t really think the timing of Senate votes for judges (all of whom got confirmed) indicates that Black male nominees are treated worse than others. Shouldn’t the goal be to prioritize all nominees of color and treat them with respect, without having a contest over who has it the worst?


      • That is actually a really good point about confirming nominees that were nominated at the same time alphabetically. I gotta admit I never thought of that & W would put Wilkins last out of the three. Good point.

        I actually hate when they confirm them alphabetically regardless of color or anything else. I wish they confirmed them based on age, oldest to youngest to maximize the possible future chief judges.


      • Yes 100% agree that confirming alphabetically is silly – had they confirmed Wilkins first, he would be the first Black chief judge on the DC Circuit (I think) in 2027. It’s a small thing (being chief is traditionally just administrative, but I wouldn’t put it past one of the Trump hacks to try and game case assignments as chief to always put 2 conservatives on a panel), but it still would’ve been nice.


    • When I said Black men get the short end of the stick, if a stick at all, I wasn’t just referring to Biden. It’s systematic through multiple administrations. And it’s not always because of the president. I know Clinton tried to nominate some that were blocked, including by senator Helms.

      I do give Biden more responsibility to correct this systemic problem however. That’s because unlike past Democrat presidents, he doesn’t have blue slips nor a 60 vote threshold standing in his way. The Wamble situation is forgivable as long as he uses the existing 5 plus future circuit court vacancies to address the deficit of Black men on the circuit courts.


  5. Lots to dive into so I’ll do it point by point.
    1) As I said before, when it’s come to nominations, Biden has been going with the dance with the ones who brought you logic and that was Black women who voted for him/Harris by over 90%, which is why they have made up a majority of his circuit court nominees, especially since they have been the ones who have gotten the short end of the stick more then anyone else.
    2) To the point above, while it is admirable Biden has been putting qualified Black women on Circuit courts, they aren’t the only ones underrepresented on the courts and at times, Biden has been criticized by Latino/LGBT/AAPI groups among others for not having more nominees from their communities as candidates.
    Hard to try and correct the balance of so many groups with so few Circuit court seats available.
    I too think Biden’s last batch of nominees for Circuit courts has to include a Black man but I also understand other groups wanting liberal jurists from their communities as well instead of having folks like Patrick Bumatay and Barbara Logoa be the faces on Circuit courts.
    3) Speaking of amnesia, did I miss where Andre Mathis, Arianna Freeman, Cindy Chung and Anthony Johnstone had their nominations withdrawn due to Republicans (granted Toomey is gone now) withholding their blue slips or are people choosing to ignore that because it won’t fit into their Biden is a coward narrative that some people insist on pushing?
    I’m not happy with how all of this went down either but the notion that Biden/Durbin ignored blue slips in other cases but are scared of the KS senators is garbage.
    If you don’t like him, fine but don’t push false options as fact either.


    • Very True Zack Jones. Wamble wasn’t renominated because of blue slips. I think it was for other reasons, but we shouldn’t make up a reason such as blue slips when there is clear evidence to state otherwise.


      Nope. No reason to have one next week. We only have 5 pending nominees including the Claims Court nominee & just 3 of the 5 would be eligible next week. Hence the reason we really need another batch this week although it’s looking less & less likely with every hour that passes.


  6. I understand the desire to become a black man appointed to the appellate bench, but I want to note, that Wamble, if confirmed, will replace a Black woman with Julie A. Robinson, not quite a bad in a State with two Republican senators. Sometimes the discussioins here look strange, because almost everybody here is in some kind frustrated about something, for weeks now, new judges are confirmed at the Senate floor, while here the lack of hearings, executive meetings and a new batch of nominees are bemoaned. That might rotate when the focus is somewhere else another day. I also would like that things move faster, but the intensity of critism is too high at the moment, probably they just want to clear the backlog before re-starting to the old frequency, or there are really problems at the romper room. We don’t know, but if Wamble gets a hearing, there is a good chance we will learn about why things have develped in that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. About a hour ago Senator Bennet asked for the following nominations to be considered en bloc; Executive Calendars 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, and 52. Senator Tuberville objected. They are all Air Force nominations. I truly despise the idea that a senator objecting to Air Force nominations will work in good faith on judicial nominations. I truly hope Durbin wakes up & ditches blue slips for certain senators, Tuberville included.


  8. IMO, Durbin is waiting until we got more confirmations before we start the fight on district court blue slips.
    That battle will be ugly and there is no point (especially with Fetterman and Feinstein out) starting a fight over them right now.


