Darrel Papillion – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Longtime Baton Rouge attorney Darrel Papillion has extensive experience and cross-party bona fides going for him as he hopes to be the first Democratic appointee to the Louisiana federal trial bench since Judge John DeGravelles was appointed nine years ago.


Born in 1968, Darrel J. Papillion grew up in St. Landry parish in South-central Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University, graduating in 1990 and then received a law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 1994.

After graduation, Papillion clerked for Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball on the Louisiana Supreme Court. After completing his clerkship with Kimball, Papillion joined McGlinchey Stafford A.P.L.C. He shifted in 1999 to Moore, Walters & Thompson A.P.L.C. and again in 2001 to became a name partner in Moore, Walters, Thompson, Thomas, Papillion, & Cullens, A.P.L.C. In 2009, the firm shifted to be Moore, Papillion, Thomas & Cullens, LLC, where he currently serves as partner.

Papillion is a past president of the Louisiana Bar Association.

History of the Seat

Papillion has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. This seat was opened by the move of Judge Carl Barbier to senior status on January 1, 2023. Papillion has received support for his nomination from Republican Senator Bill Cassidy.

Legal Experience

Papillion has spent his career largely working in civil and commercial litigation, albeit in a number of different practices. Early in his career, Papillion persuaded the Louisiana Supreme Court to reverse an adverse judgment on a legal malpractice case against an Alabama attorney. See Alonso v. Line, 846 So.2d 745 (La. 2003).

More recently, Papillion has represented Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James Donelon in a suit alleging breach of contract and professional negligence by the Louisiana Health Cooperative. See Donelon v. Shilling, No. 2017 CW 1545 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. Feb. 28, 2019).

Notably, Papillion represented, alongside attorneys from the Elias Law Firm, plaintiffs challenging the configuration of Louisiana’s Congressional Districts as violating the U.S. and Louisiana constitutions. See English v. Ardoin, 335 So. 3d 272 (La. Ct. App. 4th Cir. 2022).


Papillion has written a number of articles on the law over the course of his career. Early on, Papillion coauthored a paper discussing deference to the trial court’s determinations in the appellate process. See Edward J. Walters Jr. & Darrel J. Papillion, Appellate Review of Mixed Questions of Law and Fact: Due Deference to the Fact Finder, 60 La. L. Rev. 541 (1999-2000). More recently, Papillion has expounded on professionalism in the legal community. See Darrel J. Papillion, Professionalism: Things That Will Happen to Do and What to Do When They Do, 64 Ann. Inst. on Min. L. 225 (2018).

Political Activity

Throughout his legal career, Papillion has donated extensively to political candidates. The vast majority of Papillion’s political donations have been to Democrats, including President Biden in 2020 as well as former President Barack Obama and Rep. Maxine Waters. However, Papillion also has a few donations to Republicans, including Rep. Garret Graves, gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, and Supreme Court Justice (and now federal district judge) Greg Guidry.

Overall Assessment

Over the course of his career, Papillion has built a reputation as an experienced and knowledgeable litigator. Additionally, he is also well-connected on both sides of the aisle and should be poised for a comfortable confirmation as long as he maintains the support of his home-state senators.


  1. This is a stellar red state nominee. While he was apparently considered for a judgeship under Trump in 2018 until his wife got Cancer & eventually died, in his case I don’t mind Biden nominating him. He’s a Black man that has defended progressive causes in the deep South. He’s imminently qualified.

    I’m happy to see Harsh with a new post. Hopefully Biden will give us a new batch this week to give Harsh more nominees down the line to do a write up on. It would be nice to get double digit nominees so two SJC slots can be filled but at least five so a SJC hearing slot isn’t missed in 4 weeks.


    • Papillion is also of French Cajun ancestry and speaks French fluently. He helps diversify the bench that way.

      In spite of never having been a judge, Papillion has a strong legal background. If John Kennedy agrees to back him, he’ll be confirmed by a comfortable margin.


      • Oh yea, I put he speaks French on his Wikipedia page about a week ago. He is an excellent nominee for Louisianna. I’m just curious as to why he’s being nominated for a New Orleans seat since he’s from Baton Rouge & I believe there is a vacancy there too. Maybe he’s ready to move to the big city I guess.


  2. Since Senator Cornyn put Biden on blast about how he and Senator Cruz sent nominations at the White House request, I am hopeful that there will be at least one or two out of the ten we can live with. But as you stated it probably won’t be anyone that will make us high five each other!


