Judge Ana de Alba – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

In December 2022, Judge Paul Watford shocked the legal community by announcing that, at the age of 55, he was stepping off the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to return to private practice. The Biden Administration, however, has put forward a nomination fairly quickly, Judge Ana de Alba.


Born Ana Isabel de Alba in 1979, the daughter of immigrant farmworkers, de Alba received her B.A. from the University of California Berkeley in 2002 and her J.D. in 2007 from the UC Berkeley School of Law. While a law student, de Alba worked with elementary and middle school students on mock trials. See Minerva Perez, Pupils Convene Court, Los Banos Enterprise, Mar. 30, 2007 After law school, de Alba joined Lang Richet & Patch PC. She also continued her work with mock trial. Thaddeus Miller, Mock Trial Enlightens View of Future for Los Banos Sixth-Graders, Los Banos Enterprise, Mar. 16, 2012. In 2018, de Alba was appointed to the Fresno County Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown. On January 19, 2022, President Biden nominated de Alba to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. She was confirmed on June 21, 2022, and has served on the Eastern District since.

History of the Seat

de Alba has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to a seat that will be vacated by the resignation of Judge Paul Watford on May 31, 2023.

Legal Experience

Other than a brief stint at the ACLU Immigrants Rights Project, de Alba spent her entire career before becoming a judge at Lang Richet & Patch PC. Among her work there, de Alba represented a credit union in a suit by borrowers alleging promissory fraud that went up to the California Supreme Court. See Riverisland Cold Storage Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Product, 55 Cal. 4th 1169 (Cal. 2013). The California Supreme Court overruled a prior ruling limiting the use of “parol evidence” (evidence of verbal or written agreements outside the language of a contract) in cases of promissory fraud. See id. at 1172. Additionally, while at the firm, de Alba received the Jack Berman Award of Achievement from the California Young Lawyers’ Association in 2012 for her pro bono work, including serving on the Board of Directors for Central California Legal Services, Inc. California Lawyers, Judges to Receive Awards for Legal Service and Excellence, Targeted News Service, Oct. 4, 2012.


State Court

Since 2018, de Alba has served as a Superior Court judge in Fresno County. In this role, she presides over civil, criminal, and domestic cases. Among the matters she handled on the bench, de Alba presided over a suit by the American Chemistry Council alleging that California had improperly listed SPF systems using methylene diphenyl diisocynates (MDI) as priority products for the state’s green chemistry program, restricting their commercial use. See Judge Questions Core ACC Claim in Suit Over DTSC Spray Foam Listing, Inside Cal/EPA, Jan. 15, 2021. de Alba ordered the delisting of the challenged products, while rejecting three other challenges. Judge Scraps California DTSC’s Spray Polyeurethane Foam Listing, Inside Cal/EPA, Apr. 2, 2021. California’s appeal of the ruling is currently pending. California Urges Appellate Court to Uphold Green Chemistry Product Listing, Inside Cal/EPA, Feb. 4, 2022.

Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, de Alba gained some news attention for her rulings relating to scheduling and court compliance. In one ruling, de Alba refused to extend or excuse deadlines for a defendant’s community service, noting that she had seen no evidence that the defendant had worked towards the service before the pandemic hit. See Jeannette Parada, COVID-19 or No COVID-19, Fresno Judge Wants Defendant’s Community Service Done – Or It’s Jail, The People’s Vanguard of Davis, June 29, 2020. In another case, de Alba withdrew bench warrants that had been issued for defendants who failed to appear, noting that they did not have access to steady housing or transportation, and allowed them to participate virtually. See Phoebe Glick, Coronavirus Court Precautions Can Lead to Unforeseen Complications, The People’s Vanguard of Davis, Aug. 7, 2020.

In other rulings, de Alba found probable cause that a defendant had committed an act of domestic violence based on the testimony of the reporting officer. See Angelina Caplanis, Defender Argues Victim Lied on 911 Call; Judge Still Finds Probable Cause for Arrest, The People’s Vanguard of Davis, July 15, 2020.

Federal Court

Since her confirmation in June 2022, de Alba has served as a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of California. In this role, de Alba has handled both civil and criminal cases. Among the civil cases she has handled, de Alba adopted a magistrate’s recommendation and declined to grant summary judgment against a pro se civil rights plaintiff for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. See Tran v. Smith, Case No. 1:19-cv-00148-ADA-SAB (PC). de Alba also granted a plaintiff’s motion to amend a breach of contract lawsuit against the City of Fresno. See David Taub, Granite Park Operator Adds New Accusations in Lawsuit vs. City, Elected Leaders, GV Wire, Feb. 8, 2023, https://gvwire.com/2023/02/08/granite-park-operator-adds-new-accusations-in-lawsuit-vs-city-elected-leaders/.

In a notable dispute, defendants sought to have de Alba thrown off presiding over a wage theft class action suit brought against Anthony Vineyards, Inc., arguing that de Alba’s past legal work on behalf of farmworkers would render her biased. See Jane Mundy, California Ranch Operator Says Judge is Biased in Second Wage Theft Class Action, Lawyers and Settlements.com, Feb. 9, 2023, https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/legal-news/california_labor_law/california-ranch-operator-says-judge-biased-in-second-wage-theft-23686.html. However, their motion was ultimately denied. See Jennifer Bennett, Judge’s Past Employment Work Not Disqualifying in Wage Case, Bloomberg Law, Feb. 22, 2023, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/litigation/judges-past-employment-law-work-not-disqualifying-in-wage-case.

It appears that only one of de Alba’s opinions has received appellate review in her short tenure. In the opinion in question, the Ninth Circuit affirmed de Alba’s revocation of a defendant’s supervised release and her sentence of nine months. See United States v. Martinez, No. 22-10274 (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2023).

Overall Assessment

Last year, de Alba had a relatively comfortable confirmation process, with few questions being raised and three Republican senators crossing party lines to support her. Based largely on her relatively uncontroversial tenure on the district court, there is little reason that her elevation should be different. However, appellate nominations always carry more contention and the absence of Senator Dianne Feinstein may slow down de Alba’s nomination somewhat. Nonetheless, Democrats still have more votes today than they did when de Alba was first confirmed, and she is strongly favored to be confirmed comfortably.


  1. Good pick here. I would have went with pulling Mónica Ramírez Almadani‘a district court nomination & switching it to the 9th or Araceli Martinez-Olguin but I’m fine with this pick as well. I would give her an A-. I have been advocating for more Hispanic representation by Biden on the circuit courts so happy to see this pick much more so than the other pick he made on the same day to the 5th circuit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grade: B/B-
    I can’t add to the fawning over this nominee.

    (I’m not a purveyor of identity politics, so her race has no impact on my assessment.)

    Mitigating factors:
    Her being over a decade younger than her would-be predecessor is awesome.

    Nomination speed
    I’m no Biden sycophant but I like to think that I can be fair. The speed with which this nomination was made is very impressive.

    Neutral factor:
    Besides her short stint at the ACLU, there’s not much professional diversity in her background. Short though it was, she still worked for the ACLU so I’ll put this in the neutral column.

    Aggravating factors:
    Backfilling her district court vacancy
    Diane Feinstein’s vote is not needed to confirm her. But Feinstein’s participation is needed to replace her on the district court. This might further delay an already slow process.
    As a rule, I am not a fan of elevating district court judges unless they are proven judicial heavyweights worthy of a circuit court seat and the effort it’ll take to replace them on the trial court bench.

    Judicial philosophy
    She’s a conventional nominee when the moment calls for a distinguished one. Nothing in her record suggests that she can be a jurisprudential counterweight to the barn-burning Trump judges on the 9th.

    (Can I add that it’s so strange to hear talks of “geographical diversity” on a court with jurisdiction spanning thousands of square and nautical miles. It’s not a district court.)

    Anyway, I look forward to her hearing and confirmation, hopefully before summer 2024.


    • It’s not strange to consider geography diversity IMO, and I was not a fan of other recent examples of it being reduced. A more radical nominee risks possibly not being confirmed, so taking the safe route is warranted seeing as Feinstein is not to be counted on for any committee votes. Not everyone can be a Dale Ho (who ironically seems like will never be confirmed, after everyone here raved about how amazing he is). As Harsh notes, De Alba has a great pro bono background and has volunteered with youth, which is great to see. I actually think she is a bit too young, but has a variety of experiences despite that.