    • I would be totally ok if Durbin was using your timeline. That would give the senators a few months together show good faith or get their blue slips revoked. Then there would be over a year to still fill the seats.

      I know some people on this site think it is a bad idea to ditch blue slips but I truly believe Republicans will do it FIRST if Democrats don’t just like they did the filibuster for SCOTUS & blue slips for circuit court vacancies.


    • It doesn’t seem likely we will see too many judicial confirmations next week. Schumer didn’t send any more cloture motions to the desk today. The senate is off Monday so if he sends any motions tomorrow, the earliest they can act on them would be Wednesday. That just leaves all day Wednesday & 2 or 3 votes on Thursday to get any judges confirmed.


      • Even if they can get 4-5 (including Gallagher, who is ready for a confirmation vote) that would still be encouraging.

        Or they could get the ball rolling on Garcia or even someone like Johnstone as long as the other 49 are all present and accounted for.


  9. Dequan, I’ll help you with the packing.
    IMO, Kahn being confirmed tomorrow counts as a flip and will make it less likely we’ll be seeing efforts on the 2nd Circuit by the Trump/George W judge in active service to do en banc on cases knowing they won’t have his vote anymore.


  10. @Dequan IMO, behind the scenes Cabarnes likely made hints while not outright saying that if his nominee was either of the name you mentioned or someone too liberal that he wasn’t going to go anywhere.
    In this case, it’s worth it to get him to senior status.
    @Joe Senator Daines has made perfectly clear he is opposed to Johnstone’s nomination and given that, I expect all Republicans to oppose his confirmation.
    I don’t see him getting confirmed until Feinstein/Fetterman are both back.


    • I agree all Republicans likely will vote against Johnstone only because of Daines fake outrage. We just need one if either Feinstein or Fetterman back to get him confirmed however. Honestly we wouldn’t need either if VP Harris is able to come in & break the tie, however I’d rather wait for the 50-49 advantage because knowing the Democrats luck, somebody else could miss a day for an unforeseen reason.


    • Alison Nathan and Maria Kahn could have been set to be confirmed back to back. Pooler and Cabranes made an agreement to go senior together, but now because Pooler is in senior status she has no leverage to hold Cabranes to his promise. If the nominees were scheduled together Pooler could hold Cabranes to his promise by threatening to rescind her own move to senior status if he rescinds his.


      • I completely agree that Cabrenas replacement should have been confirmed alongside Pooler’s replacement since they decided to retire together only if the other retired. However the blame for that not being done lies with The White House, not Schumer. This is because there were two Connecticut vacancies at the same time. Cabrenas successor should have been named first however they nominated Merriam for the other seat instead.

        That was a bad strategy for two reasons. The first is the one you mentioned. Theoretically once Pooler retired, Cabrenas could have rescinded his senior status. Second, & even more importantly, had The White House nominated Merriam for Cabrenas seat, they would have been free to nominate a much younger & more progressive nominee for the second seat.

        I know myself & others have said we are happy to finally see Khan confirmed because ever she is better than Cabrenas & he might have rescinded if they had nominated a young progressive. But had he already been off the bench because Merriam replaced him, The White House would have been free to nominate Cristina Rodriguez or Justin Driver for the other seat. You can’t even use the excuse that one seat was in one part of the state because they both have the same duty station. It was horrible strategy by them.


  11. As with Sen.Blackburn, Daines’s outrage is laughable considering how many times under Trump he voted for Circuit Court judges who didn’t blue slips returned, including several for the 9th Circuit.
    He’s just upset he won’t be allowed to hold the sole Montana seat hostage for a right wing hack under Durbin like he would have if Leahy was still in charge.


    • Daines was going to vote to overturn the 2020 election before the Jan. 6 insurrection happened. You are absolutely correct. If Daines succeeds in preventing a nominee from being confirmed until the GOP has the presidency or Senate, Sidney Runyan Thomas should rescind his senior status.

      A major perk of waiting for a successor is that you can hold things over anyone’s heads. Unfortunately judges like Robert King and David Hurd have done this for the wrong reasons. We are seeing that some of the judges are unwilling to wait years for a successor, so I could plausibly see the liberal judges who didn’t unconditionally go senior already pulling their retirements if the GOP takes the white house and/or Senate.


    • I’m surprised Chief judge Hernández & not Ann Aiken who is older & been in the bench longer is not the one taking senior status. As for who I would like to see picked, definitely not another Oregon SCOTUS justice. None of the current justices are young progressives.