    • This is completely inexcusable. Scott Colom is imminently qualified & even has the support of senator Wicker. Blue slips was meant to validate that the administration adequately consulted with home state senators. Durbin should use this to amend the blue slip process. This can’t be allowed to stand. Particularly when it’s a senator that said she would have no problem being in the front row of a hanging blocking a young Black man. Republicans ended blue slips for circuit court vacancies 4 years ago & Durbin should respond in kind now.


    • Validating the point I made months ago when he was first nominated, that a White House nomination doesn’t equal preclearance from the home state senators.
      Colom better run for re-election or he’ll be out of a job soon. I don’t see Durbin making any movement on ditching the blue slip any time soon to benefit Colom, if at all.


      • @Gavi

        You saying that is the strategy isn’t what the disagreement was. My disagreement is why have the strategy in the first place. In a blue slip era, I don’t see the point in wasting time (Both ours & the nominees) if you know the nomination will not proceed without blue slips.

        William Pocan was different since the senator had suggested him & then backtracked. But this is insane in my opinion. What a waste of time. The only reason I can see having this strategy is if you’re trying to force Durbin’s hands to get rid of blue slips. But I don’t see that being the strategy. I hope I’m wrong.


      • @Dequan
        “I don’t see the point in wasting time (Both ours & the nominees) if you know the nomination will not proceed without blue slips.”
        Yes, it would be a supreme waste of time if they are just nominating someone that they know for a fact would be blocked, without it being a strategy that would later force a change. But I don’t think that’s what the WH was doing.
        After engaging with the senators, the WH may just decide that it’s time to move on with making the nomination, if a senator doesn’t raise a blue slip objection. The senators will do what they want once the ball is in their court.
        As it is, it’s a terrible thing to do to a great nominee.

        And this was what you said on his post:
        “I find it hard to believe Biden would announce him without the two home state senators consent.”

        The only justice that can come of this is if, magically, there’s a Mississippi vacancy right now on the appeals court that Colom can be nominated to right away, with no further home state consultation. Otherwise, I’m afraid we’re stuck with this injustice.


  3. To be fair to Durbin the blue slip decision really isnt his to make. It’s ultimately on Biden. In this process Durbin is really just a middle manager shepherding along the SJC.


    • @Gavi

      I certainly hope that is the strategy. If so, I will happily wait through some nominees getting screwed over in the short term to change the blue slip procedure in the long term. I’m not confident that is the strategy, but I would love to be dead wrong.


      Definitely, it’s up to Biden, Schumer, Durbin & ultimately the senate democrats as a whole. I hope Manchin & Sinema wouldn’t unilaterally vote no on any nominee that didn’t get blue slips, but they shouldn’t since they already are voting for circuit court nominees without them.


  4. Also, in Wisconsin, Janet Protasiewicz has a comfortable lead with half the precincts counted. But Dane and Milwaukee Counties have reported most of their precincts already, while most of the rural vote hasn’t been reported yet.


  5. THIS is the senator that is suppose to unilaterally get to stop a 40 year old Black man that is well respected, highly qualified & has the support of the other conservative senator in the state from getting a SJC hearing? And this is on top of her saying she would happily be in the front row of a hanging. I swear Durbin better not let this stand. He needs to end blue slips over Scott Colom.



  6. Chicagoan & Johnson voter here. Our new mayor will definitely NOT be the 2nd coming of Obama. He’s going to be so much better.

    Obama’s people (including Axelrod) supported Vallas. Johnson is not a neolib by any means and won’t support the policies that keep corporate elites in power, as Obama did. This is a new day in Chicago, and a better one. Pretty happy right now.


    • @rayspace

      That’s really good to know. I really hope Johnson can balance progressive policies while making your city safer & the great place to live in & visit once again. He has a bright future if he can.


      It doesn’t matter. Senator Johnson is as serial offender when it comes to holding judicial seats in Wisconsin open until there is a Republican president. He did it to Obama & Reid & now is doing it to Biden & Schumer. With the election next year, the only way I see this seat getting filled in Biden’s first term is if he nominates a near Republican or if blue slips are ditched.