    • Not really disagreeing with anything you said, Gavi. In fact I think a lot of it is fair. I’m probably just more forgiving of some of the drawbacks.

      As far as de Alba’s replacement, Feinstein can still turn in a blue slip and I’ve always assumed her staff does all of the work on nominees anyway. Since there are so many of them in CA I assume they have quite the apparatus in place already.


      • @Frank

        Specifically, what impact would it have had on the court if she’s from Los Angeles, or the Bay Area?
        Feinstein’s absence has nothing to do with her nomination. And it won’t prevent it from moving forward. Johnstone was just confirmed yesterday, over the objection of the home state Republican. That nomination would still be confirmed without Collins’ vote and Feinstein’s absence. Math is not debatable.
        It surprises no one that you think 44 is still too young. Anyone not pushing retireable age is too young for you.

        “Not everyone can be a Dale Ho.”
        However, Biden has had more Ana de Albas than Dale Hos. I want it to be the reverse.

        For me, these are lifetime appointments so I have high standard and won’t be easily satisfied with mediocrity/conventional choice.
        But I still think it’s easy to meet my standards: age and ideology. That’s all it takes. Easy peasy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Gavi the difference is that new nominees need to be voted through committee, which unless Feinstein comes back (and I wouldn’t be surprised if she never does) depends on Graham’s vote. Johnstone got voted through committee precisely because Feinstein made that vote, which is TBD going forward.

        When the only way a Dem nominee even gets to the floor is with the support of at least on Republican (a ridiculous situation that would never happen when the Republicans have the majority), I’m hardly surprised the nominees are going to be blander and more centrist. Martínez-Olguin and Almadani would’ve been better picks IMO (though my preference was Sunshine Sykes), but spending months vetting/deciding on them only for things to deadlock in committee would be a waste of time that Dems don’t have.

        And of course geography is a consideration – aside from the fact that someone who spent their whole careers practicing in SF/LA is going to have a different viewpoint than someone in Fresno/Sacramento, these are also political positions. Especially in states like California with a regional divide, there would be a lot of behind-the-scenes pushback from the lawyers if all the California 9th Circuit seats went to SF attorneys. Murray recommended Mendoza for the Washington seat partly because there had never been a CA9 judge from Eastern Washington.

        I get not being satisfied with nominees, but folks here have unrealistic expectations and are inevitably disappointed by the administration and this horrible new WHC.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not a bad pick, but I agree with @Dequan that Monica Ramirez-Almadani and Araceli Martinez-Olguin would’ve been even better.

    This is also a net loss in the number of Black men on circuit courts. If Kim McLane Wardlaw goes senior, I hope Lamar Baker is the nominee. If Ronald Gould goes senior, I hope Jamal Whitehead is the nominee. If Johnnie Rawlinson changes her mind and decides to let the White House pick her successor, Phillip Nelson Smith Jr. is a Black man who would be a good pick, even though he would not be the frontrunner.


    • @Ethan
      The zero-sum game of identity politics reigns supreme!

      What about Jamal Whitehead’s blackness is dispositive to Lauren King’s American Indianess? Please don’t pivot to his disclosed disability because you mention him in the context of his race.


      • @Gavi, race is sometimes the tie-breaker if all candidates’ qualifications are the same. Many qualified candidates of all races in the large state of CA.

        But Biden would have to appoint very few White men to any circuit courts in order to counteract the lack of diversity from Trump’s picks.

        Toby Heytens and Anthony Johnstone are the only successfully appointed White men to circuit courts so far (Michael Delaney is pending).

        I’d be fine if Daniel Hansmeier got the 10th circuit seat (though I doubt the KS Senators would). I’d also be fine with David Hollar on the 7th circuit in IN (though Mario Garcia would be preferable).


      • I couldn’t disagree more. All else being equal, race is not an accomplishment/hinderance so it’s not a tiebreaker for me. This is the affirmative action mentality that has never been popular and will soon be back in higher education.
        There were a lot wrong with Trump judges, but their supposed lack of diversity isn’t one. Disagreeing with this means you would have preferred 250+ Patrick Butaneys.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s ok to include identity politics in judicial nominations because guess what… This is politics. If we are talking about open heart surgery, I want the most qualified person. When it comes to politics, you need to get re-elected.

        Let’s say for instance you included no identity politics. Now let’s say all 39 of Biden’s circuit court nominees & his SCOTUS justice were straight White men. Would that be ok? Would that keep or add votes for his re-election next year? Nobody in their right mind would answer either of those questions yes. Why? Because the Black, Hispanic, AAPI & LGBT people that waited in line for hours to vote for Biden would not find that acceptable. Even if all 40 of the judges I mentioned above were extremely qualified & as progressive as Dale Ho that wouldn’t be acceptable.

        So if you agree with my example above, you can’t say you yourself don’t agree with identity politics when it comes to judges (Again I’m not talking about heart surgeons). If you want a progressive judiciary like me then you want president Biden to be re-elected & the Democrats to retain the senate majority. That means you need Black, Hispanic, AAPI & LGBT voters to come out to vote for them. That means you need to do things to inspire them to vote & identify politics in judicial nominees is one of those things. Tony Heytens is a great nominee but I’m sorry, Biden wouldn’t be cross crossing the country touting he put another White man on the Supreme Court the way he is for putting the first Black woman in it.

        We have to remember this is politics. It’s completely fair, within bounds & I would say even needed to criticize bad Black, Hispanic, AAPI & LGBT judicial nominees like I have (Childs, Ramirez, Pan & I can’t think of a LGBT Biden judge I have a problem with at the moment). It’s not fair to say being Black, Hispanic, AAPI & LGBT shouldn’t be one of the considerations when choosing that judge. I would go even further & say it’s not realistic.


      • @Dequan
        If in 2023 we’re still advocating for the preferential use of race and other accidents of birth over qualification, then there might not be much room for persuasion so there isn’t much point for me to continue. But it is noteworthy that this is verbatim reasoning of eras gone by.


      • @Gavi

        I’m not a psychic but I bet even in the year 3023 identity politics will still be a big favor in judicial nominees. But would you mind answering my questions I posed in response to your view…

        1. If we could restart, would you personally be ok with Biden nominating 39 straight White men to the circuit courts & a straight White male to the SCOTUS instead of the 39 we got plus KBJ if all 40 of them were more progressive then the nominees we got?

        2. If the answer to #1 was yes, then my second question is do you think that would help Biden & the Democrat senate majority get re-elected next year?

        If your answer to either of those two questions is no, can you please explain to me how you don’t agree identify politics should come into play for judicial nominations? You may not agree it should go as far as @Ethan or myself may think it should, but do you honestly think it should play no role???


      • @Hank
        It’s a closed/exclusionary logic.
        As I asked Ethan earlier, and I am sure is unanswerable, in the zero-sum politics of race, what is the secret ranking of Whitehead’s race over King’s.

        1: False premise. Biden could find *qualified nominees from a range of backgrounds without the need for preference. It’s not either 39 blacks/poc or 39 whites.

        2: This is infirmed a priori.


      • @Gavi, King would be great too. However, there will likely be another opportunity to appoint a 9th circuit judge in CA, where Sunshine Sykes would also become the first Native American circuit judge. Whereas there likely won’t be any other opportunities to appoint a 9th circuit judge in WA under Biden.


      • @gavi

        False premise? Wait, I’m confused. I just offered you the deal of a lifetime. I said we can replace all 39 of Biden circuit court judges & his SCOTUS pick of KBJ with 40 Dale Ho’s. The only thing is they will all be straight White males. Why was your answer so long? I would think this would be the easiest of softball deals for you to accept.

        What is giving you pause to just say deal accepted? Did Dale Ho all of a something become conservative? Did he come out late last night & say he agrees with the Dobbs decision? Are you saying you would rather J Childs over a straight White male Dale Ho? If not her, which of Biden’s 39 circuit court judges would you rather we keep in my offer than a straight White make Dale Ho?

