Judge Brendan Hurson – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

The District Court of Maryland has a history of elevating magistrates to lifetime appointments, with Judges Stephanie Gallagher and Deborah Boardman elevated in the last few years. Two more have now been nominated, including Judge Brendan Hurson.


Hurson received a B.A. cum laude from Providence College in 2000, and subsequently obtained a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2005.

After graduation, Hurson clerked for Judge Margaret Seymour on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. After a year at the firm of Schulman, Hershfield & Gilden, P.A. in Baltimore, Hurson became a federal public defender in Maryland, where he stayed until 2022, except for a year as a public defender in the Virgin Islands.

In 2022, Hurson was appointed to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Maryland to replace Boardman, who was elevated to a lifetime appointment. Hurson currently serves in that capacity.

History of the Seat

Hurson has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to replace Judge George Hazel, who resigned from the bench on February 24, 2023.

Legal Career

Setting aside a short stint in private practice, Hurson has spent his pre-bench legal career as a federal public defender, representing indigent defendants in federal court. Among the defendants Hurson represented was Master Giddins, who was charged with bank robbery and conspiracy. See United States v. Giddins, 57 F. Supp. 3d 481 (D. Md. 2014). While in the Virgin Islands, Hurson was also able to represent Dequan Forde, who was charged with smuggling marijuana into the Virgin Islands. See United States v. Forde, Criminal Action No. 2018-0004 (D.V.I. Jan. 8, 2019). Hurson also had the opportunity to argue cases before the federal courts of appeal. See, e.g., United States v. James, No. 17-2536 (3d Cir. Apr. 23, 2018).


Hurson has served as a U.S. Magistrate judge in Maryland since his appointment in 2022. In this role, he handles settlement, discovery, and makes recommendations on dispositive motions as well as presiding over cases where the parties consent.

Given his short tenure as a magistrate, Hurson has not had an opportunity to create a firm jurisprudential record. A significant number of the cases that Hurson has handled consist of appeals of denials of social security benefits and discovery disputes. See, e.g., XL Specialty Insurance Co. v. Bighorn Construction & Reclamation LLC et al., Civil No. 21-3068-BAH (D. Md. Mar. 14, 2023) (Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel DIscovery). In one exception, Hurson denied to dismiss a 1983 action and related claims against the Prince George’s Police Department and the owner of Largo Liquors as a sanction for failing to comply with the court’s orders, finding the grant of partial summary judgment on some claims and a remand of the remaining claims to state court to be a sufficient sanction. See Davis v. Kim, Civil No. 19-3605-BAH (D. Md. Sept. 16, 2022).

Overall Assessment

His two predecessors on the magistrate judge, Gallagher and Boardman, both had tortured paths to lifetime appointments but were ultimately able to be confirmed. While Hurson will likely face opposition for his experience in indigent defense, he is nonetheless favored to join the bench before the August recess.


  1. Absolutely phenomenal pick. I don’t know who the 4th circuit pick will be but Biden will be hard pressed to make a pick better then this would have been. Ironically Biden nominated four nominees the in the same day. The other three were Black men but Hurson was probably the most progressive by far even though he is a White man. If another vacancy becomes open on the 4th from Maryland I hope he is given serious consideration.


  2. Not much to say about this nominee apart from concurring with the view of other posters that he seems like an outstanding choice.

    Odds on Chief Justice Bredar deciding to step down between now and 2024? If I’m reading his service dates correctly, he should become eligible for Senior Status in February 2024.


  3. I will say that I hope behind the scenes they are trying to work out a graceful way to get Feinstein to retire because it’s time for her to do so.
    IMO, I think the biggest issue is she NOT fully aware of what is going on anymore.
    Hard to work around there.


  4. We know one thing she isn’t capable of doing, and that’s showing up for work. Yes, she had a painful condition and needed to recover, but if she doesn’t come back on the 17th, she needs to give up the SJC.


      • Of course nobody can make Feinstein retire. But when there is an overwhelming sentiment, there’s a chance people listen. I’m sure Justice Breyer would still be in the court today if everybody was begging him to stay on versus reminding him about RBG’s decision to stay too long. New York would have Chief Justice LaSalle voting right along with the conservative block if people didn’t speak up on platforms, in some cases like this one.

        Don’t under estimate what the will of the oriole can do. Sure it doesn’t work all the time but we would be much worse off if it worked none of the time.


      • If people think that Breyer left just because they wanted him too than they are full of themselves. He had no obligation to leave.

        What would you do to him if he didn’t? No one really believes that the peanut gallery can make a judge leave their lifetime position.

        I don’t live in New York but I don’t think LaSalle was on the court and that’s different.

        Let’s wait a week and see what happens. In the meantime get that airport in Fort Lauderdale running right.lol


      • I haven’t worked in Fort Lauderdale airport in years, pre Covid actually. But it’s actual much better now then when I did work their… Haaaaa

        And no I didn’t say I think Breyer stepped down because people told him to. I said I think it helps. And yes I think he would still be on the court today if everybody was begging him to stay. Possibly so would Anthony Kennedy. These are real people we are talking about. They read newspapers, watch the news & hear what people are saying. If everybody is saying Feinstein should retire, it may sway her decision. So I can not agree with your everybody should stay silent theory. History has shown that gets you nowhere.


  5. Of course no one can make Feinstein to do anything. We’re all making a case that she should do something–big difference.

    She can and probably will remain selfishly attached to a job she can no longer do. But her obstinance doesn’t make her immune from all criticism.