  7. Good gracious, the concession speech (if you can call it that) by WI Supreme Court candiate Dan Kelly has to be the worst concession speech in US history of any election.. Simply dreadful


  8. I don’t often work 17-hour days, but when I do, there’s elections of huge significance!
    WOW! And I don’t only mean that as an exclamation! The WOW counties, historical Republican (and conservative!), showed up! Damn, it looks like the Dem in the state senate special election race will lose by under 500 votes to take away the GOP supermajority in that body.
    But the star is the liberal’s performance in the supreme court race last night! What a wipeout! Like I said, go with the known loser, since they have a track record of losing that you can exploit. And what a loser Dan Kelly is. I just saw his “concession” speech. Hopefully, he’ll run again in 2025 against the sitting liberal.
    Wisconsin is such a strange state. They have this election so far out, but the new seat won’t be vacant until August 1st! This means that they’ll also be a new Chief Justice. I remember when Republicans forced through a constitutional amendment to change a chief justice is selected. This now gives the liberals an opportunity to name one of their own to the post — and I hope they do so!
    Anyway, lots to dig into.

    Side note: I know that Ron Jon is a scoundrel, and cannot be trusted, but do you think the WH just decided to no longer try to fill the district court vacancy? What harm would it be for Biden to nominate one of the other names from the list? If only to call Johnson’s bluff? In fact, this would be a very important weapon in the arsenal of those who want to get rid of the blue slip. You could point to two home state recommended nominees being blocked. This is a lifetime appointment we’re talking about. I wouldn’t give up so easily.


    • Great great job Gavi. Between Wisconsin & Chicago yesterday on top of a Manhattan court room, yesterday was truly a great day in America.

      In regards to the district court seat in Wisconsin, no that’s not what I said at all. I didn’t say The WH should give up. I said the seat won’t be filled unless either they nominate a conservative or get rid of blue slips. If they nominate anybody good, even one of the other three from Ron Johnson’s own list, he will just delay then find a reason to not turn in his blue slip.

      He is literally a serial offender over two Democrat administrations & I only see him emboldened now that he doesn’t have to run again for 5 plus more years. I will repeat my opinion from day one of this administration everything related to filling district court seats ends with getting rid of blue slips.


      • Hi Dequan,
        Yeah, I wasn’t referring to anything you said. I was really asking in general. It seems like such a no-brainer for the WH to just go with one of the other names after the Pocan nomination expired. But they haven’t done so. So I was curious why, and if anyone has any thoughts as to why.

        Also, I see the Wisconsin GOP is already talking about impeaching the new liberal justice once she’s seated (I can spell her name so for the next ten years I’ll just call her Justice Janet). It’s a shame that the Dem might not win that special election last night (the race is still uncalled). That would have robbed the supermajority the senate GOP would need to remove the new justice.


      • Oh yea, the WH should have just nominated the Black woman federal defender already. That’s who they should have picked in the first place.

        And WHAT… Impeach her & she hasn’t even been sworn in yet? These people are insane. I hope they don’t have the votes even with a super majority.


      • Yeah, apparently, they objected to the way she campaigned, arguing that it shows that she’ll be biased against the cases she spoke about on the trail. All nonsense, of course, but that’s what you get when you have judicial elections.
        But then there’s this, which is somewhat comforting (see Noah Berlatsky’s reply):


      • what if they impeach Evers first, then his lieutenant gov, install one of their own as gov, and then impeach all 4 of the liberal justices? Under normal circumstances this would absolutely not happen but we’ve seen what lengths the GOP will go to hold onto power (I’m only writing this question here and not on twitter because if I write it on twitter one of the WI state legislators might stumble upon it and get an idea).

        The one seat majority is a good point, I’m guessing that at least 1 of the 22 Senate Republicans will not vote to impeach 6 elected officials just because they are Democrats.


      • @Ryan Joshi
        I’ll never be the one who lacks imagination for the way Republicans may exercise power. Odds are good that this was already contemplated by WIS Republicans. At any rate, I should just clarify that the special election win last night returns the GOP to the supermajority they already had–the new person is replacing a Republican. They’ve always had to power to go on an impeach-o-rama.
        More to the point of how Republicans are ruthless in how they use power: look at Montana, where they are now considering changing the primary to oust Jon Tester for sure, as opposed to risk him pulling through yet again in November 2024. If Dems were only half this committed to using their power, this country would be in a better place.


      • @Gavi

        Thanks for the clarification. A Republican replacing a Republican makes me feel a little better. As for Montana, this is my first of hearing about this. They are trying to change the primary system? I’ll have to look that up. And you’re 1,000% correct. When they have power they use it. We’re still debating should Durbin ditch blue slips. The two sides are not the same.