        I’m kind of curious now because I thought this would be a slam dunk deal for you. You’re sounding like you’re having second thoughts. Remember it’s 2023 so the fact that all 40 would have to be straight White males should have no barring on your decision to accept or reject the deal… Lol


      • As you explained already, electability (fyi I wouldn’t automatically accept or reject the deal though I lean towards rejecting).

        We don’t want Donald Trump to wreck havoc for 4 more years, and if Biden appointed only straight white men, he would be viewed as racist and sexist as Trump, if not more so.


      • Generally agree that diversity is valuable for the reasons Dequan stated – these are political appointments, the Dem coalition depends on the support of people of color (and yes the average Black/Hispanic/etc person doesn’t care, but you bet the political class from those communities do).

        Gavi has a point that folks on here take it to a whole other level though – counting the exact number of judges of each race/gender/sexuality and saying it’s a bad thing when somebody is not replaced with a new judge of that exact background. Every community of color is underrepresented and can credibly argue for more representation, so it doesn’t make sense to base decisions on that when there are so few seats to start with – why does a decrease in Black male appellate judges (at a time when Black female appellate judges have doubled) outweigh the fact that there has never been a Native American appeals judge? Or that there have been more black appeals judges than Latino appeals judges even though Latinos are now a larger proportion of the overall population?

        If it’s all about the race of the nominee rather than what the nominee has done to serve underrepresented communities, we get nominees like Hector LaSalle to the NYCOA who would’ve 100% been worse for all NY Latinos who were not his personal friends. Similarly, having more Black male appellate judges (for example) is pointless and counterproductive if they’re going to just be former prosecutors (or even worse, another Clarence Thomas).


      • @Hank

        I don’t think anybody is advocating considering identity politics that would include the likes of Hector Lassale or Clarence Thomas. That wouldn’t be identity politics, that would be dumb politics. There are plenty of qualified progressive lawyers that would be considered way before you would need those kind of judges.

        Remember the only reason Hector Lassalle was picked was because the governor of his state is an incompetent conservative. I as a Black man would have been more than happy with a Chief Justice Jorge Rodriguez for example.


      • @Ryan Joshi

        Exactly my point. You hit the nail right on the head. No deal, even a spectacular deal like 30 Dale Ho’s that were all straight White men could be acceptable (Yes @Gavi even in 2023… Lol). Judges are politics. I’m not saying that’s the way it has always been or even the way it should be. I’m saying that is the reality.

        To think that you cannot take race, sexual orientation or any other identity politics into decision making of picking judges is just not reality based. Of course, if the choice is between Clarence Thomas & a straight White male Dale Ho you go with the White male. But that is the “False premise” that @Gavi mentioned earlier because it will never be that choice. There are plenty of progressive (fill in your blank identity politics of choice) to choose from.

        But to say you should not consider race AT ALL is just not realistic. Had Biden nominated 39 straight White men to the circuit courts & then another straight White male to the SCOTUS, I would venture to say he would not be the Democrat nominee next year & surely would face a MUCH tougher chance at reelection just based on that choice alone. Sorry, it may sound nice to say don’t consider race but it’s not realistic. Open heart surgery YES, for federal judges when you want people to vote for you, NO… Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is a very good point. You need to win the support of various underrepresented communities; they need to work together and fight the system rather than fight each other. The white supremacists love when racial minority groups fight each other and will go so far as to create a fake controversy to turn one racial minority group against each other.

        I am very critical of affirmative action because it unfairly discriminates against Asian-Americans. However, if you selected ALL white men even in a race-blind/gender-blind system, I would have suspicions that it wasn’t actually race-blind or gender-blind.


  4. Today’s a big day, it’s the release of John Paul Stevens papers. Chief Justice John Roberts hates when justices arrange for the release of their papers, but thankfully, it isn’t up to him.If you’re in DC, make sure you check out this treasure trove at the LOC. Use the link below as a guide.
    I’m particularly interested in reading about deliberations surrounding Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Bush v. Gore. Before long, his papers will make its way into books and hopefully digitized for all to see without schlepping to DC.

    Click to access ms019044.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is huge! The most recent justice we’ve had papers of before today was Harry Blackmun, who retired from the Court in 1994. Blackmun wrote a bit about Planned Parenthood v. Casey, such as when he referred to Rehnquist as “the Chief” saying “he doesn’t deserve to be called Justice on this one” (Justice Kennedy, who switched his vote, talked Blackmun out of referring to Rehnquist that way, possibly at the price of his vote). Blackmun’s papers also gave us the revelation that Justice Kennedy switched his vote.

      It will be interesting to see the big updates 1994-2010.

      Liked by 1 person

    • @Frank

      I saw that article last November as well. Nothing that would have stopped Jorge Rodriguez from being confirmed had he been included in the list of recommendations & Hochul had chosen him.


      Thanks for the link for justice Steven’s papers. I didn’t know they would be released today. I’m surprised Roberts is against justices papers being released. Especially since he passed away years ago.


  5. Weird–sounds like Fabriarz is going to get more Republican votes than Kirsch, an actual Republican.

    On diversity, I think there are reasons other than the Democratic electoral coalition why it’s an important consideration. I think judges who aren’t White bring a variety of experience and background that is valuable when deciding the law, especially for those appearing before them who also aren’t White. The only way I think you can say “it’s okay if they’re all White, just so long as they’re qualified” is to argue that Whites have some magical understanding of how non-Whites experience the law in this country, which would not be a credible argument. Also, on the flip side, the diversity that comes with appointing non-White judges doesn’t automatically disqualify any nominee, unless the argument is that a non-White person can’t be as qualified as a White person.
    I really hope that’s not the argument that’s being asserted here.


    • @rayspace

      Yea what you said is my (And I believe @Ethan’s) point. In no way are we saying a White nominee should be disqualified soley because they are White. I have actually advocated the appointment of several White men such as John Rappaport in Ilinois for example. I would have picked him over judge Lee & the only reason I wouldn’t have picked him over Candace Jackson-Akiwumi is because we got two vacancies for her one appointment (Unless you think it was a coincidence her father retired after she was confirmed).

      What I am saying is race should have some consideration. It shouldn’t be the ONLY factor however.


  6. It is weird that Kirsch is not getting more R votes. Several district (and some appellate) nominees have had as many or more votes as Fabiarz, so it’s not like he’s extraordinarily popular. Is there some criticism of Kirsch that we’re missing?

    It doesn’t matter much either way because I still think it’s ridiculous that a Republican was nominated in New Jersey of all states, but I’m just curious.


  7. Excellent news – Feinstein is likely returning next week.

    Hopefully several of the more controversial nominees will be confirmed then (plus a bunch more moved through SJC.


    • Let me take a wild guess… Schumer isn’t gonna be bringing judges up next week or if so, still none of the heavy hitters. Then the debt ceiling debate will take up weeks. Then they will go on their one week recess. By the end of their first week back, something else will pop up & Senator Feinstein will need to go back out again. The heavy hitters still won’t be confirmed as a result.

      I should become an author & start writing books. If the book is about senator Feinstein missing more weeks of work after she returns, you can find the book in the nonfiction section…smh


    • Or… if this is all false hope… if the VP is around, Manchin can pair his vote with Feinstein for a nominee that he opposes. If Murkowski was willing to pair with Steve Daines for BRETT KAVANAUGH, Manchin should be willing to pair with Feinstein for an appeals court nominee.


  8. I have the same apprehension Dequan.

    If Schumer does not want to immediately spend 24-30 hours on the appellate nominees I hope that at least we can carve out time the oldest pending District nominees. Vera, Ho, Kato, Cartwright, Merle, and Choudhury have all been sitting out there for 15+ months and would only take 2 hours of debate each. Nearly all of those could conceivably be knocked out in a week.


  9. Ryan, I agree on holding that SJC meeting. The three most recent nominees are being held over this Thursday so there should be a sizable slate for DiFi to vote on.

    Delaney (1st)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was happy to see a SJC meeting scheduled for this Thursday. Nobody will be voted out but at least get the one week hold over bs out of the way so when Feinstein comes back they can vote them all to the floor in one day. I’m afraid how much time this debt ceiling is gonna take up. It sure would be nice if Schumer says the senate stays in session until they get it done so they can spend a Friday & Saturday on all the amendments but I guess that’s too much to ask.