      • I actually really hope senator Feinstein gets better soon. That’s why I said I hope she can return to work or consider retiring. The former would be good. If she isn’t better then yes I think she needs to retire & take care of herself.

        She isn’t running for reelection & California has a Democrat governor so her retiring would only make sure she can focus on herself & her health without jeopardizing the senate majority. If she can return Monday then great. But if not, she’s hurting both the country & herself.


      • I’ll be happy to answer that. I would feel bad if that happened & you did that. That’s because I’m a regular guy that has myself to be responsible for & has a lot of years ahead of me to work.

        Now ask me how would I feel if I have 330 million people counting on my work & I was already planning to retire next year but if I retired this year nothing would change financially with my situation whatsoever. Don’t forget to include this is not the first or second time I’ve been out for multiple weeks. Oh & don’t forget to add my replacement would continue my work without missing a beat. And finally include that I’m a public servant not in the private sector. Would you like me to answer the same scenario with all of those caveats? Because if you did, my answer would be I would give heavy consideration to retiring early so that I didn’t deprive my constituents a representative while simultaneously focusing on getting myself well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We don’t have 330 million people in the state of California. I voted for her to have 6 year term so I guess that is what I’ll get.

        When John McCain and Ted Kennedy had cancer no one came to their bedside and said they had to resign. So, this (situation with Feinstein) isn’t that.

        I have a vote and I intend to participate in the 2024 elections. We do not need Gavin Newsom to do what you folks said that Hochul did.

        He already chose Alex Padilla so now we our best congress people fighting over one seat. We don’t need the likes of Gavin Newsom picking someone to help him in his future endeavors.

        You don’t have anyone to vote for out there and you certainly don’t have a voice here. Go pick on Rubio or Matt Goetz or somebody like that.


      • Sure, I will happily pick on Rubio or Matt Gatez. I’ll just add them to the other 99 United States senators that affect my life & the life of 330 million Americans. I hope senator Feinstein is at work next Monday to be one of those 99 senators & doesn’t need an 8th week in a row off.

        Oh & btw, reports are if you damn Feinstein’s DC & California offices you don’t get an answer or call back. So apparently even her staff is out to lunch.


  6. Flip that around @shawnee68. You’re saying that a proud, longtime public official doesn’t care about her work at the end of her career. That her only concern is getting to January 3, 2025, not the work she could do between now and then, work that her current health challenges may be preventing her from doing.

    I never said Feinstein should resign from the Senate, just the SJC. In fact, I’ve said frequently that I think Schumer should try to get more of VP Harris’s time to break ties if that’s what it takes to get some of the nominees through.

    Don’t see why any of this is a controversial take.


    • Senator Feinsein has a legitimate illness that’s not her fault. She is entitled to have time off from work for being sick. The same would apply to you God forbid if you were stricken with an illness.

      Is it fair to lay a guilt trip on Feinstein because she has a temporary illness? Of course not.

      How can people be so heartless? It’s like a pack of Hyenas on a sick Caribou.


      • No no no that’s where you’re wrong. The same does not apply to me. I am not a public servant. I am not eligible to retire TODAY with full benefits. I am not hurting the country when I miss work. Like literally the two situations couldn’t be any different.


  7. Now you’re just twisting words around. No one says Feinstein shouldn’t have taken time off. And she did. And the Senate took another 2 weeks off after that.

    Why is it so unreasonable to say if you can’t make it back to work after 7 weeks, and there’s a bottleneck your absence is causing that impacts 330 million people, you should reduce your workload at the very least (give up SJC)?


    • Yes you are. I would refer you to FMLA which Senator Feinstein qualifies for. She’s entitled leave like anyone else. In fact , she’s an elected official so it’s not anyone’s else decision or business.

      How come you can’t wait another week until Senate comes back into session? Since the Senate is not in session there’s no need to make any decisions now.

      I am sure Senator Feinstein will let everyone know when she will return when the recess is over.


  8. Yea I’m with Dequan on this one.
    Sorry, when your job means millions of others might lose civil rights, he or she is going to be held to a higher standard then a regular person would.
    The same things being said about Feinstein now are the same things being said about RBG and how dare anyone suggest she step down because of her health issues because she felt great and her mind was still sharp.
    How did that work out for reproductive rights, LGBT rights etc?
    Feinstein has a long and great career but her issues are starting to affect the ability of being able to confirm progressive/moderate judges to counteract the last four years.
    That matters and if it continues, then she needs to step down for the greater good, simple as that.


    • That’s fine but neither of the two of you live in California.
      We don’t tell you how to fix your snakes eating alligators issues.

      I don’t have have the authority to apologize for RBG dying while in office. Listen to yourself.

      It’s not Feinstein fault that younger candidates that you prefer like Mandela Barnes choked in an election that he should have won. Is that on Feinstein?

      How come no one is going after Fetterman? Feinstein is out for a comparable time and people are all over her.

      I don’t know what loss of civil rights you are referring to. The 14th Amendment is still there the last time that I checked.

      If you can wait 7 weeks then you can wait another. The Senate isn’t in session now anyway. ( repeated for 50th time)


      • And we will repeat for the 50h time Feinstein is a UNITED STATES senator. So as long as anybody is a citizen of the UNITED STATES then her job is our business. She isn’t doing her job. She hasn’t done it for the past 7 weeks. This is no less than the third time since Joe Biden has been president that she has missed at least a week of work. And on top of it she sits on the SJC.