      • WOW… The primary format for other offices won’t be changed & only affect the 2024 U.S. Senate race. It kind of reminds me of the 2000 SCOTUS ruling in Bush v. Gore that said the precedent shouldn’t stand in future cases, just that one. Totally ridiculous & blatantly partisan. And if Democrats don’t respond in kind they deserve to be in the minority.


      • Haaaaaaaa… A new commission is the most senator Johnson thing I’ve seen. So the original commission selected 4 people. One was chosen & after over a month, Johnson objected because the nominee didn’t live on the right street. Now instead of just going with one of the other 3 names, they are starting the process all over again.

        I don’t pretend to be a psychic but let me take a wild guess at how this plays out absent any major change to blue slips. The commission will take months to get new names. Then Johnson will take a couple months to review the names, interview & agree to some of the names. Then the WH will take months to chose, vet & announce a nominee. Then guess what… Since it’s close to the next presidential election, Johnson will say the voters should have a say in who serves on a lifetime seat & he can’t turn in his blue slip until after the voters have decided.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I wouldn’t care a lot about scott colom getting denied by Hyde smith because of blue slips if biden simply did the basic minimum and filled the several open appellate vacancies.
    That is my main contention and issue with biden and the white house counsel , its the willful neglect and incompetence, its one thing if biden had nominated strong liberal judges with good civil rights backgrounds to all the open appellate vacancies over the objections of charlatans like ted cruz, roger marshall and john coryn, like trump did several times to democratic senators, then i could stomach the blue slip denials.
    In this case biden has left open vacancies on 2/3 appellate courts open for over one year simply because he doesn’t have the courage and conviction to do so, simply because he doesn’t want charlatans like ted cruz and roger marshall to throw a fit and temper tantrum. There is simply no excuse in april of 2023 for there to be no nominee to the 5th circuit and 10 circuit vacancy, its an absolute disgrace.

    I predicted on this forum since last year that we wont see any nominee to judge kanne 7th circuit seat this year because just like Hyde smith the indiana GOP senators will buy as much time as possible in the guise of working in ”good faith” with biden and stall and stall. It is april 2023 and we have not heard a whisper about any potential nominees for a seat that has been open since june 2022, and yet people think everything is all-right? No need for panic?

    I say its time for panic and to raise all alarms, the lack of nominees to the existing appellate vacancies is extremely concerning and is a reason for concern.

    Its very possible and i will say likely that at the end of biden first term in office, there will be several vacant appellate judicial positions that went unfilled without any nominee.

    Imagine the reverse, can you imagine trump and mcconnell leaving an appellate seat open because of objections of liberals senators like ed markey and warren? The notion alone is too asinine as well as laughable. Yet that’s exactly whats happening in the fifth circuit appellate vacancy, biden is still trying to find nominees palatable to charlatans and demagogues like ted cruz whose only objective is partisan and to delay it

    Liked by 1 person

    • @aangren

      I agree there’s no excuse for no nominee for the 5th & 7th yet. I’ll actually go further than you & add the 4th to that list. We currently have six circuit court vacancies without a nominee. If we don’t get a new batch this week that will lead to a third SJC slot missed next month.

      It would be nice to not only get a new batch this week but to get double digit new nominees. That way we don’t have to sweat for a month.


  10. As Lee Zeldin gets ready to pick a new Chief Judge, I hope she sees how qualified the guy acting in that capacity is, embarrassing:


  11. It’s going to be fascinating. I’ll be honest, I did not expect this to get in motion this quickly.

    I’ve been in favor of exhausting all options to retain the blue slip tradition but if they’re going to abandon it then it’s best to do it in one fell swoop so we can fill large numbers of seats.


  12. Hyde-Smith’s entire statement here – I would argue that her decision to mention George Soros makes her antisemitism clear, and Durbin himself stated that he would not honor blue slips based on race/gender/sexual orientation. To be fair, I assume he was referring to the nominee’s race/gender/etc., but I see no reason why refusing to OK a nominee in part because the nominee is supported by George is anything but antisemitic.

    But given the Dems’ failures on judicial nominations recently (including the lack of nominees today), I’m not convinced abolishing blue slips would actually get more judges confirmed when they move at a glacial pace even when confirming judges from blue states. If abolishing blue slips means Republicans (including Collins/Murk/Graham) will vote against all nominees like they’re doing with Dale Ho, the benefit to Dems would be marginal in terms of number of judges confirmed. And anyone who thinks Schumer’s going to pick up the pace in the face of unified Republican opposition hasn’t been paying attention the last few years.