      My personal favorites would be Vamshi Reddy or Vivek Kothari. However since it’s Hernández retiring, it is likely they will look for a Hispanic nominee. In that case I would suggest judge Ramon Pagan or Xiomara Torres. Pagan is the only one of the 4 that is an existing judge but unlike California, I can see the Oregon senators going with a non judge pick just like Jennifer Sung.


      • Agreed with @Dequan that Pagan and Torres are the most likely nominees if the nominee is to be a Hispanic sitting judge. I would also add in Angela Lucero to the mix.

        Another Hispanic (Afro-Latina in fact) choice who is not a judge is Jessica G. (the G stands for Griselda) Price, ana attorney in the University of Oregon General Counsel’s office who used to work for the ACLU of Southern California.

        In addition to Reddy and Kothari, Nadia Dahab would be a progressive non-Hispanic option, as would Chanpone Sinlapasai, who is Laotian-American.


      • Not really surprised, Marco Hernández is an Obama-Appointee, and Ann Aiken a Clinton-Appointee. Although the exact date of birth of Hernández is not available in Wikipedia, I suppose the 21 August is his 66 birthday, and with 14 years of service since 2011 that’s the earliest date of eligibility of senior status. Except Nelson, all other judges at this court are over 60 years old, hence a younger appointee would be wishful not just to get a new chief judge after Nelson’s term will expire somewhere in the future


  12. Here’s my recap for todays SJC executive meeting.

    Only ONE judge was voted on. All other judges were held over. Chairman Durbin then spoke about both senators Feinstein & McConnell’s injuries.

    Durbin then said he has had public & private discussions about blue slips. He said he wants to do his best to keep the blue slip tradition going but will have to continue to review the process. He said he wants everybody to focus on filling judicial vacancies & the extent those get filled will go a long way to deciding the future of blue slips. He pointed out Democrats turned in 130 blue slips for Trump while Republicans have only turned in 13 under Biden so far.

    Senator Graham then spoke briefly saying he wouldn’t know who The White House counsel was if they walked in the door right now.

    They then voice voted for Matthew Brookman.

    Senator Blackburn later spoke about her continuing to force a roll call vote for all US Attorneys & Marshals because of the new standard. She was referring to her US Attorney that was not renominated.


  13. I like how in today’s hearing Durbin, unlike some of the Biden sycophants in here, shares the blame for the lack of movement on finding nominees for red state district court vacancies between Republican senators and, yes, the WH. Can’t wait to hear how Durbin is a far-right insurrectionist that cannot be taken at his word.

    How in the world does the Vice Chair of the SJC not know the WH Counsel?

    The replacements of Stuart Delery as WH Counsel and Jeff Zients as WH Chief of Staff give a one-two punch to the WH nomination process, which is being reflecting in the quality of the latest nominees. Come fight me, Biden cheerleaders.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I certainly agree that the WH Counsel needs to step it up. The effort has been very poor there since at least last fall and they need to step it up. To be honest, with 51 D voting senators now, every single circuit judge from here on out should be a young progressive.

    At the same time I do give them credit for finding and nominating a lot of great judges in 2021-2022.


    • “At the same time I do give them credit for finding and nominating a lot of great judges in 2021-2022.” That’s the thing, you’re giving credit to those who don’t deserve it. Remus and Klain deserve the credit. Not their replacements, so far.
      It’s going to be April soon. Then August. Then December. At what point should we concede that the replacements suck at their jobs?

      Unrelatedly, I hope Klain runs for US Senate in Indiana. Part of the reason he went back was to be with his ill mom, whom has since died. I don’t know if any dem has a great chance in Indiana, but I bet he’d give Jim Banks a run for his money (also to take RSCC money away from other dem-incumbent races).


      • @Gavi

        Remember there’s still some people that think “There’s plenty of time”…smh

        I do like your idea regarding Klain running for senate in Indiana. I agree no Democrat has much of a chance but he would have a punchers chance. And in addition to you saying it would at least force the Republicans to spend money in the race, it also would give Democrats a reason to any least invest into the race. That combined with a possible poor Republican candidate could give it a chance.


        Unfortunately Feinstein is still out. Because if SJC rules, they could only vote on nominees that would get Republican support. Most of the other nominees will likely get Republican votes but Brookman was the only one they allowed today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, I will reword my response to say Remus and Klein did a very good to excellent job and the replacements have done a poor job.

        Unfortunately I’m not really in any position to influence them so all I can do is hope that the new people in charge can course correct soon.


  15. “Senator Graham then spoke briefly saying he wouldn’t know who The White House counsel was if they walked in the door right now.”