        You seem pretty smart but you keep bringing up other scenarios that are not the same so let me explain again. Senator McCain was a Republican so those of us that are Democrats were happy he missed work. Senator Kennedy was from a state that had a Republican governor at the time so obviously we didn’t want him to step down & get replaced by a Republican appointed senator. Senator Fetterman just won his seat so if he were to step down we would have a competitive special election to fill the remainder of his 4 years, plus he’s already said he will be back to work Monday so that’s a mute point.

        We haven’t heard anything about Feinstein’s return. Plus reports state her offices are not answering nor returning calls. She’s not running for reelection & if she retires today or January 20, 2025 she will receive the same benefits.

        You continuing to bring up scenarios that are not relevant to this one doesn’t make your argument any better. The only argument you have made that makes sense so far is if she returns to work Monday then she should stay, which we all agree on. If she can’t make it back to work next week then she is hurting the country.


      • Yes , Feinstein is a Senator FOR California. You don’t have a vote in California. That’s all I am saying. You have been after her for weeks before she went out. She’s older and you don’t like her that’s pretty clear.

        Is Fetterman doing his job? When people get sick they are entitled to take time off from work.

        The workplace is 3,000 miles away so people have to accept that. The fact that Senator McCain was a Republican is besides the point. The Republicans didn’t try to run him out of office when they knew he was terminal. So, Republicans care more about their people than Democrats? I must be losing my mind.

        I think we can wait a week. Whether you can or not does’t matter we won’t know until next Monday at the latest. People expecting Feinstein to walk off the job in between a session is wishful thinking. The country isn’t on Feinsteins back and will not fall apart if she doesn’t quit before Monday. It’s a false dilemma.


      • That’s the point. If the workplace being 3,000 miles away is a problem for her now then she needs to factor that in to her decision as to is she can finish her term doing her job fully. And unfortunately if you don’t think the country is on Feinstein’s back in relation to the judiciary, we don’t value the importance of the judiciary the same. Perhaps you don’t feel your rights being stripped away by federal judges as much but there are scores of Americans that do feel it. So the urgency to counter the 4 years of Trump might be more important to others than yourself. For those of us that do hold the judiciary in such high regard, the country is very much on senator Feinstein being able to do her job as not just a US senator but a member of the SJC.

        And again, yes myself (And a pretty sizable number of people if you read any of the articles other users have been sending) have been after her for weeks before she went out. That’s because she hasn’t been doing her job to our liking long before the last 7 weeks. It’s actually sad because I like senator Feinstein. If she is back to work Monday then that’s fine. If not, you ain’t seen nothing yet.


      • Letterman was a few blocks away from the capital and you didn’t call on him to resign much less come in for votes.

        I live 25 minutes from San Francisco and have not heard anyone calling for Feinstein to resign. We really don’t care what folks outside of the state think. It’s none of their business.

        It’s not about me and it’s not business if Feinstein wants to retire or not. It’s not my decision. However, if people have a need for bedwetting to get through matter than have at it.

        I think you are exaggerating. There’s no rash of decisions by judges that are stripping away rights. It’s a case or two here and there and have nothing to do with Feinstein.

        Have you ever been to a court hearing before? You might want to focus on people like Rubio and Scott etc. Any ruling by a judge can be changed by Congress.

        I put my money where my mouth is and donate to candidates rather than shouting them down.

        I think we will have more answers in less than a week.


      • So that I don’t have to repeat myself, please scroll up to see the difference between senators Fetterman & Feinstein’s situations. And once again I am a United States citizen therefore all 100 United States senators is my business just as much regardless of if they are from my home state of Florida or not.

        And nope, I’ve never had a court hearing. Last I checked, that isn’t a requirement for getting your rights taken away by federal judges so not sure why that question was even asked.

        As for your comment “ There’s no rash of decisions by judges that are stripping away rights.”, that doesn’t even deserve a response at this point. I won’t waste a second responding to a ridiculous comment like that.


      • I am a Californian and therefore Dianne Feinstein is one of my 2 senators. And yes I think it’s ok to criticize senators not from your state — a majority of senators can vote to take away people’s rights in my state even if my home state senators vote against it.


      • I didn’t say you couldn’t criticize Senators.It’s apparent that Senator Feinstein is at a point in her life that her daughter and other family members will have to intervene.

        This process is not easy. You cannot force someone under normal circumstances to essentially to take over their lives. It’s very complicated and hard on children as well as the parent. Taking care of an adult can be more difficult than a child. It’s not not funny and not appropriate to discuss in public.

        I get that Feinstein is public figure but no good will be served by hashing this out in public. It’s a private matter.

        I think the Feinstein’s are entitled to have another week to explain what they plan to do. The Senate is not in session now so allowing time to explain what is going on is more respectful..

        For some people here it won’t be until your folks reach an age where you have to take care of them that you will understand this.


      • I actually agree with most of what you said for once. The only part I disagree with is “not appropriate to discuss in public.” Unfortunately when you’re a US senator, your job performance (Or lack there of) is up for discussion publicly.

        For the record, I have had elderly family members in her position. None of them were public servants so it was nobody else’s business but that’s not the case for senator Feinstein. I do hope that her family is able to get her the care she needs for herself & help her reach a decision on if she will be able to finish her term for the country. Both decisions are of the upmost importance.


      • We don’t want nor need Senator Feinstein’s medical records. We don’t want to violate any HIPA laws. We want her to come to work. If she can’t come to work we want her to evaluate if remaining in the senate is best for her & the country.