    @Dequan: district courts are not like appellate courts where the “majority” of judges on the court matters – the GOP already “rules” the courts because they control SCOTUS, and the Republican supermajority on CA5 mean that they’ll reverse anything Colom does. Each district judge acts independently, and a majority of judges on a district has no actual power. Hence why the administration needs to be focusing on appellate nominees, and why the lack of nominees today is yet another example of the many problems Dems should fix before blue slips.

    If the Dems choose to weaken or abandon blue slips, they should first confirm all the blue state/uncontroversial nominees to minimize Republicans’ ability to slow things down in retaliation. No point in announcing that they’re abolishing blue slips now if they only end up confirming 1 or 2 red state judges by 2024 because they move so slowly. (I’ll fully admit that this is unlikely to happen because I’m not sure any Dem involved in judicial nominations knows what the word “strategy” even means).


    • But leaving district court seats vacant for a future Republican president & senate to fill will only further the courts rightward movement. And I would expect part of the reason we didn’t get nominees today & have been getting 2 & 3 nominees when we do is because of behind the scenes bad faith efforts by Republican senators.

      I also don’t agree that “a majority of judges on a district has no actual power.” Have we not seen the nationwide injunctions Trump judges have been issuing Uber the past few years? These are federal judges that have lifetime tenure. They have plenty of power.

      I still stand by my belief that blue slips will end at some point this decade. If I’m right, then it’s just a matter of who will end it first. I surely hope unlike blue slips with circuit court seats, confirming judges during an election year & the filibuster for SCOTUS seats, this time it will be Democrats ending it first.


      • You’re right that any single judge can issue a nationwide injunction, but I’m referring to what a majority of district judges in a district can do that a single district judge cannot. That is nothing because it is trial court, not appellate court.

        Having more Dem appointees in any single district increases your odds as a litigant of getting a decent judge. It does not stop Republicans from being able to file in single-judge division like in Texas and get their nationwide injunctions. The reform we need there is to limit nationwide injunctions to three-judge panels or to D.D.C., but that requires legislation that is unlikely to pass in this Congress (if ever).


      • My issue with leaving blue slips in place is only one side plays by the rules & acts in good faith. At this point in the Trump administration, he had 26 voice votes while Biden has 3. Trump got Democrats to turn in over 120 blue slips while we are around the mid 20’s for Biden. Even if you quadrupled that accounting for the next year & a half (I don’t anticipate anywhere NEAR those numbers) your still gonna be short some three dozen blue slips in comparison. And remember the number would have been higher than that for Trump had they not pulled the ACB stunt & basically all democrats withdrew their blue slips for the rest of Trump’s term.

        I keep reading the argument leaving blue slips in place will hurt Democrats more. That would be true if both sides were equal. They are NOT. Not by a long shot. With blue slips, Democrats will work in good faith while Republicans with minimal exception won’t. Eliminating blue slips simply evens the playing field for both sides. Now neither side has to work in good faith. That won’t be difficult for Republicans because they have already been doing that for the past two decades in counting.


      • You’re right on the Dems working in good faith but Reps not issue, but the obvious solution to that is for Dems to be more demanding when working with Republican administrations on district judges. If you’re concerned about McConnell blowing up blue slips if that happens, then codify/pass a Senate rule now requiring like 60 votes to confirm a nominee without blue slips so the R’s can’t abolish them later (and get it passed by threatening to abolish blue slips otherwise).

        Colom is a good nominee, but ultimately it seems pointless to get rid blue slips when (1) Dems move so slowly with nominees as it is, (2) the impact of any appointees in the South (where the R senators are refusing to cooperate) will be limited by the heavily conservative 5th/11th Circuits, (3) there are more district judge vacancies in blue states like NY/CA that Rs could fill with Fed Soc hacks under the next administration, and (4) the geography of the Senate means Rs are more likely to have a majority than Ds.

        I still don’t get why everyone is so obsessed with blue slips when the real focus should be getting this administration to fill the damn courts of appeals vacancies already. (And to anyone who thinks this administration is capable of more than one thing at a time on judges, let me just point to the lack of nominees during KBJ’s entire confirmation process).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Saying the Democrats just need to push back more when there is a Republican president & senate would be ideal but it’s like the Locknest Monster. You can talk about it all you want but I’ll believe it when I see it. So far I haven’t seen much of it.