    If taken at his word, and this is indeed the case still…I highly doubt then that the Red State Senators & the WH are making any meaningful progress in negotiating with one another. Especially in Louisiana, Florida, & Texas.


  16. I think Jeff zients is a corporate hack and stooge who has stymied the nominations process that’s a huge reason I think we haven’t gotten new batches of any note for several weeks. This is the speculation, if klain was still whcos we probably would hAve gotten several more appellate court nominees.
    We still have a republican hack in Christopher Wray as the FBI director who did a fraudulent fake phony investigation into brett kavanaugh that was never credible or authentic and serious and yet the democratic president was too much of a coward to fire the hack on his first day in office something every GOP president would have done ASAP if it was the other way and it was a dem appointed fbi director.

    Alot of folks will be very shocked and surprised when several appellate vacancies are left unfilled after biden first term simply due to his cowardice and incompetence


    • The only thing that will be surprising at this point is if by some miraculous turn of events, several dozen circuit and district court seats are actually filled. It seems that Biden and some senate Dems are ok with Republicans flipping seats on the 4th and 10th circuits via the next Republican president to further cement Trump’s transformation of the federal judiciary.


      • @ shawnee68

        That’s the problem. If we had 20 months I would loudly agree with you & shout at the top of my lungs WE HAVE PLENTY OF TIME.

        But we don’t have 20 months. The senate will be out on recess 2 weeks for Easter, another 2 Derek’s for 4th of July, the entire month of August, 2 more weeks for Thanksgiving & 2 more weeks for Christmas. Then next January they will surely need a 2 week vacation to recuperate from their 2 week vacation. Then another 2 weeks for Easter, 2 more weeks for 4th of July, August if next year, almost the entire month of October to campaign, 2 more weeks for Thanksgiving & 2 more weeks for Christmas.

        And that’s just scheduled RECESS weeks. They have some Mondays off (Like the next two Mondays), Thursday is a half day, Fridays are non existent. That doesn’t factor unexpected events such as a former president passing away or a major event occurring. Add on top of that the little bit of legislation Republicans will pass the senate will need to vote in like we just saw with the DC crime bill & other non judicial nominees. And remember unlike when a Republican is president & Democrats agree to 16 voice votes in one day, we have had 2 voice votes total so far for judicial nominees with Biden as president.

        Call me skeptical but I’m just not seeing where we have all of this time everybody keeps talking about.


      • This week alone shows there’s other things that they have to do. They voted on the DC crime bill, another piece of legislation & non judicial nominees. That’s just this week. Already Schumer has filed cloture for 4 non judicial nominees for next week’s 2-day work week. And that’s on top of we still have gotten one new nominee in almost the past 2 months. And we simply do not have 20 months even if you just subtract the months they will be in recess.


      • This isn’t like last year when there were many bills that had to passed. Also, the numbers are in Democrat’s favor so discharge petitions are pretty much gone.

        Any vacancies over the next 20 minutes can be filled by Biden. This doesn’t include future vacancies that are being done now.


      • Oh if your just talking about CURRENT vacancies then yes you are correct. I thought you were implying future vacancies can definitely be filled the way this administration takes time filling some seats. I stand by my earlier comment from this year. Any red state circuit court vacancy announced after January of next year likely will not be filled before the end of Biden’s term.


  17. I really hope Feinstein can make it back for next weeks meeting. It would be great to get the 9 remaining district nominees voted on and sent to the floor. Some of those should get some bipartisan support and be able to get floor votes quickly.

    Delaney will continue to be a topic of discussion but personally I am of the opinion that he is well qualified and that it would be a better use of everyone’s time to go ahead and confirm him and be done with it rather than starting the process over and losing another 6 months.


  18. @aangren
    Why is Anthony Johnstone’s nomination to the 9th Circuit not being withdrawn if Biden is such a coward given that Senator Daines has made clear he opposes it?
    Why weren’t Arianna Freeman or Andre Mathis told to give up and go home due to opposition from Republicans there?
    Also, if you think firing Chris Wray while Joe’s son is still being investigated wouldn’t create issues, you’re fooling yourself.
    I get that you and some others on here don’t like Biden and there are valid criticisms to be had, like how this Kansas nomination was handled and some of the more recent nominees but your continued insistence that Biden is some kind of coward isn’t born out by facts.


    • Fair enough but in no sane world should there be a 5th circuit vacancy right now , in no sane world should ted cruz or coryn opinion hold any sway or hesitation to who biden nominates to the 5th circuit after trump repeatedly shoved down federalist society hack after hack over sometimes both democratic senators objections.