        The article makes it seem those closest to her do not believe she will return ever, let alone Monday. If her aides are wrong then terrific, I’ll welcome her back Monday afternoon with open arms. If the article is correct & she can’t return to DC for a significant amount of time or possibly ever, she need to resign. It’s really that simple.


      • Yes I definitely agree. If she walks onto the senate floor Monday I will be happy to see her.

        Btw I am more than half Feinstein’s age. Last week I flew from Miami to Los Angeles & back & went to two nights of Wrestlemania in a 3 day span. It took me two days to recover & have my body back to normal. I can’t imagine myself, somebody thankfully with no health issues doing that every week at my age, let alone at the age of 89 with health issues. I’m not saying it’s easy. Just saying I hope she can continue doing it for the next two & a half years or really give some thought as to the best decision to make. I wish her well either way.


      • No worries. Myself & most Americans that are getting their rights stripped away know our two home state senators are only 1/50th of the problem. We will continue to multi task & fight for the rights of those who live in states that don’t put their rights in immediate danger & in some cases lead to oriole not being as passionate about the judiciary.


      • Thank you @Ryan Joshi.

        The idea that an American voter can only require the two home state US senators to do their job is ludicrous.

        Since you’re a California resident, can you try to reach senator Feinstein’s staff & see if you get a response? Since to some users on this blog think Florida residents don’t deserve a response, I’d love to see if she is responding to her own constituents. When she doesn’t (Unless you’re luckier than the new outlets that have been trying to reach them without successes the past seven weeks) & do not get a response, I wonder what the next excuse will be. Perhaps California residents whose first name is Ryan also don’t count… Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haaaaaa… Meanwhile Nancy Abudu can’t get confirmed because Feinstein is on her third multi week absence of Biden’s presidency. And that doesn’t account for one offs.

        I would care more about my two home state senators but neither of them are on the SJC so ironically despite what some people in this blog thinks, senator Feinstein actually affects me more than both my own senators…smh

        @Ethan sent me the following that I didn’t even realized…

        “Per Politico, the last time all 100 members of the Senate were in attendance for a vote was August 7, 2022, more than eight months ago.”


      • The irony was not lost on me.

        Wow that’s surprising, I did not realize it’s been that long since all 100 senators voted. I believe that there hasn’t been a single time this year where all 51 Democrats were in attendance — the last time I recall all 50 Democrats were in attendance was December 22, 2022.


  9. If/when Caitlin Halligan is confirmed to the NY Court of Appeals, she’ll be Obama’s second blocked appeals court nominee to go on to serve on a state’s high court (to my knowledge). The first being Goodwin Liu of California, one of my biggest judicial crushes.

    However, Halligan may need to wait a bit before she starts doing fittings for her new robes. Looks like Republicans are gearing up to challenge her nomination on the basis that Hochul improperly made it from the list of candidates for chief judge. Don’t sleep on this development because there’s always a sympathetic Republican judge out there trying to make waves, who’ll rule in favor of their fellow partisans. I could see my own official state senator filing this lawsuit, like he successfully did to force a full senate vote on the LaSalle nomination.

    In other state judicial news, I found this short article, it gives a quick look at the current and incoming justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and when their respective term ends. A couple days ago I said that there’ll be a supreme court election for at least three straight years after 2024. Well, make that 6 straight years, at least. That’s right, every year for 6 years Wisconsin voters will get a say on who sits on their supreme court. They better get used to voting, and donors better get their checkbooks out.

    Here’s the article:


    • @Gavi

      Thanks for the info. The fact that Republicans are pulling this trick is a good sign this is a good nominee. They will lose but even if they win, the commission can just put her back in the new list or Hochul picks another like mind nominee. At best this will only delay the inevitable.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s just happenstance.
        The terms are ten years.
        When a new justice is *appointed by the governor, that new justice has to run the following year for a full term but NOT in the same election when another supreme court seat is already on the ballot. That’s why it’s not uncommon for there to be an election every year.

        I actually like how it’s set up. No two seats can be on the ballot at the same time.


      • Hahaha, that is a major loophole in the law. But a conservative justice could short-circuit that by resigning, which would make the Evers appointee next in line to be on the ballot.

        At any rate, I disagree with your suggestion. The court should tackle gerrymandering as soon as a liberal majority is constituted, and such a case is properly presented to it.

        If the court does take a gerrymandering case, that ruling could come down in very late December. By the time Republicans finish the impeachment and conviction, it would already be 2024, which means that replacement would be good until 2031 IF another justice doesn’t just resign. Chances of a conservative justice doing this during Evers’s tenure is slim. But Evers has to leave office in January 2027. If a Republican takes over, that would be more attractive.
        (This is just us wildly but pleasantly gaming out a possible outcome. It’s unlikely but not totally far-fetched. Remember that Republicans on the 5th Circuit gamed the system to prevent a Dem-appointee from becoming chief judge.)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Come on White House, get your act together


    • No new nominees this week would really be a complete missed opportunity. We really need a double digit batch so going a month without new nominees won’t result in a missed SJC hearing slot. It’s Wednesday after 3pm so not looking great for this week but still time. It’s getting to the point that Biden will start lagging behind previous predecessors on judges to date at this point in their administration. He had been ahead of most recent presidents for most of his administration.


  11. So looking at how many open vacancies there are without a nominee in blue states, there’s only like 12 spots.

    That could be why they are so slow, they don’t feel a need to rush because once those are filled there’s nothing but red states left for the next 20 months.


    • There are currently 23 circuit court, blue state district court & other Article 3 lifetime appointment seats with no Republican blue slips required that do not have a nominee. Even if we can get nominees for a third of those seats, that would fill two hearings.