      • No cloture motions sent to the desk today. It looks like the senate will be voting on confirmation of two judges tomorrow so that’s good. They have a long gap in the day & also voting on two House bills. Hopefully Schumer will send some cloture motions to the desk tomorrow to set up for next week if Feinstein really is returning.


      • There are eight states that Biden has not nominated a US Attorney nor a federal judge for. I think if Durbin is serious about getting tough on senators not working in good faith, he needs to start with these eight.

        1. Alabama
        2. Arkansas
        3. Kentucky
        4. Mississippi (Scott Colom was nominated but blue slips not turned in)
        5. Missouri
        6. Nebraska (No judicial vacancies)
        7. Oklahoma
        8. Wyoming


  10. Hmm, I remember Biden nominated at least 3/4 US Attorneys for Texas that Cruz recommended, he complained a bit that his 4th nominee wasn’t also nominated by Biden.

    Would be pretty bad if that, plus a women in her late 50s for Circuit Judge got him nothing in return when there’s 7 district seats open. By the way, I thought by now we’d know if that Circuit selection was for a deal, starting to feel like it wasn’t.


    • There are actually 8 Texas district court vacancies now. A Clinton appointee announced senior status on the same court Irma Ramirez was nominated for under Obama in 2016. So that makes the pick even worse now. But as you said nothing will make it worst then no deal for at least a handful of the district court vacancies. She would surpass Childs as the worst Biden circuit court pick if no deal comes with her.


  11. I wonder if we’ll see more nominations tomorrow. That would set up a hearing date on May 31 when they return for Memorial Day recess.

    They could technically wait as long as May 10 though and still have 2 hearing dates (June 7 and 21 )before the July 4 recess, though.


    • Getting nominations this week is key to avoid kissing another SJC hearing slot next month. There are plenty of blue state vacancies that should have nominees better already. We could even get some red state nominees. South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas & Florida are all strong possibilities. If we can get a double digit batch we wouldn’t have to swear for a month.


      • I wouldn’t say “missed” so much as pushed back. It’s a four week work period so they could do either May 31/June 14 or June 7/21.

        But yes, ideally we would get a batch of 8 or so to go ahead and fill both slots. In addition to the states you mentioned I’d love to see some Indiana nominees.


      • Oh yea totally forgot to mention that. Hopefully we can get a 7th circuit & two district court nominees just from Indiana alone. Then only two more nominees from somewhere else & that’s one hearing. I could also see at least one of the Louisiana vacancies getting a nominee as well.


  12. @Ben
    Thanks for sharing, but this article is almost useless. It would have begun and ended with this:

    What’s happening: Biden officials are now placing a higher premium on winning home-state senators’ support well before a nomination is public.

    That has allowed the vetting process to begin for new candidates.

    We already know this. I’ve mentioned on here several times that the WH doesn’t necessarily get a senator’s pre-approval for nominations.
    Even so, the Ron Jons of the world can still frustrate this new “strategy.”
    This, however, looks to confirm Biden’s commitment to not advocating for the end of the blue slip. If Durbin doesn’t ditch it for Colom, he won’t ditch it for any nominee. (I hate that I am moving closer to getting rid of it. Now, the only thing stopping me from fully supporting ditching blue slips is Biden’s slowness in making the nominations, which seems likely to continue.)

    Botton line: Biden’s nominees in red state will look like those of Republican presidents. The only thing we can hope for is that they are very old. At least Frank should be happy.

    New Nominees
    Assuming all 4 are qualified, I need to figure out their ages. Until then, I’ll reserve judgement, unless they turn out to be terrible, then being young can’t save them.


    • @Gavi

      No don’t hate your moving closer to ditching blue slips. It’s not your fault. It’s the fault of the Republicans senators in the red states that won’t work in good faith with Biden like Democrats did with Trump. Had they at least worked to get nominees like Matthew Bookman, we would not be thrilled with the nominees but at least could say we are filling the seats. Yesterday I posted EIGHT red states that haven’t had one US Attorney nominated or judicial nominee announced or blue slips turned in for. That’s 8 states over two years into the administration. That’s ridiculous & the Republican senators should be punished for it.

      As for the Axios article, it looks like it confirms we both were correct. You were right when you said the White House didn’t get pre approval before announcing nominees. I was right for saying that strategy was bat sh*t crazy unless Durbin was going to get rid of blue slips. Now that it doesn’t look like he is (As you said if he won’t do it for Pocan, Wamble or Colom then he probably won’t do it at all), it would be idiotic to continue with the strategy you correctly said they had. I honestly can’t believe that was ever the strategy on a post Trump presidency.

      As for their ages;

      AliKhan – June 24, 1983
      Leclerq & Oliver – Early 1970’s
      Munley – I consider you a buddy so I won’t answer this one. It’s not even 11am so no need for you to be as angry as you are gonna be when you find out… Lol


      • HAHAHA!
        What is going on?
        How/why are boomers (is 60 boomer? Yikes IDK) still being nominated for judgeships? When are we going to get our first Gen Zer?
        Do you remember what we said last year when Fetterman won? We were looking forward to the days of excellent nominees; no more of that 3-for-1 deal in Pennsylvania. What a disappointment this year has turned out to be so far.
        And before people say that there’s still time: we’re in May, ~28 days away from 2023 being halfway done.

        AliKhan looks great. I hope she’s a progressive.
        I hope Biden also fills all the vacancies on the local DC bench. Tall order, I know. Adrienne Noti has been returned to the president TWICE so far. Biden can use the local DC courts to help young judges and prepare them for federal judgeships.

        Also, it’s no surprise that Brad Gracia hasn’t been confirmed yet. This is what happens when you have no senator pushing for your confirmation. Same for all the other DC vacancies.


      • @Gavi

        Yup, we still have PLENTY of time. Countless users on this blog have reassured me that. Blue slips, 3 day work weeks, multiple 2 day work weeks like next week, Republican obstruction, senators missing floor time & next years election is no need to worry… Haaaaaa

        Yea I remember being so happy Pennsylvania finally had two Democrat senators so we could get rid of the 3 for 1 deals. My God, this judge could have been a nominee before Toomey left.

        A little more disappointing is all 3 states from today have more then one vacancy. It would have been nice if at least one of them had more than one nominee today so we could fill a SJC hearing with five nominees instead of just four. I guess the days of six nominees in a hearing are long gone now due to the slow pace of nominees… Uuuggghhh

        Maybe this will be like last Summer & we will get more then one batch in one week. Who am I kidding, we’re lucky to get one batch a month with this new WH Counsel’s office… Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • It should be noted that in the case all three states that had nominees today, the vacancies were all from different duty stations. In that context it isn’t surprising that none of them saw the other vacancy have an announced nominee today since these things usually run on different timetables. What is interesting to me about the Vernon Oliver pick is that he is located closer to New Haven, where one of the vacancies is from, than Bridgeport, where the seat that he is being nominated to is based out of. Oliver was also nominated to the court he is currently sitting on by a Republican, so I’m sure that will make the “progressives” here super happy (and as such I am curious to see the writeup for him).


      • I got the wake up around 6am about the new batch coming today which is when I sent the heads up here on the blog. I have to do a deeper dive into the nominees to give a better response on how I feel about each.

        I was already familiar with the DC nominee but I haven’t dug see into her background. If she is more progressive then what I know about her so far then that combined with her 1983 birth year would make her a clearly good nominee. I know some have mentioned it should have gone to John P. Howard instead but he gives me pause since Trump nominated him initially. There’s no blue slips for DC so I’m not too sure I trust that pick for elevation unless I’m missing something.

        I wasn’t expecting much from the middle district of Pennsylvania but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t. I know nothing about the Connecticut nominee. I don’t even know what race he is so definitely will have to read up on him.

        @Ethan had the Michigan nominee on his list son-in-law vaguely familiar with her. There were better options but if she’s on Ethan’s list I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

        John P. Howard


      • Quite possibly. She is of East Asian decent so South Korea is a possibility. I will say I’ve read up more about DeClercq today & she’s better than I initially thought. She’s the opposite of Vernon Oliver. I can see why @Ethan had her on his list. She’s a good pick & born 1973 isn’t too bad.


  13. Good that we’re getting nominees and getting them on a Wednesday – the last few announcements have been on Fridays, which unnecessarily delay the SJC hearing date given the 28-day waiting period.