        I agree with all the other suggestions you made but yes I think the administration needs to walk & chew gum at the same time. We have 636 days until the end of next year. And if Wisconsin like enthusiasm continues through election day &Democrats can somehow pull off a senate miracle & maybe just net lose one seat & Biden wins, they can make a tremendous dent in the district court disparity.

        Also without blue slips we could get better judges so perhaps we could see some civil rights, environmental and/or woman’s choice judges. I’ll answer point by point on each of your four arguments below;

        (1) Dems move so slowly with nominees as it is…

        Agreed but we do ot know if blue slips is part of the reason for teh slow pace. I would guess it is.

        (2) The impact of any appointees in the South (where the R senators are refusing to cooperate) will be limited by the heavily conservative 5th/11th Circuits..

        That will not always be the case if Democrats keep winning elections. At one point the 4th circuit was the most conservative circuit in the country. 8 years is a long time so if Biden wins re-election, you don’t know who will retire, die or leave for whatever reason before the end of 2028.

        (3) There are more district judge vacancies in blue states like NY/CA that Rs could fill with Fed Soc hacks under the next administration…

        That’s fine. The current way of doing things means Democrats don’t fill red state seats while Democrats negotiate to let Republican’s fill blue state seats with right of center judges. I’d rather see some liberal judges in red states for the tradeoff of a little more conservative judges in blue seats that are going t get filled when there is a Republican president anyway.

        (4) The geography of the Senate means Rs are more likely to have a majority than Ds…

        If the Democrats lose elections then none of this matters anyway. They need to win regardless of if there is blue slips or not. If they lose then we are putting our hopes that a Trump or DeSantis & McConnell combination doesn’t eliminate blue slips. I have zero faith that they will honor the tradition once back in power.


    • Technically, any ruling that any district court judge makes stands unless it is appealed. It isn’t unheard of for a case to be resolved at the district court level and not be appealed, so while I don’t agree with the belief that blue slips should be abolished, the idea that every case would get reversed at CA5 doesn’t hold up as the reason not to do so. As Dequan rightly pointed out, leaving the seats vacant just allows the next Republican president to install their newest FedSoc hacks.


      • And getting rid of blue sips doesn’t stop the administration from working with Republican senators that want to work in good faith. They would have nominees that will get home state senators support such as Matthrew Brooman so they can sail to confirmation & possibly get voice votes. It only stops obvious obstruction from senators that aren’t working in good faith.

        If anything, I would say getting rid of blue slips would actually get more compromise nominees. If Republicans know they can’t obstruct any longer, they will offer compromise nominees that they know the administration would agree to similar to Indiana.


  13. It’s a good point Hank. It may be beneficial to wait for now and confirm as many appellate/blue state judges first before abandoning. Because if they’re going to do it they need to be prepared to act quickly and decisively to maximize results and at this point I’m not sure they’re ready.


  14. As a resident of NY I won’t lose sleep if Hochul loses a primary in 2026 but this notion that she is worse then Lee Zeldin is garbage.
    He is anti-choice, racist and a massive anti-LGBT bigot and it really irks me to see some people saying they would vote for him over her in 2026 while saying with a straight face they’re progressive.
    As annoying as what we’ve seen from her, it would be far worse if Zeldin was in charge right now and if it’s her and him again in 2026, I will vote for her without a second thought.
    Some people might be willing to roll the dice at putting a bigot into power, I’m not one of them.
    If nothing else, there are people in NY who have said stuff like this too and then they wonder why many of us don’t trust them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, we are being sarcastic (But only slightly) when we say Zeldin is worse than Hochul. I will say with a Democrat super majority, having a really bad Republican isn’t too much worse than having a really bad Democrat in a blue state. The Republican can’t do too much damage while a really bad Democrat brings the entire party down as we saw last year.

      The best-case scenario would be if Hochul loses in the 2026 primary but that’s unlikely unfortunately. She better hope the Republicans continue offering up horrible candidates because I would happily vote for a Republican in the mold of Lisa Murkoski over her if I had to choose.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. @Dequan

    I don’t know if something isn’t coming across, but I do not think you are engaging with the singularly uniting issue presented and repeated by Hank, Frank, Joe and myself as I understand it. So I will try to spell it out precisely so that you can see where we’re coming from:

    Red state or not, Biden simply does not move quickly on nominations. Be it district courts or courts of appeals. COA doesn’t have blue slips, but that has NOT increased the speed of WH nominations. Having a couple examples of red state COA confirmations are exceptions that prove this rule. With this, we can say this it isn’t a blue slip problem. It’s a Biden thing.
    Same with blue state district court vacancies. These nominations have also been glacial. Are we going to blame blue slips?
    ***Soooo, given how slowly the WH makes nominations, how is it beneficial to get rid of blue slips?
    After the blue slip is abolished but Biden don’t move quickly to reap the benefit, what happens next?