      • Yes agreed with Dequan – there are more than enough vacancies to fill that don’t need blue slips, and it’s not like a nominee can be announced one day and confirmed the next. If anybody in the White House Counsel’s office thinks there’s plenty of time, they need to be fired and put in a mental institution – if the next 20 months are like the last 6, Dems won’t even fill the circuit vacancies (and that’s assuming Feinstein doesn’t get more shingles, dementia, or who knows what else).

        Honestly, this lack of nominees is more infuriating than blue slips or anything else because it’s entirely within the administration’s control. They were doing so well in 2021 and 2022 – hard to believe that Remus/Klein leaving can cause the wheels to fall off this badly. (My guess is that they’re too busy adopting Republican positions on immigration, environmentalism, and DC criminal law in order to…appeal to conservatives who will end up voting for Trump in 2024 anyways).


      • Amen @Hank.

        Appealing to Republican voters that won’t vote for you anyway is usually a pipe dream. One of my favorite sayings is “Dance with the one that brought you”. This new White House Counsel’s office can’t even figure out how to get to the dance, let alone dance with the one that brought them to it.

        Three SJC slots missed so far this year. We have only had one new circuit court nominee in the past 217 days. And that one isn’t even assured confirmation at this point.


  12. Apparently changing the make up of the committees isn’t so easy to do midstream


    • That’s fine. If Feinstein decided to resign, they will work out the new committee make up. I would rather see that process begin instead of waiting for her to return. Sadly, it doesn’t look like she will be returning anytime soon if ever. The article is quoting aids that are very close to her. I was aware of Durbin’s comments but wasn’t aware of the Tweets from Boman & Ro Khanna so the talk even from her collogues are getting louder.


    • This is an absolutely sensationalized take on the rule.

      If Feinstein were to resign from the committee, yes, it would just take a UC to add a Dem. Say at the very worst that a Republican objects, it’ll take 60 votes, which wouldn’t be difficult to do. It would be very pro forma. In the absolute worst case, Dems will be able to vote on a new person with 51 votes. But I, a pessimist extraordinaire, don’t see this going so far. There are many instances when a new senator, taking office after the usual January 3rd, had to be added to committees, which is done without any fanfare at all.

      So if she does decide to step down, I’m not worried about not getting someone else on. I am more concerned with her health.
      Here’s to her good health and long life.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I understand with the change of power that nominations would be a little slow but at this point, yes, there needs to be nominees for the remaining vacancies in blue states and Circuit courts, especially the 4th and 7th.


  14. Apparently Feinstein has put out a statement saying she’s asked Schumer to temporarily assign someone else to the Judiciary Committee in her place until such time as she can return to DC. Hopefully that goes smoothly and this can be a decent compromise going forward.


  15. Hopefully Schumer is able to quickly and easily make a replacement move for Feinstein on SJC. I remain worried about her returning to Washington but this would at least allow for most nominees to move forward.


    • I hope Schumer has already had discussions with Manchin & Sinema to see if they will support Dale Ho, Julie Rinkleman, Nancy Abudu & anybody else they might support. They may have to check with other members of the caucus about Michael Delaney & maybe Charnelle Bjelkengren but for the most part all other nominees should be fine with just 50 Democrats present.


      • I agree. Hopefully with Fetterman back and a 50-49 majority they should be able to move forward on just about everyone. Ho, Rikelman, and maybe Abudu might be the only exceptions. I guess we’ll find out more next week and maybe even squeeze in some votes on Wed/Thur.

        Anyone have any guesses on who might get Feinstein’s spot? I’d love to see Cortes Masto on Judiciary and she is a former AG as well. Maybe one of the 2024 cycle folks like Rosen or Baldwin would want it too.


      • If I had to guess, I would say Cortez Masto or somebody running for reelection next year. If you ask who I personally would like to see, I would love senator Warnock to be her replacement. Instead of California, Georgia would have both its senators on the high profile SJC.

        After Chicago got the DNC convention over Atlanta next year (I was rooting for Atlanta), I think that could be a nice pardon gift. But if Welch is on the SJC then it seems as though Warnock has already passed on the chance to be on the SJC already.

        It’s funny how the Republicans have the exact opposite with new senator Schmidt trying to nudge more senior senators off the committee.


  16. For rules nerd like me, this is fascinating how everyone’s looking to the rules. Hopefully the Feinstein replacement UC/vote can happen ASAP.

    Since we have short memories, let me remind us of the Schmitt (Missouri) hold up earlier this year to illustrate how pro forma committee assignment is. Remember some on here were annoyed that this *internal* Republican disagreement was preventing Dems from fully organizing the senate? Well, it goes back to the simple concept that each party has a right to assign its members to committees as they see fit.
    If Grassley dies mid-term, do you really thing Republicans would want Dems to not seat his replacement on the committees they “assign” him to?

    The only question now is what vehicle the senate will use to “temporary” assign a new Dem to SJC. One option is to list the entire current membership, including Feinstein and the replacement *with* an expiration date in the near future.
    Another option is to remove Feinstein altogether from the roster via a senate resolution and replace her name with a new Dem, with the understanding that at some time in the near future, they senate will have to undo it by passing another resolution to return Feinstein’s name and remove the new Dem.

    I suspect that Feinstein’s “temporary” language is just for saving face, and she won’t try to return to SJC.