    Pretty conventional nominees though, which is par for the course for this WHC. AliKhan is at least young and has the background for elevation to DC Cir. – I’ll be curious about Harsh’s write up just to see what her DCCOA opinions have been like. If she’s got a decent progressive record, then it’s a fine nomination.

    Munley does stand out given her age, but less important given that the vacancy is in MDPA. Any CA3 vacancies under a Dem president will be filled by someone from Philly or Pittsburgh, so if she’s actually decent at being a judge/managing a courtroom then it’s not the end of the world.


      • “If Biden was going to nominate one of the kids from the DCCOA…”
        Haha. Do you hear yourself? The only thing you have left to do is to tell them to get off your lawn.
        Tanks for pointing out John P. Howard III. I’d never heard of him. He is younger, and if he’s more progressive as you say, it’s a shame he wasn’t the nominee.


  14. I agree Hank, I am less worried about Munley’s age as well. As long as she is a good judge and will retire under a Dem President/senate I am willing to overlook age for a district nominee in a low profile district like Middle PA.

    Now if it’s a high profile district with bigger cases and where future elevation is possible then age is a much bigger factor in my opinion.


      • Things like party labels have no bearing on how well or even if you can perform as a District Judge.

        So, they probably looked at his performance as a legal professional. That’s all we need people who know what they are doing and will do it correctly

        It looks like a good selection. I think party labels are the last thing we should be looking for in a judge.


      • @shawnee68

        It depends on what you’re looking for from the judiciary. For me, I didn’t wait in line to vote for Biden & Democrats just for them to turn around & put Republicans & unaffiliated judges on the federal bench in blue states or the circuit courts, neither or which require a blue slip from a Republican senator. I want young, progressive judges in those seats. And if I can be greedy, I want them when possible, in purple & red states as well but definitely in the seats like the 4 we saw today.

        I’m not saying in no case would it be acceptable. But so far, we have Robert Kirsh & Vernon Oliver in NY & CT respectively. Neither of them or young or progressive. So to add on top of they are not even Democrats is a smack in the face. This Oliver pick is on par with many of the bad New Jersey picks in my opinion.


      • It’s just your layman’s perspective on what you think happens in a district court having never been there.

        Lot’s of criminal cases that have nothing to do how old you are . That label “progressive” doesn’t mean anything inside of a trial court. The civil cases are mostly settled anyway.

        The criminals rounded up after Jan 6th and who have received trials mostly went to jail. It did not matter which judge any defendant got Trump or Obama the results were essentially the same.


      • As a CT resident, I’m not a big fan of the nomination as it stands, but wish to learn more about him before jumping to conclusions. Just because he is unaffiliated with a party doesn’t mean he is a bad nominee, although it is curious that a Republican governor nominated him.


      • How about the abortion pill case in front of Matthew J. Kacsmaryk? Was that a layman’s perspective as well? He filled a seat that was vacant a couple of years under Obama. I’m sure in a perfect world the Obama judge would have ruled the same way but I’m gonna go ahead & guess in reality they wouldn’t have.

        Every seat matters. If we are talking about a good parking spot at Walmart I will be nice & say it doesn’t matter, somebody else can have it. When it comes to federal judges, NOPE. I’m very greedy. Republicans are too. That’s probably why they have the judiciary in their hands.


      • @Frank

        Right, totally agreed. Today is the first day I’ve heard of judge Oliver so I certainly could be missing something. But the combination of him being unaffiliated, appointed by a Republican governor & not being able to find ANYTHING progressive in his background 11 hours after first being woken up & told a batch is coming today, gives me great concern about the nominee.

        If it turns out his background is progressive, terrific. I will happily admit I am wrong. I actually hope I am wrong.


      • Yes, those are the cases that are presented to you to support some narrative an interest group wants to exploit. Good for them

        I want to see decisions handed down by judges people on here are negative about. I want to see something from Childs , O’Hearn , Pan etc who people have said they were bad before they got on the bench.

        How can one tell just by lack of a party registration? I would venture to say most of the people on here don’t refer to themselves as Democrats. So, why would they have a problem with someone else doing the same?


      • Well yes of course, I said from the beginning it was what I want in judges. Of course not everybody on this blog is a Democrat so they may not have the same priorities as me. I believe @Frank has said in the past he isn’t a Democrat for instance so I wouldn’t expect him to have the same priorities as I would. I want young, liberal judges. Somebody else may think Justice Thomas is their judicial role model. It is a free country so certainly anybody is welcome to their views.

        All I ask is to just be honest about them as @Frank has been for example. You shouldn’t on the one hand say you want the opposite type of judges we got under Trump, but then when we get Republican appointees under Biden be like “Ok, that’s the best we can do”. But if your priorities aren’t the same as mine then I certainly can understand why you would feel different about getting Republican or unaffiliated nominees in blue states with nothing progressive in their background.


      • I’m not talking about the Supreme Court. That’s a job much different than a District Judge.

        No President who I can think of, including Reagan had a “Republican’s only” nominations process.

        You can’t just say I’m just appointing Democrat’s and no one else. That’s your thing. No one is going to do that. That’s all I am saying.


      • Your correct about Ronald Regan & the first 43 men to be president. I’m talking about a Trump & post Trump world now.

        But that’s ok, I’ll give you a chance to prove me wrong. Can you give me one Trump judge in a state with two Republicans in which he appointed a Democrat. Not a blue or purple state, a red state with two Republicans. Go ahead, out of 4 years name me one. Just ONE. Don’t worry, I’ll wait… Lol


  15. I was worried that Hogan would run for senate too but he understands how hard it’d be to be the senate nominee in a presidential year with Trump on the ticket.

    He supports Trump and loses the moderate D vote or he criticizes Trump and loses the MAGA vote, either way he’d probably lose and that’d hurt his “I’m a Republican who can win in a blue state” bio.

    I’ll take it, one less senate run to worry about.


  16. It’s nice to see 5 confirmations this week & Hunt set up for confirmation tomorrow morning. Schumer just wrapped up the senate for the day without sending any more cloture motions to the desk. Only a couple of votes tomorrow & then the senate is off until Tuesday afternoon. I suspect the only additional confirmation we will see by the end of next week other than Hunt tomorrow is the Idaho nominee if she can get a voice vote.


  17. I’m guessing Tuesday afternoon will be for the two executive positions, but Schumer could still file cloture tomorrow to set up some Wednesday votes.

    Or alternatively he could at wait until Tuesday afternoon to see if Feinstein returns and set up votes for Thursday like he did with Johnstone last week. Preferably one of the appellate nominees.

    I’m hoping that Brailsford gets a voice vote tomorrow. That would be a nice bonus.


  18. I was reminded just how frail the Senate majority is in a dream last night where Jon Tester passed away. If Tester were to pass away for real, the Senate would be set back to 50-50 (given Montana is very Republican and has a GOP governor) and Feinstein’s absence would give the GOP an effective floor majority.


  19. A couple weeks ago I posted an article by Jennifer Rubin critical of Durbin’s leadership as SJC chair and his reluctance to push back on Republicans on judges. Durbin has responded. It’s crazy that Dems went along with half of Trump’s district court nominees. Durbin should know as he was Trump’s biggest enabler. It’s sad that he thinks that’s something to be proud of while Colom and Wamble languishes. The next time he mentions the disparity in returned blue slips in the Trump and Biden presidencies, don’t take him seriously because he seems to think that’s OK.
    Sheldon Whitehouse should be the chair.


    Probably paywalled for some, so I copied the short text here:

    In her April 20 Opinion column, “Senate Democrats need to play hardball,” Jennifer Rubin argued that my “appeals to shameless Republicans have accomplished nothing” when it comes to confirming federal judges.

    The facts speak otherwise.

    During the 117th Congress (2021 to 2022), the Senate Judiciary Committee accomplished a record-breaking rate of judicial confirmations during the longest evenly divided Senate and committee in history. In total, we advanced 126 judicial nominees from committee, and the Senate confirmed 97. Importantly, these were historically diverse nominees, in both their professional and demographic backgrounds, including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman and first former public defender to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

    Since January, the Senate has confirmed an additional 22 federal judges — 19 with bipartisan support — bringing the total under the Biden administration to 119. There are 26 more nominees out of committee and ready for floor votes.