    From what I’ve seen doing so would only very marginally increase the amount of nominations the WH makes. Do not forget that in that same tweet quoted above, we have this: He (BIDEN) still believes trial court judges must get approval from home-state senator.
    *Must. Not “would be nice.” And notice the distinction: “trial court judges.”

    So far, this is how you’ve addressed this specific question:

    “(1) Dems move so slowly with nominees as it is…
    Agreed but we do ot know if blue slips is part of the reason for teh slow pace. I would guess it is.”

    Of course, I disagree but can you give us more?

    Is this mostly about Dems using this chance to kill a custom before the GOP does?

    I just want to make it clear that none of us trusts the GOP. I just don’t see how it benefits this president.


    • Your last point is exactly my number one reason for Durbin killing blue slips. I absolutely think the Republicans will do it first when back in power & start off with much less circuit court & a SCOTUS vacancies then they did when Trump entered office. Combine that with if the Democrats take the advice given above & play hardball compared to what they did with Trump, I see no reason why anybody would think Republicans wouldn’t ditch them first. You certainly can’t point to history to justify thinking Republicans wouldn’t ditch them. Them being first to filibuster a SCOTUS nominee, first to not give a hearing to a SCOTUS nominee in an election year, four years later confirm a SCOTUS nominee in an election month, end the filibuster for a SCOTUS nominee & end blue slips for circuit court vacancies would not allow you to use history as a guide. So then it really comes down to trusting them to not ditch them first which I sure as Hell don’t.

      But as I said above, I just don’t agree with the premise that the administration would continue moving at the current slow pace if blue slips are ditched. I believe more Republican senators would work in good faith like the Indiana senators are to find a consensus nominee compared to now in which they know they can unilaterally block any nominee.

      But let’s say the absolute worst happens. Let’s say every Republican throws up their hands & says they will not work with the administration to fill any vacancies if they ditch blue slips. Ok, will Biden fill every vacancy? No, but the ones he will fill will be with more progressive nominees ideally. In my opinion 25 Dale Ho’s is worth more than 50 Matthew Brookman’s.

      And as I said above at the end of the day if Democrats can’t win elections, then it’s a moot point either way. Republicans will own the judiciary for a generation even with blue slips if Trump or DeSantis wins next year & Republicans take the senate. The only difference is they will have less vacant seats to start with if blue slips are ditched this year.


      • I see, so you want Dems to pull the trigger before Republicans can, notwithstanding that doing so will only result in minuscule benefit.

        As blue slip does not stop Biden from filling vacancies on the 5th and 10th circuit. This list would undoubtedly be much longer if there were more red state appellate court vacancies. And if Biden is in no rush to fill these seats that he can, why do we think that he would be in any more rush to fill district court seats when there’s no blue slip, especially with his stated position of home state senator approval for trial court nominees?


      • Well I would push back & defend (Albeit just slightly defend) Biden on the circuit court vacancies. Let’s go through all six without a nominee…

        9th – Just became vacant unexpectedly a couple months ago with an early unexpected resignation.

        3rd – Just became vacant less then 2 months ago.

        4th – This is mostly on senator Cardin who played Russian roulette with a circuit court seat prior to an election the Democrats were polling to possibly lose.

        10th – A complete f*ck up (Sorry, I try not to use profanity on this site but any less stronger language wouldn’t do justice). Even still, we did have a nominee back in August so you can’t say there was no movement here despite the debacle it has turned out to be.

        7th – The senators have worked in good faith to fill the other circuit court seat & a district court seat. I can see taking extra time here if it means filling the other two district court seats in a package deal.

        5th – I’m not happy this seat doesn’t have a nominee yet, there’s no getting around that. Particularly with what Cornyn said. However Texas has 8 district court vacancies. If it takes a few extra months to get a 5th nominee while simultaneously filling all district court vacancies, I think that’s worth the wait.

        My point is, if we had a red state circuit court vacancy that didn’t have any district court vacancies in the state, I would be more inclined to blame the WH soley. But we don’t. Every red state mentioned above also has lower court vacancies. So it is plausible & I would argue even probable that the delay is in part due to trying to reach an agreement to fill he district court seats as well. This is one of the main reasons why I gave the end of January (I know your time line is even sooner than mine) to fill any announced circuit court vacancies in red states. Once February hits next year, I don’t believe the red seat circuit court vacancy would be filled if announced after that time.


