Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez – Nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez was tapped for the federal bench late in the Obama Administration. Despite support from Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Ramirez was never confirmed. Today, with Cornyn and Cruz supporting her again, President Biden has tapped Ramirez for the Fifth Circuit.


Born in 1964 to a family of immigrants from Mexico, Irma Carrillo Ramirez graduated from West Texas A&M University in 1986 and received a J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1991.

After graduating, Ramirez spent four years at Locke Purnell Rain Harrell P.C. in Dallas (now Locke Lord LLP), before becoming a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

In 2002, Ramirez became a federal magistrate judge with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. She serves in that capacity today.

On March 15, 2016, President Obama nominated Ramirez to replace Judge Terry Means on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. While Ramirez received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 7, 2016, the Committee never voted her nomination out, and Ramirez was never confirmed. President Trump did not renominate Ramirez, instead filling the seat with Judge Ada Brown.

History of the Seat

Ramirez has been nominated for a Texas seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This seat opened on August 31, 2022 with Judge Gregg Costa’s resignation from the court. Ramirez, who is eight years older than Costa, was recommended for the position by Texas senators Cornyn and Cruz.

Legal Career

Ramirez started her career in private practice in Dallas, primarily practicing commercial and employment litigation. For example, Ramirez was part of the legal team defending the Service Merchandise Company in a employment discrimination lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who was fired for allegedly harassing female employees. See Manison v. Service Merchandise Co., No. 3:02-cv-909-R (N.D. Tex.) (Buchmeyer, J.).

From 1995 to 2002, Ramirez worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Dallas, starting in the Civil Division and then moving to the Criminal Division. On the civil side, Ramirez defended the Department of the Interior in a multi-plaintiff reverse race and gender discrimination lawsuit, which ended with a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. See Arnold, et al. v. Babbitt, 213 F.3d 193 (5th Cir. 2000) (appeal from jury trial verdict on attorney’s fees). On the criminal side, Ramirez led the prosecution of ten codefendants for the manufacturing and distributing of methamphetamines. See United States v. Adds, et al., No. 3:01-CR-93-P (N.D. Tex.) (Solis, J.).


For the past twenty years, Ramirez has served as a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. In this role, Ramirez has presided over discovery disputes, as well as making reports and recommendations and handling agency appeals. Ramirez also presides over civil cases with the consent of the parties. Notably, Ramirez presided over a three-day bench trial over a failure to police lawsuit brought against the City of Dallas, ultimately ruling for the defendants, a decision that was affirmed on appeal. See Cox v. City of Dallas, 430 F.3d 734 (5th Cir. 2005), reh’g en banc denied, 160 F. App’x 163 (5th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 547 U.S. 1130 (2006). In another trial, Ramirez presided over a breach of contract bench trial and awarded judgment to the plaintiff on primary claims and to the defendant on a counterclaim. See Always at Market, Inc. v. Girardi, et al., 2009 WL 1033650 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 16, 2009).

In more recent decisions, Ramirez recommended the dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the City of Dallas by the family of Botham Jean, who was shot and killed by Amber Guyger, then serving as a Dallas police officer. See Jim Schutze, Dallas Can Grieve for Botham jean Without Bowing to Shame, Dallas Observer, Oct. 9, 2019, https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/grief-for-botham-jean-does-not-require-shame-from-dallas-11775689. Ramirez found that the complaint failed to allege a sufficient policy and pattern of behavior to overcome immunity from liability. See id.

Most of Ramirez’s decisions have been adopted and affirmed by district court judges and by the Fifth Circuit. Among her reversals, the Fifth Circuit reversed Ramirez’s ruling that overturned a final arbitration award in a contract dispute, ruling for the defendant that the arbitration award should be confirmed. See OMG, LP v. Heritage Auctions Inc., 11 F. Supp. 3d. 740 (N.D. Tex. 2014), aff’d in part, rev’d in part and remanded by 612 F. App’x 207 (5th Cir. 2015).

Overall Assessment

With over three decades of legal experience and two decades on the bench, Ramirez has developed strong ties to the Dallas legal community. With the support of her home-state senators, she can expect a fairly smooth confirmation.


    • I’m guessing Manchin is trying to cut down his voting with Biden record by voting no where he’s not needed.

      Smart move politically to bring down the percent so they don’t run “Voted with Biden 90% o the time” attack ads.

      I honestly I have ZERO issue with him making a fuss and criticizing Biden for the next two years if it means Dems might keep a senate seat in West Virginia for Judges and landmark legislation.

      Super disappointing there was no cloture submissions, what will the senate vote on Monday?


      • @Mitch

        I completely agree. Those voted with fill in the blank 90% of the time ads are rough. I’m happy with his no votes on these positions I’ve never heard of. I expect he will throw in a no vote for Dale Ho, Julie Rinkleman & a couple others possibly. That’s fine as long as Feinstein is work.

        No cloture votes today is very disappointing. That means only the Garcia confirmation vote Monday.


    • Yes, hopefully the NH Senators and WH get the message. At least six more district judges made it out of committee today, including the three tied up waiting on Feinstein.