    It also is important to note that the blue-slip process — which allows a senator to place a hold on a judge nominated in his or her state — allowed Democrats to play a role in the selection of nearly half of the district court judges confirmed during the Trump administration. Now, some Senate Republicans have also displayed a willingness to work with the Biden White House on judicial nominations. Already this year, the committee has held hearings for nominees to the Southern District of Indiana, the District of Idaho and the Eastern District of Louisiana, all of whom have support from their Republican home-state senators. More are to come.

    The effort to bring balance to the courts has been one of this Senate’s great successes.

    Richard J. Durbin, Washington

    The writer, a Democrat, represents Illinois in the U.S. Senate, where he is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


    • @Gavi

      I was just having a conversation with @Ethan about when the next SJC hearing will be. If it’s held in the next 3 weeks, Durbin will have a decision to make. For panel 1 we know it will be Ramirez & de Alba.

      The real question is will there be a panel 2. If so, Matthew Maddox is the only district court nominee eligible for a hearing before 4 weeks from now. So Durbin would have 5 choices.

      1. Ditch blue slips & have panel 2 be Maddox, Wamble & Colom.

      2. Have panel 2 with Maddox & some other nominees for positions I’ve never even heard of.

      3. Don’t have a hearing until 4 weeks from now where he can have a full hearing with 2 panels.

      4. Have a hearing in the next 3 weeks with only panel 1, Ramirez & de Alba.

      5. Have a hearing in the next 3 weeks with Maddox as the only nominee in panel 2. I would argue this would be an embarrassment for Durbin to have one nominee in panel 2 just because of blue slips.

      Which one of the 5 does everybody think will happen? My guess is choice 4 unfortunately.


      • I have seen some past hearings & truly have never heard of some of the positions the nominees were nominated for. I don’t understand why the SJC has jurisdiction over so many non judicial positions. I’ve joked in the past but I’m afraid one day I will turn on a SJC hearing & really see a nominee for Secretary of Baking Cookies… Lol


      • @Dequan: I’m actually thinking it’ll be #5. A lot of politics is image management, and I think this will allow Durbin to set up a visual of “look how unfair the Republicans are being–we can only get 1 district nominee, and there are 2 others who could have joined him.”

        Now, for us here, that would be an embarrassment, because we know blue slips are ridiculous and the Republicans will get rid of them on the first day they next control the Senate. But it might make an impression on the tiny brains of the Washington press corps, and lead to some favorable news coverage, which is the holy grail for Washington politicians.


      • @ rayspace

        I would LOVE for you to be right. I don’t have much faith in Durbin when it comes to ditching blue slips but that would be brilliant if that was his plan to lay the frame work to get rid of them. I know this would never happen but if he really wants to play hardball, think about this…

        Have the panel 2 with just Maddox sitting there looking pitiful & sorry all by himself. Now guess what. Sitting behind him along with his family is both Colom & Wamble. And Durbin mentions they both are here willing to have their hearing but can’t because the home state senators have not turned in their blue slips. The optics of two accomplished, well dressed African American men in their early 40’s being sent to the “back of the bus” would send shock waves through people not on blogs like this who don’t follow the judiciary as close as we do.

        Can you imagine when it’s senator Whitehouse turn with that image? Can you see senator Booker using his 5 minutes with that backdrop? I know it’s an extremely hard hitting move but I’m sorry, these are not normal times & I think you can’t respond with normal tactics.

        I know that wouldn’t happen but that would be my advice.


  20. @Joe: I’m with ya. If Feinstein is back, it’s political malpractice not to schedule CCA or the tough district nominees for votes. I know there was some sentiment yesterday for saying “well, the least she can do is get some nominees out of committee,” but no. She has to help get folks confirmed. Period.

    Besides, the only 2 who seem like they’re going to have a tough time getting out of SJC are Bjelkengren and Delaney, and like lots of folks here, I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world if they had to withdraw.


    • Good point. On Wednesday/Thursday alone they would conceivably be able to knock out 3-4 of the tougher district nominees. That would be great.

      I am indifferent as to which route Schumer goes, I just want to see some more action on nominees before the debt ceiling sucks the oxygen out of the room.


    • Unfortunately much of America isn’t as connected as we are on this blog. You have to show them imagery. Democrats need to start thinking outside of the box.

      The recent events in Tennessee is a PERFECT example. Republicans taking away their rights didn’t get people off Tik Tok. What did? Kicking two young Black men out of their seats. Remind you their two votes ultimately don’t matter in the end on any votes but the imagery mattered more then actual legislation that was being passed while they were still seated.

      Democrsts need to start meeting people where they are at. Policy is nice but if it doesn’t translate to votes then what are you really accomplishing. So whatever it takes to get people energized.


      • Have you ever heard of anyone telling the GOP they need to meet people where they are ? Of course not, they show up to vote consistently even though there’s no party platform whatsoever.

        If it’s an NBA Finals or a football game people will get energized for that. The Democrat’s can’t make lazy people get voting. You have it or you don’t. No one is gonna walk up to your front porch and beg you to vote.

        If people don’t know that already then we really are in trouble.


      • @shawnee68

        Uuummm, yea, of course both parties get their people energized. The Republicans did for the past half century by promising to over turn Roe v Wade for example. When Obama ran in 2008, I remember I went to the polls & the line was over 3 hours long so I left. I came back 2 days later & the line was even longer so I left again. I came back a third time & said this time I’m not leaving & waited in line over 3 hours to vote. People didn’t do that because they were giving out free cheeseburgers. They did it because they were energized.

        Politicians need to energize their voters to get up & vote. Yes even lazy voters. There is no mandatory voting in this country. You don’t get a prize for going out to vote. So yea, our politicians need to give voters a reason to go out & vote for them. I didn’t think I would need to say that to anybody in this blog…lol


      • I don’t know you mean by “energized.” It sounds kind of vague. I wasn’t talking about Obama but what happened with him in 2010?

        I was making a larger point that voting is an obligation if you want to live in a representative Democracy.

        This notion isn’t lost on the black voters in Georgia who endured long lines because they knew right to vote was sacred. Indeed, for decades after the 15th Amendment was passed black people’s voting rights were messed with infringed and in many instances denied.

        To say that a political party has to “energize” it’s voters is insulting. The right to vote resides in you and it’s not up to someone to make you interested. If people haven’t figured that out by know then they never will.


      • @shawnee68

        You are talking about how things SHOULD be. I actually agree with you that’s how I wish it was. I’m talking about REALITY. And the reality is you have to energize voters. And to answer your question regarding you don’t know what I’m talking about regarding the need to energize voters, I gave an example last night but I’ll repeat it.

        In Tennessee, Republican lawmakers passed harsh voting, abortion & gun laws. You barely heard a peep about protest & outrage. You know what it took? Two Black men getting kicked out of their seats is what it took. You saw protest, ‘round the clock news coverage & action until both of the Justin’s were voted back to their seats.

        But guess what… The two Black men being in their seats don’t affect the final vote outcome of anything that was passed. So theoretically, if the people of Tennessee didn’t get riled up about the actual vote, then why get so fired up about two lawmakers getting kicked out when their vote doesn’t change the outcome of any vote you didn’t protest for in the first place?

        The reason is because the optics of those lawmakers getting kicked out energized the people of Tennessee. They were (rightfully) outraged despite the two lawmakers votes having no barring on any final vote. In the world your talking about, either those same people should have gotten fired up by the Republican lawmakers passing all of those bills OR they shouldn’t have gotten fired up when two lawmakers who’s vote wouldn’t have changed any of the final vote tallies got kicked out. In my world, you have to energize voters which is what those two getting kicked out of their seats did.

        We don’t have the luxury to live in the world you’re painting, in which people should just be expected to vote. We need to live in reality. The reality is you need to energize people to get them out to vote. If we don’t, we risk another repeat of 2016.


  21. The replacement for Maria Araújo Kahn on the Connecticut Supreme Court signed a letter encouraging the senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the 7th circuit back in 2017. She doesn’t seem to be too progressive. But the People’s Parity Project at UConn Law lobbied Governor Lamont to nominate her to the CT supreme court so I guess she must be good.