    The question is… who do you think will be the new Dem? I’m skeptical that anyone running next year would want to be on the SJC. They’ll say that they have too much going on already. But I wonder if Schumer/Durbin can prevail on Warren to finally accept a seat? She’d be such a natural fit, but she seems opposed to membership for some unknown reason. If not Warren, then whom?


  17. I’m hoping that after the TX abortion ruling and the Thomas situation with his wealthy sugar daddy donors, this will inspire Democrats to move on judges in the next 5 week senate period…They can give senate floor speeches on the above topics, but that is just show….Do something constructive – confirm the nominees awaiting a vote


  18. @Dequan
    “I just like a user above do believe this is a face-saving statement & the temporary replacement will be permanent.”
    The user above is me, and the above is what you’re replying to haha.

    Anyway, Schumer’s office this released in response: “Per Sen. Feinstein’s wishes, Majority Leader Schumer will ask the Senate next week to allow another Democratic Senator to temporarily serve on the Judiciary Committee.”

    Looks like they’s be moving quickly. Good to see some urgency.


    • Haaaaaa… Sorry, when I reply from my phone it just goes all the way to the bottom so I can’t see who I’m replying to. I can only see if I’m replying from a computer. But great news Schumer is moving swiftly. The SJC hearing is Tuesday & I’m hoping tomorrow we see a SJC executive meeting posted for next week (Along with a 32nd batch of nominees).

      The last 5 weeks the senate was in session saw minimal action on judges. This next 5 week session telly needs to move the dial.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, no worries.

        To all the @Frank-like people out there who like to repeat the same old line that “Dems don’t care about the courts,” yeah, that WAS the case.
        This pressure and the one against LaSalle would be unimaginable a few years ago. Dems/liberals have wised up to the importance of the judiciary.
        There’s still a ways to go, but in the interim, you might want to update your dismissal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And I would add a few more events since Biden has taken office to show Democrats finally taking the judiciary serious. Durbin’s not allowing the Republicans request for Nusrat Jahan Choudhury to come back for a second hearing was own. Schumer moving at lighting speed to confirm KBJ was another. Durbin basically laughing off senator Sullivan’s absolutely ridiculous demand to meet with ALL nominees to the 9th circuit before they are nominated might be my personal favorite. I literally laugh at just writing that… Haaaaaa

        As Gavi said, they haven’t completely caught up tot he Republicans yet but the two has been tremendously reduced. Seeing a swift temporary/permanent replacement for Feinstein is another step because I’m not confident a decade ago they wouldn’t have just rode out her absence.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @Dequan
        Good one.

        My personal favorite example is the new Democratic unity on confirming judges. I suspect that this will soon end, but it’s been great to see, especially since it really pisses the Republicans off that they can’t get a Dem to break ranks.

        Just a reminder that this wasn’t always the case.
        For example, if it weren’t for the Democratic senator from Nebraska, Goodwin Liu would probably be on the 9th Circuit. After Ben Nelson came out and voted against Liu, the nomination was abandoned.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s definitely a good personal favorite Gavi. I will admit one of my personal enjoyments in life is watching senator Cruz moan about how Democrats stick together & vote yes on every nominee. It was about a couple months ago when he said Democrats would vote in unison for a ham sandwich. I agree with you that the unison won’t last through next year, but I sure have enjoyed the ride so far.

        It’s funny you bring up senator Ben Nelson. I remember every Democrat had voted yes on every Democrat SCOTUS nominee in my lifetime until he voted no against Kagan. And he was out of office a couple years later. Like why not just vote yes on her if he wasn’t going to run for reelection.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree Gavi, I suspect this will end up being permanent and no one wants to say it. Which is fine. To be honest this probably should have happened at the beginning of this term, but maybe the Shingles hit her harder than we know.

    I think CCM is my pick. Nothing to base that off of other than she’s fresh off re election and has a legal background. Perhaps she will want to get her face out there and raise her profile some more. I also agree with Dequan that I’d love to see Warnock get a shot, but he may be more interested in other work.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Chief judge Moore is a GW Bush appointee so I’m not sure why anybody is saying it could be political. Judge Newman is close to 100 years old. She makes senator Feinstein look like a cheerleader for The Cowboys. What’s being accused isn’t too hard to believe.

        However she has lifetime tenure so ultimately it will be her decision to step down unless it gets to the point that congress steps in to impeach & remove her (Which they won’t while Biden is president). She’s on the Federal Circuit so I figure she could slug her way through even as she nears 100 but it sounds like she’s not. I hope she reflects & makes the best decision for herself & the litigates that come before the court.


      • Thanks Frank. I had never heard of that rule. Sounds similar to a couple of judges that have taken other positions but remained in active service. Biden has been able to name a successor & once they decide to retire, their positions won’t backfilled. I learn something new every week about our government. That’s another reason I love this blog.


  20. To go along with the other names where we’ll need all Democratic senators, Sen Daines has made clear he won’t return a blue slip on Anthony Johnstone and when that has arisen with other nominees, Murkowski and Collins have always voted no.
    I don’t see that being different here.


  21. As far as the Circuit Court nominees go, I think Bradley Garcia is the only one who would get R votes (likely just Collins, Murkowski, and Graham).

    Johnstone and Bloomkatz should get all D votes, so they could be done 50-49.

    With Abudu and Rikelman, I am less confident on, but I ultimately predict that Manchin and Sinema will vote for both as well. But those are the two that potentially might have to wait until Feinstein actually returns to the senate for a floor vote.

    With the district votes I won’t even hazard any predictions, but Dale Ho is really the only one I could see not comfortably getting unanimous D approval.