      This is march we haven’t heard an inkling about the 7th circuit vacancy open over several months, still no nominee to the 10 circuit seat for over 12 months!

      Just a reminder it took Justin walker less than three months from when trump sent his name to the senate a s a D.C circuit nominee to when he was confirmed and yet to do the basic minimum which is to ensure no appellate vacancies are open is brain surgery to the folks at the biden administration

      He selected a center right pro prosecutor as his attorney General when Sally Yates who was very experienced and had been deputy attorney General was available. Why ? Because lindsay Graham and senate republicans where angry that Yates investigated or try to investigate trump/flynn/ties to Russia. How dare her! That was enough to scare biden to not dare pick her
      Where as the republicans pick open partisans who will follow their agenda hook line and sinker like Jeff sessions and bill Barr. Biden values committee and getting along over genuine progress.


  19. With the confirmation of Maria Araújo Kahn we can say at least at for the Second Circuit: Job done for Joe Biden. He has confirmed six of thirteen judges there, almost the half, and nobody is eligible for senior status respectively retirement. He has here achieved the goal to rebalance the court after Trump. Sadly, at the other eleven Circuit Courts (without Federal Circuit), that has not be worked in that way so far, and the prospects are also not great. For some folks here and attorneys in NY that means, that their chance for a post there within the next ten years is small, Livingston will next become eligible im May 2024, but likely not go that time, then follows Sullivan in 2029 and Lohier in 2030 after a huge gap. Surely SCOTUS vacancy, dead or resignation may change it, but generally speaking, that’s the situation.


    • 11 of the 13 judges on the 2nd circuit were appointed by either Trump or Biden. It is quite unusual to have that many judges appointed in a span of 6 years. Livingston is 63 and now the 2nd circuit’s oldest judge in active status. Sullivan is the 2nd oldest and Kahn is the 3rd oldest.
      It seems unlikely that the next president will have much success on the 2nd circuit. It is likely to be the Trump & Biden court for quite some time.


  20. That’s a bummer. I know those positions are important too, but I still hate to see it.

    I just hope Feinstein can return for next weeks Business Meeting and maybe the last week before Easter we can knock out some of the heavy hitters that have been lingering.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. With the 112 Article 3 (Not counting KBJ, Pan & Merriam twice) confirmations so far for Biden, combined with the 102 announced vacancies, if he were to fill each seat, that would put him at 214. Biden only needs to fill an additional 17 vacancies on top of the ones already announced & he can pass Trump’s 230 (Not counting the 4 judges Trump elevated that he initially nominated) in one term.

    To pass his 54 circuit court judges, Biden would need an additional 12 vacancies. It’s a tall task but at least it’s within reach with a little luck.



  22. I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but what if Merriam was an unacceptable successor to Cabranes? Kahn is more moderate than Merriam and while not exactly Latino, she is Portuguese-American which might have been a plus to Cabranes. So perhaps Kahn was the best we could get for Cabranes’s seat. As for the other seat, a younger more progressive judge could have been chosen instead but for whatever reason Biden/Connecticut’s senators wanted Merriam on the 2nd circuit.


    • I doubt Merriam would have been unacceptable to Cabranes. She’s in her 50’s & although she was a public defender, she’s not overtly liberal. Plus she’s well connected within the state. I think it’s more likely The white House just wasn’t strategic & nominated her for the first vacancy. I mean for God’s sake, the senate is still confirming nominees alphabetically so no reason to think they are thinking more strategically than they are… Haaaaa

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would say that but look at what happened with Robert King and David Hurd.
        There was nothing to stop Cabranes from taking back his senior status if he didn’t like the nominee.
        I’m still surprised he took it at all under Biden but I guess he is being loyal to the party that put him on the bench even if he is mostly out of step with what it is today.
        Similar to Ilana Rovner of the 7th Circuit, whom is the only liberal Republican jurist left yet didn’t retire under Obama or Biden.
        I fear she will stay put until the next Republican President.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today. Almost all judicial nominees were held. That’s not surprise, it’s almost standard procedure now.

    Matthew Brookman was voted out of committee on a voice vote. Maybe he should move to the front of the line since he’s a sure thing for confirmation.


    • I was actually hoping Matthew Brookman would be out third voice vote. No reason to waste floor time on him. If they could agree on him & confirm Gallager as well, at least we can salvage the 2-day work week next week with a couple confirmations. Schumer didn’t send any judicial cloture motions to the floor today so the earliest anybody could be confirmed other than those two is next Thursday & that’s unlikely. It’s more likely the following Tuesday in 12 days.


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