  22. Ted cruz just today was implying biden is mentally insane and too incapacitated to be able to negotiate with speaker mccarthy on the debt ceiling.Just vile and gross . It just irks me to no end that such a disgusting charlatan and piece of shit like cruz whose already calling for the impeachment of biden on hannity on fox, had any sway in biden selecting judges. It behooves the mind that biden selected Irma ramirez a nearly 60 year old right of center nominee just to please a despicable charlatan like ted cruz and to negate his opposition. It pisses me off to no end.
    Unilateral disarmament.
    Cruz is a disgusting bigot and a charlatan the fact that he supports ramirez and biden sought out his approval is unforgivable. They put up jim ho and Kyle Duncan and biden is bending over to charlatans who are literally calling him mentally insane. It just shows how one side operates and the other behaves.
    Honestly it irks me to my soul that such a vile vermin and scumbag like Ted cruz even gave his sign off on the nominee or his approval was even sought. I would have rather the seat went unfilled than ramirez selected. I would vote against her and urge senators to do so. Michael delaney who I’ve had serious issues with, is way more deserving of a life Time appointment to the federal bench than ramirez. Its a disgrace she was chosen, especially when you know it was to placate the egos of charlatans like Ted cruz.
    It’s just a spit in the face of your own voters to treat cruz with anything less than vermin and contempt he deserves. When are we going to get a president whose priority is appointing progressive judges not pandering to republican senators. Still no 10th circuit nominee because biden refuses to ignore the bad faith KS senators and nominate who he wants.Still nothing on the 7th circuit.
    The vast majority of new batches this year has been disappointing and upsetting, milquetoast centrist nominee after nominee. Prosecutor after prosecutor.
    Is it that hard to find a candidate for the federal bench that hasn’t spent decades in the U.S. attorney’s office prosecuting people and putting people in prison??
    It’s back to tough on crime prosecutors and corporate/big time lawyers as judges. Biden has been a failure n nominations this congress


    • @aangren

      Yup, no denying the post run off judicial selections have been sub par. Two blue state non Democrats, a 59 year old centrist for a circuit court, no district court nominees to go along with Ramirez in Texas, no blue slips for Wamble until the 10th seat is negotiated, Feinstein out 10 weeks, 3 SJC hearing slots missed so far & many picks we could have gotten in a 50/50 senate or even under Trump. Definitely a let down so far.


  23. The sad thing is nothing will be done about it. We will complain and protest and biden and his white house counsel will ignore the pleas of Democrats and his supporters and continue to nominate old centrists prosecutor after prosecutor for judgeship and continue to give republicans agency to select his appellate judges. Sickening.
    Remember dequan I predicted beginning of the year that no 7th circuit nominee will be produced this year. This is the month of may already nearly one year since the vacancy has been open and still not even an inkling or any suggestion of any nominee coming.
    The Republican indiana senators will delay until the election year next year hoping there will be no time for confirmations and that desantis or trump will end up filling the vacancy.
    When bidens first term ends there will be open vacancies on appellate courts he simply refused to fill because he allowed GOP senators stall and use bad faith tactics.

    10th circuit no nominee why? Biden doesn’t want to ignore the republican kansas senators whims and theatrics and nominate a strong progressive judge. Thats why!
    Why should Roger Marshall or moran think they can dictate who biden selects? Insane! Biden own vp kamala harris strongly objected to federalist society hack Kenneth Lee nomination. You know what trump did? Nominated him anyway and shoved it down their throats. Now the hack has a lifetime job.
    You deal with these republicans with brute force and with no regard for their feelings.

    7th circuit same thing. Absolute joke.

    His second half of his 1st term has been an absolute failure

    Liked by 1 person

    • As for the 7th vacancy, which you’ve repeated your same talking points ad nauseam here, these things take time, especially with a vacancy which was unexpected. The fact that a nominee hasn’t been announced yet isn’t surprising, and has nothing to do with the Republican senators, seeing as the lengthy time it takes to interview candidates and conduct background checks. Look at how long it took for the NH vacancy to get a nominee, or how the MD vacancy is taking time. I bet you that we will see a nominee for the 7th in the late summer or early fall.


      • Speaking of the 1st seat in New Hampshire, look what just came out. I really hope two things… First, Feinstein gets back & they quickly vote him to the floor, followed by Schumer bringing him up for a vote quickly. Second I hope the New Hampshire senators has a back up nominee & doesn’t have to start the process all over again if he fails.


        Liked by 1 person

      • @Frank: My problem with your take on the 7th Circuit vacancy is a) they’ve had a lot of time since Kanne died (almost a year) and b) they agreed on and confirmed a different nominee for an IN-based seat last year.

        When they were deciding who to choose for that seat, they must have had more than one person on their list. I simply can’t believe that the runner-up was so bad that neither the Senators nor the WH would agree to them.


      • Also using the 10th vacancy as an example, saying it’s been two years without a nominee isn’t accurate. We had a nominee for the 10th seat last August. He was just downgraded & now still isn’t getting a hearing because of that dumb decision since the Kansas senators are now using their blue slip for Wamble to negotiate for the 10th seat.

        That might be the dumbest judicial related move yet by this administration, but you can’t say they didn’t have a nominee for two years because that’s not true. The thing that hurt the most to read from the Politico article from this morning that both Booker & Warnock wasn’t in lockstep agreement with the congressional Black Caucus to get rid of blue slips. It’s going to be hard to move Durbin without pressure from the only two Black Democrat senators.


      • Fair enough, but Kanne was from a different part of the state than Hamilton was, so the pool of nominees is going to be different despite them both being from the same state. In addition, the questionnaire for Matthew Brookman said that it was about a year from first contact to actually getting nominated. When you consider those factors, the fact that there hasn’t been a nominee yet isn’t that shocking or nefarious, despite what some here might try and convince otherwise.


    • @aangren

      I definitely remember your 7th circuit for this year & circuit court seats by the end of the first term predictions. I thought no way was it possible when you first said it. I will admit it’s not looking as impossible for you to be right now.


      VERY good article. I’ve said repeatedly I think it will take pressure from civil rights groups to have the best chance to pressure Biden & Durbin to scrap blue slips. I wish Clyburn would come out hard against blue slips & say it’s a civil rights issue. I might even forgive him for pushing Childs for the DC Circuit if he was successful.


      • Here are my key takeaways from the Politico article @Mike sent;

        1. During the Trump era the CBC urged the GOP to keep the blue slip. Durbin isn’t ready to get rid of the tradition for federal district court nominees. And both Black Caucus members from the Senate, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Raphael Warnock, share his reluctance to change the practice.

        2. Durbin said he and GOP senators are negotiating over new Biden nominees that will become public soon.

        3. Graham said they didn’t even talk to people in Florida for six months. I made them talk to them.

        4. Senator Hawley said he is having “a lot of good conversations” with the White House.


      • “Senator Hawley said he is having “a lot of good conversations” with the White House.”

        Yikes. That terrifies me.
        I simply do not think that any nominee that comes out of any negotiate with the Missouri senators will be worth it. Two ultra-MAGA former state AGs? Including one that is up for reelection next year? Biden would have better luck negotiating with the hell-burnt ashes of Strom Thurmond, James Eastland, and all the other segregationist senators he used to work with.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. At this mornings SJC executive meeting, Durbin begin by speaking about the dangers children face from on line sexual threats.

    Senator Graham spoke about social media.

    Molly Selfin was the only judicial nominee voted to the floor today. All others were held over.


  25. Amanda Brailsford confirmed by voice vote. That’s one great thing about having buyin from red state senators I guess. They have incentive to ask their colleagues for this assist.
    Cloture filed on another couple non judicial nominees.


  26. I agree, it is nice to not have to waste floor time on those nominees.

    One appellate and six district nominees confirmed plus a new batch of four nominees. Overall a pretty great week.

    Hopefully Feinstein does indeed return next week and we can get even more done.


    • Yes, good to see Brailsford confirmed via voice vote. The Idaho senators have worked in good faith in the last 3 administrations to fill judicial vacancies for their state. Disappointed Schumer is still filing cloture for non-judges. I guess since they are only in session 2 days next week, I’m not convinced Feinstein will bother to show up to work anyway. Hopefully the senate finishes up on the non-judges they have on the calendar soon.