      • I think we will see another batch next week. Things were always going to slow down once the backlog of blue state vacancies got filled. And for the tired argument that there are still vacancies in blue states, it takes a lot of time to find a well qualified nominee who is also interested and committed in being a lifetime federal judge.


      • To the surprise of exactly no one, Frank is wrong yet again – there’s no reason it would “take a lot of time” to fill the remaining blue state vacancies when seats in other blue states have been filled in less time, and most of these states have decent-sized cities with plenty of qualified liberal lawyers who would jump at the prestige of a judicial appointment.

        The senate also doesn’t need to be in session to receive nominees – the nominees just have to be announced at least 28 days before they can have an SJC hearing.

        If you’re going to make excuses for the WHC’s failings, at least get your facts straight.


      • The point is @Gavi said at the beginning of the year he should keep track of all the missed SJC hearings this year. It’s not even the end of April & we have already missed THREE. Things will only slow down & get worse next year as the election grows closer.

        There’s no guarantee Biden or the senate Democrats will win so we want as many Biden judges as possible before the end of his term. So every missed opportunity is an unforced error.


      • @shawnee68

        They will catch up? The senate will catch up? The US senate will catch up? THIS US senate will catch up? Haaaaaaaaaa

        Do you have some inside information we don’t? If so ok. If not, I’m gonna go with what I have & am seeing. What I’m seeing is a senate with a 3 day work week, numerous recess weeks & more unannounced days off for any number of reasons. What I’m seeing is them taking a week & a half to pass the Iraq repeal resolution. What I’m seeing is unprecedented Republican obstruction ranging from only 3 voice votes to date versus 16 for Trump at this point of his presidency to not even allowing military promotions to pass by unanimous consent.

        And I haven’t even gotten into Democrat senators possibly missing days or weeks for any number of reasons. We don’t know when Feinstein will be back so I don’t even have to get to the other 50 Democrats. Oh, did we forget about an election next year? The senate will likely be out all of August & October for that. Plus senators running for reelection will miss days while campaigning as well.

        Sorry but I am not part of the there’s plenty of time crowd. But if you have some insider information that the senate will be taking up a 5 or even 4 day work week, or perhaps Republicans plan on playing nice the rest of Biden’s term then I will stand corrected.


      • @Frank

        I think your confused on your timeline. Once the president announces his intent to nominate somebody, the 28 days clock starts. He can send the nomination any time after. There are numerous examples, but I will give you an extreme example to prove my point.

        Trump announced his intent to nominate Justin Walker to the DC circuit on April 3, 2020. He didn’t send the nomination to the senate until May 4, 2020. Walker had his SJC hearing on May 6, 2020, 48 hours later. The link is below.



      • The difference between announcing now versus next week could be one week. The SJC hearing could be held a week earlier which means voted out a week earlier which means confirmed a week earlier. For those of us that don’t believe there’s all this time in the world some users claim there is, that week means a lot.


      • Haaaaaa… Because the senators aren’t complaining is now your new mode of reasoning. The senators don’t complain about a lot of things initially that many of us in this blog complain about that eventually turns mainstream.

        Look no further than Senator Feinstein’s situation. Before this week no senator or even member of the House publicly complained while many of us on here have been since last year. Now this week I’ve seen no less than a dozen different news articles covering the story, several congressman & even a couple senators speaking on the subject publicly. It’s ok, we will continue to set the trends & let you know what’s important to the country while you wait for senators to fill you in… Lol


      • It’s another line of reasoning because you are all over the place. You lost me when you made that leap.

        I haven’t heard any Senator say anything negative about Feinstein. It’s really not a matter for the House anyway so who cares what a couple of self-absorbed Congressmen think? They are just jealous because they can’t be in the Senate.

        In fact, I saw Chris Murphy on Morning Joe and he said it was no one in the Houses’ business. It’s just rudeness cloaked in humility.


      • Members of the House, just like Americans in the 49 states a senator does not represent, are still affected by a U.S. senator. There votes (Or lack there of) affect us all.

        If Durbin continues his reluctance to schedule additional SJC hearings then we won’t get any hearings in back to back weeks or recess weeks. So not getting new nominees this week will lead to a fourth possible SJC hearing being missed this year alone. That’s why it matters.


      • I wasn’t talking about Feinstein. I was talking about the White House missing another week with no new nominees which means another SJC slot missed. I only brought up the Feinstein situation when you brought up senators aren’t talking about missed SJC slots to show you the most recent example that senators not talking about something before we do shouldn’t be your metric to judge if people on this blog are over reacting.


  22. And now early news is that Republicans want to put Sinema or some other moderate on the SJC to replace Feinstein: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/republicans-want-make-difficult-senate-replace-feinstein-key-panel-rcna79592.

    Since there’s no simple majority vote on discharge motions this Congress, that would mean any nominee who deadlocks in committee would need 60 votes to get out (which is not happening with these Republicans). I would hope Schumer isn’t dumb enough to agree to this (at least without allowing a simple majority for discharge petitions again), but either way this would slow things way down when things are already slow enough as it is. I also am not confident that Senate Dems are thinking that strategically – my concern is that Dems will think it’s fine because Manchin/Sinema haven’t voted against any nominees on the floor, but I’d be highly surprised if the two of them (especially Sinema) are still as cooperative with 2024 getting closer.

    Luckily they voted the most controversial nominees through committee already (Almadani is the only who I could see Manchin/Sinema voting again). However, this could lead to the White House taking even long people and/or them nominating even older/more centrist candidates. Given that the new WHC’s pace makes a turtle seem like a rocket ship, we can hardly afford more delays.