      • That I definitely agree with Gavi. With or without blue slips, if The WH doesn’t pick up the pace there will be a lot of vacancies at the end of the term. The biggest difference is with blue slips there will be a lot more. Ditching blue slips will still have some vacancies, but at least we will have judges like Scott Colom on the bench.


        Yea, some people are calling Biden a failure in regard to the judiciary. Thye just aren’t being realistic. You cannot agree with everything related to the judiciary with Biden like me without calling him a failure which he is far from.


  16. An aspect, which wasn’t mentioned above is, that both marshall and both attorney posts in Mississippi are still unfilled, as well as Colom, hence Rep. Thompson has already called for ditching the Blue Slip in February. I think if there is no progress, Durbin will likely go forward with Colom’s nomination, at least he will consider that.

    Another factor is, that I’m relatively sure, GOP-Senators know, that they just can afford a specific level of obstruction, RonJon has done it twice with Shah and Pocan, and I believe, Durbin won’t grant him a third time.

    And I also believe, that at a special level the constituency doesn’t appreachiate obstruction, especiallly, when they are confronted with the results.

    As obstructionism mustn’t pay, district court posts should be filled in Red States especially, otherwise we can execute the model of Marjorie Taylor Greene and separate Red and Blue States.


    • @Thomas

      Everything you said is correct however one caveat. Todd Gee was nominated for US Attorney for the Southern district of Mississippi on September 2, 2022. I’m not sure if either Wicker or Hyde-Smith has refused to turn on their blue slips. But neither here nor there your spot on, particularly your last point of MTG attaining her goal of a Red & Blue America on the judiciary.


      • As far as I can tell, the Biden Administration has been successful in appointing and confirming judges. They never had more than a one-vote majority in the Senate, yet they have confirmed more judges than any Democratic President since JFK. Yet some progressives are talking like it’s a failure.


  17. A complete and absolute betrayal. This is unforgivable by biden and a deception and betrayal of the millions of LGBTQI who supported biden. Shameful.
    I want to see the biden loving sycophants on here defend this shameless policy. Zients is an absolute disgrace and joke of a chief of staff.
    The only solace i take is that when all is done biden will be remembered as a one term failure and will overtake carter a truly decent man who never wavered against racism and fighting white supremacy, as the symbol of failed 1 term presidents. Why support democrats when they will throw transgender people under the bus just like GOP?

    PS : I am expecting the breitbart troll and poster frank to reply her with his usual gibberish and right wing nonsense playing coy and excusing biden failure, but to clear minded folks on here not afraid of criticizing biden, i ask when is enough enough?
    The one thing biden was doing well which was nominating judges have come to a screeching halt at least for appellate nominees and we have way more centrist/right wing nominees. I’m out on biden enough is enough, but i wont justify throwing transgender athletes under the bus so the right wing can let you have a few brownie points.


    • I honestly have to read up more on this. I for one have never personally been for Transgender athletes competing in sports other than their assigned birth. I consider myself fairly progressive & support the Trans community having equal rights, I just look at it not being fair to children assigned female at birth. I admittedly don’t have the answer as to what to do with Trans kids however.

      So as a practical matter I probably would agree with Biden’s pivot. But to @aangren’s broader point, why the pivot. If this is a change in policy (Regardless of if I agree with the change or not), Biden should explain & defend his new position. I hope he will address it in the coming days.


  18. Another example of how different Dems and Republicans use their power: the bombshell reporting in ProPublica that came out today detailing Clarence Thomas’s major breaches of judicial ethics and criminal non-disclosures. Republicans would be all over this, calling for endless hearings and investigations. Yet this is the milquetoast response of the chair of the Senate’s SJC. Don’t be fooled.
    The most action the SJC will do is probably reading the article into the record.

    The man needs to be off the court, already.


  19. Interesting, I just found out Republicans (39,876,285) actually won the popular vote in the senate election last year despite Democrats (39,802,675) gaining a seat. That makes me feel even better now after Republicans won the 2000 & 2016 presidency despite losing the popular vote. If Republicans continue to over play their hand & we see backlash like we have seen in Tennessee in recent days, senate Democrats most definitely would have a shot at holding the majority next year if they could win the popular vote.



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