  27. Few things today.

    They confirmed Damien M. Diggs to be US Attorney for Texas, I think he’s the 4th and last vacancy. I’m getting worried Cruz already got confirmed/announced what he wanted but still no district nominations…there’s no way Bidens team would give him everything without ironclad agreements unless ALL these candidates are already comprised candidates.

    This caught my eye in the politico article:

    “In addition, Kansas GOP Sens. Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran are slowing the nomination of Jabari Wamble to fill a district court seat while they await Biden’s choice to fill an appellate court vacancy covering their states. In an interview, Marshall said he’s simply being “cautious” and didn’t indicate where they would fall on a blue slip for Wamble.”

    I thought the downgrade was for a deal with the two GOP senators to agree to return the blue slips for Wamble and get a compromise circuit nominee but if the two senators still aren’t sure who’ll get that nomination then maybe the White House was telling the truth and Wamble just changed his mind and wanted the district seat instead.

    Lastly, ugh, we were on such a good streak, sucks there’s no cloture motions for more judges next week, especially if Feinstein is supposed to return.


      • Senator Manchin voted against Geeta Rao Gupta to be Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues today. I’m happy he is getting his rocks off on Mon judicial nominations still.

        As for the 2 for 1 Florida deal, there are still three vacancies in the Central district of Florida so perhaps we will get additional nominees out of the deal. There simply was no way Rubio was going to agree to any deal that didn’t include David Leibowitz. Remember he let the seat remain vacant under Trump with a Republican majority instead of let Trump nominate somebody else so he’s that important to get a judgeship for in Rubio’s mind.

        I am familiar with Jacqueline Becerra (born c. 1969). I believe she was in Wasserman-Schultz list as well. Melissa Damian (born c. 1968) was a prosecutor & AUSA before she was a magistrate judge so these three will be in line with the nominees we have seen since the election.


    • @Ben

      As a resident of Miami, this is great news. We all knew any deal with Rubio would include David Leibowitz . He has been trying to get his wealthy donor’s nephew a judgeship since Trump.

      @Zack Jones

      Yes, Idaho definitely could use a third judge. Good to see the first female federal judge in the staet. I looked her up in depth & she seems like a good consensus judge. I believe North Dakota is the only remaining state without ever having a female federal judge. Since Trump appointed all three the state has, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.


      I’m extremely disappointed in the entire Wamble/Kansas situation as well.


      • @Dequan

        I was surprised when Detra Shaw-Wilder didn’t get nominated. Perhaps she will be. But I have my own speculation about it. Markenzy Lapointe had been interested in it. He’d be the first Hatian-American Federal judge. He’s a Democrat, but while interviewing, he made a good impression on Marco Rubio, who now thinks highly of him (like with Damian Diggs and Ted Cruz). Rubio had mentioned him to the White House and naming him U.S. Attorney was a compromise of sorts.

        I think that Rubio may be holding the fourth vacancy open so that Markenzy can get some experience and build his resume.

        I also think that Shaw-Wilder could become a Magistrate Judge soon if she’s interested.


  28. Looks like a solid package for Florida. Aren’t there 3 additional vacancies as well? Perhaps we can cut a similar deal with Scott on those.

    Hopefully all three will be voice voted out as well.


  29. If senator Feinstein is coming back next week, but they didn’t file cloture for any judges and their first vote is at 5om on Tuesday then she might be in only for Weds committee meeting to vote out the ones that are stuck.

    Otherwise, the smart play would’ve been to line up the circuit court nominees that take up a whole day so she would only need to come in for the cloture vote in the morning and then the confirmation the next confirmation in the afternoon/evening.


  30. There will be a second vacancy on the district of Hawaii, as Obama judge Leslie Kobayashi will be taking senior status in October of 2024.
    At this point, it’s a pretty safe bet Clare E. Connors will be getting the judgeship she was denied back in 2016.
    I wonder who else will be up for a nomination?


    • @Mitch

      Yea Detra Shaw-Wilder was on Wasserman-Schultz list & would have been a good pick. I wasn’t aware that was the back story on how Markenzy Lapointe got the US attorney position but very nice. He would be an excellent candidate for a federal judgeship with his age & background. I wish he was part of this upcoming package because he would be a possible candidate for the 11th should a vacancy occur under Biden.

      @Zack Jones

      WOW, that is a pleasant surprise. I honestly wasn’t expecting any Hawaii vacancies in Biden’s first term, let alone two. Very good news. I had already predicted Clare E. Connors would get the first vacancy because we all know how Biden feels about Obama nominees that didn’t get confirmed in his last year. With two vacancies I would say shes on the upside of 85% to get one of the seats now so all focus is on who will get the second. I’ll have to look at @Gavi’ list tonight when I get home. By the way major shout out to @Gavi’s list. He correctly predicted 2 of the 4 nominees from yesterday.


      • Oh yea sorry, Ethan’s list of course… Lol

        I just checked it out. I know he is very high on Mican Smith Jr. as I am too. I looked up another name on his list. Mateo Canbellero would be a solid pick too. The problem is after Claire Conners is picked, I’m not sure Hirono would allow half the court to be non AAPI. So I’m pretty positive the second pick will be AAPI.


      • @Dequan. Thank you so much for the kind words. Besides Connors, here’s who I have on my list for Hawaii:

        -Micah W.J. Smith (1981). Assistant US Attorney, Black man, former SCOTUS clerk to Justice Souter.

        -Salina Kanai (1977). Federal Defender for Hawaii. AAPI.

        -Claire Wong Black (1976). Partner at Dentons. AAPI and LGBT (as she is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association). Past President of the Hawaii Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

        -Mateo Caballero (1982). Private practice attorney who used to be Legal Director of the ACLU of Hawaii. Hispanic.

        -Kirstin Hamman (1970). State judge who used to work as a public defender and at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. White.

        -Clarissa Malinao (1978). State judge who received the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney Honoree from Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii. AAPI.

        -John Rhee (1973). Partner at Dentons. AAPI and Recipient of 2015 Hawai`i State Bar Association and Hawai`i Access to Justice Commission Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award.

        -Shanlyn A.S. Park (1969). State judge who used to be aa Senior Litigator at the Hawaii Federal Defender’s office. AAPI.

        -Marc Wallenstein (1980). Partner at Korein Tillery. Former AUSA and also worked as a Prosecutor at the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions. Is currently representing minor league baseball players seeking to be paid minimum wage by Major League Baseball in a class action lawsuit. White.

        -Matthew Winter (1971). Partner at Davis Levin Livingston (personal injury). Former Assistant Federal Defender in Hawaii and member of the ACLU of Hawaii’s Litigation Committee. White.

        -Gregg Yates (1972). Current Chief of the Public Corruption section at the Hawaii US Attorney’s office. White.


  31. @Dequan

    I remember in a prior post, you stated you weren’t aware of a Democrat being chosen by a Republican President in a state with two Republican Senators. I just remembered, in 2017, Walter Counts (a Democrat nominated by Obama) was nominated by Trump at the urging of the state’s two Republican Senators and confirmed easily.


    • I was kind of talking about Trump only nominees, not necessarily ones Obama nominated them Trump renominated. I think David Nye in Idaho also might fall in your category of red state Trump nominees but I wasn’t counting those Obama initially nominated. I can’t find one instance of Trump nominating a Democrat in a red state that he initially nominated. Biden is at one Republican & one unaffiliated in blue states so that was the comparison I was trying to make.

      But I give the Idaho & Texas senators credit in both of the cases I mentioned above. They easily could have replaced Obama picks with younger, conservative Republicans.


    • That’s a little misleading. The senate did most of the work for the Johnstone confirmation last week setting the final vote up for Monday. And of course today we had a voice vote. But if the senate would just dedicate two full weeks to nothing but judges, most of those pending on the floor could be knocked out. I would prefer they knock all of the district courts out first since the circuit courts take basically a day apiece.

      The debt limit is coming & I expect that will be close to two weeks of senate time. I’m hoping Schumer is seriously considering cancelling a week of that 5 week Summer recess but I highly doubt it. The senate is taking NINE Mondays off in the remaining twelve weeks before the Summer recess so get use to two day work weeks.


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