    • Under these circumstances it might be better to drop that matter and hoping on the return of Feinstein, because there are still 5 circuirt and 13 district courts waiting for a floor vote, and Sinema or Manchin even temporarily in the committee is a horrible imagination.
      But I also understand, that this may only buy time and a decision has to be made sometime in the future and the conditions won’t change.


  23. Pretty ridiculous that they won’t let this simply be a unanimous consent vote. But I guess that’s politics. If they play hardball I hope Schumer simply puts it up for a floor vote and calls their bluff.


    • How many of you, if you were the White House, would try to make a deal to get some Republicans to vote for impeachment of Justice Thomas in exchange for appointing someone like Jerome Holmes (10th circuit) or Lavenski Smith (8th circuit), both of whom are Black men in their 60s appointed by G.W. Bush, and are conservative but not complete ideologues?


  24. @Hank

    Re: that link you shared.

    Absolutely absurd! Makes my blood boil. This alone would move me closer to Dequan’s position on blue slip, even though I know it’d be cutting off my nose.

    Schumer cannot sleep on this! He needs to make it clear to Republicans that the respective caucuses make their own committee selection, something that you think they’d know already.

    My god, how I miss Harry Reid. He’d never stand for this.

    If Republicans actually force this by objecting to a UC, that would be a ginormous escalation in the judicial wars. And Frank and other old timers want us to unilaterally disarm? Outrageous.
    Last night I was feeling so good that the confirmation conveyor can finally restart. And now, getting home from a work function, I see this?

    Maybe to hell with the rules and norms.
    I’m here thinking that no way Republicans would do anything that Dems would return the favor to, say, Grassley’s replacement. But they don’t care about abstract harm in the future if they can exercise raw power now.

    Ultimately, I’m not worried about Republicans blocking a Feinstein replacement — if the weak Dems gather enough willpower they can override that with 50 votes. I’m worried that this crop of Dem leadership might not be up to the fight.

    And Schumer will have earned his forced retirement the second he allows Republicans to dictate who the Dems should name to a committee.

    I should go to bed.


    • @Gavi

      This kind of crap is honestly the main reason I would kill blue slips. I’m not a flame throwing liberal (I’m more left of center). I’m just a realist. I have little to no doubt Republicans will end blue slips once back in complete power. So for me the question isn’t so much do I want Democrats to end blue slips. For me the question is do I want Democrats to end it before Republicans do.


  25. I am legit pissed off and angry! How dare republicans demand and dictate that sinema and manchin must be the only two replacements? If schumer has any common sense he will reject that absurd proposal. Feinstein Is an absolute disgrace. She should never have put Democrats in this position. Her stingyness and selfishness is why Democrats are here.
    Honestly I would rather a republican win the arizona senate seat over sinema if a Democrat gallego can’t win..keeping a grifter like sinema out of the senate permanently is worth it even if a GOP like doug ducey or kari lake gets in. She is just a grifter who only cares about sucking up to the wealthy elites and hedge funds, the audacity to think they can demand sinema be put there is insane! I blame feinstein she is ultimately responsible. In no sane world should a 89 year old be in any public office.

    Schumer and Democrats being the cowards they are I fully expect him to acquiesce and to put sinema in the judiciary commitee. Imbecile.
    GOP senators are truly scum of the earth and its why i am so angry biden treats any of them with any thing less than contempt and disgust


    • Has the SJC eliminated proxy voting? No. (“Members who are unable to attend the meeting may submit votes by proxy, in writing or by telephone, or through personal instructions.”) So why does Feinstein have to be replaced on the committee??? I’m not sure what’s going on. But it has nothing to do with the GOP or Sinema or Manchin or the Tooth Fairy.


      • A proxy vote can’t be used when it is the deciding vote per SJC rules. Also it’s not a case of agism comparing Feinstein to Fetterman.

        Feinstein is on the SJC, already announced she is retiring next year, still can’t come back to work after 7 weeks off, has missed multiple other weeks since Biden took office, has had other mental mishaps & is from a bright blue state in which her seat has no danger of falling into Republican hands if she resigned.

        Fetterman has already stated he is returning to work Monday, is not on the SJC & is from a competitive purple state. Should he resign his seat would be in in a special election. So the two situations have stark differences.


      • @ joeyfalconi

        I don’t know where to find the wording of the rule at, perhaps @Gavi does. He’s extremely knowledgeable at senate rules. But clearly proxy voting isn’t allowed for a deciding vote because it hasn’t been done even once under Biden’s presidency. I even remember senator Tillis voting present on some nominees when senator Leahy was out because he said he didn’t want to hold their nominations up.


        Hard to argue with anything you said. Horrible pick & very infuriating. I can’t even argue your point about there’s no package deal because even if there were, now that the nominations wasn’t made simultaneously with Ramirez, either the deal is your traditional 3 for 1 or even worst type of a deal or Cruz could back stab Biden & simply not return his blue slip for any one of the district court nominees once they are announced. Ramirez is becoming more & more like the worst Biden circuit court nominee to date to me & I never thought that was possible with a Democrat majority, let alone increased by one majority…smh


  26. I was surprised Monica Almadini’s nomination went to the floor, and didn’t expect Marian Gaston to be deadlocked (more or less) since they didn’t hold vote on her..

    When Almadini was first nominated I thought she was going to be a tough confirmation, but likely in end she’ll have Graham, Collins, & Murkowski support on floor


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