      All 100 Senators just voted on a CRA resolution, so everyone’s finally there on the same day. Looking forward to Garcia cloture a little later this afternoon.


      • Finally all 100 senators show up to work. I feel like I did in New Orleans at WrestleMania 30 when Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker & ended his two decade plus undefeated streak. Finally the streak is over… Lol

        Now we just need Schumer to send another judicial cloture motion to the desk today. I’m very interested in seeing who will be at the SJC hearing Wedesnday. Will it be just de Alba & Ramirez or will there be a second panel. We won’t know until Tuesday most likely.


    • I said a couple months ago I personally would vote no on both Charnelle Bjelkengren & Mike Delaney but if I had to guess, she will be confirmed & I gave him 50/50 odds. Since then, there have been two additional issues brought up about him. I’ve lowered my expectation of him getting confirmed to 35% as a result.

      Here’s my biggest problem. I don’t want this to drag out until the end of the year & Biden just doesn’t renominate him. Hopefully he will do the right thing & outright withdraw at this point. I’ve said all along Gilles Bissonnette should be the nominee. He would instantly be an A, probably even an A+ in my book.

      At the very least they should nominate Samantha Elliott & have a backup for her district court seat. The nominee likely will end up being somebody close to one of the senators or governor in the end. Either way, they don’t need to let Delaney sit for too long. Make a decision either way.


  1. Came to post that as well. Hirono or one of the other Dems must be against.

    I’m glad we are finding out now, hopefully he withdraws and another nominee (Samantha Elliott seems like the obvious pick) can be named swiftly. Perhaps a compromise can be made and Delaney would be acceptable as a District Judge instead.


  2. I know Hirono had reservations about him due to the school prep case but some of the other briefs he was a part of since then likely sealed his fate with her and some other Democrats.
    I know NH’s senators want him as the nominee but it’s pretty clear at this point this is a fight they aren’t going to win and he should withdraw.


  3. Gilles Bissonnette would be a great choice but I can’t see NH’s senators going for someone like that, which means Samantha Elliott will likely get the nod.
    Let’s hope that and a filler for her seat happen sooner rather then later.
    Also, I’m not shocked Charnelle Bjelkengren got through but she would have been the first nominee I would have voted no against if I had a say.
    Her hearing was that bad.


    • @Zack Jones, another option would be Mary Ann Dempsey (1972), currently General Counsel of the New Hampshire judicial branch. She also previously served as Maggie Hassan’s Legal Counsel while Hassan was Governor of NH.

      Of course I’d also love Dartmouth College General Counsel Sandhya Iyer (1972), who used to work at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.


    • I read that article this morning as well.

      I don’t know anything about Newman but when your coworkers are privately and then publicly begging you to consider going part time then maybe it’s a good idea to listen to them. Defiance and lawsuits probably aren’t the best idea.

      In the grant scheme of things the stakes are pretty small here given that it’s a mostly non partisan court and Dem appointees have a majority anyway. But it speaks a little bit to the peculiar worldviews in the legal community.


      • I still hope Biden gets to replace her. Regardless of it being the least important circuit court it’s still one step below the SCOTUS. I would rather Biden nominate replace her than a future Republican president putting a potential hack in her place.


  4. Definitely. Seems clear not that she will not willingly go on her own, so we’ll have to hope her suit is unsuccessful. I’m not 100% sure of the ins and outs of how that works, though.


    • @Joe

      I’ve never stepped foot inside of a law school so I will get you the basic answer. If a federal judge is deemed unable to discharge their duties & either refuses or is unable to resign/retire/senior status, then the president will be allowed to replace them with another judge. That judge will remain in active status until they resign/retire/senior status or die & once any of those things happens, their seat will not be backfilled.


  5. Glad to see Garcia get support from the 3 Rs. Bodes very well for the approval vote on Monday. I always get a bit nervous when those are completely along party lines.

    Would love to see cloture motions on some district judges here in a little bit.


  6. Ok, someone needs to explain to me why the missing GOP senators were able to vote no by proxy in the judicial committee markup today but Feinstein couldn’t vote yes by proxy for the last month?


  7. Yeah, all Democratic senators are back, next week is a full week (in senate terms M-T is a full week)… They’ll be off week of May 22nd… Next week could have been a very good confirmation week

    I just don’t understand the lack of urgency by Sen Schumer.. Either that, or he just doesn’t care


  8. The only thing I can think of it that maybe there are some placeholder bills related to the debt limit that are coming down the pike. I agree though, seems like a missed opportunity to get another 5-6 district nominees confirmed.


  9. The Judiciary Committee hearing was contentious. Republicans really went after Marian Gaston. They said she wanted to let registered sex offenders to live near day care centers and Ted Cruz called her “moonbat crazy.” She was voted out of committee on a party line vote.


    • @Mitch

      That’s fine. The more Ted Cruz is upset with Gaston the more I like her. He didn’t have a problem voting for Trump judges that are ripping away people’s rights so screw him. Hopefully congressman Allard can pull off a Texas size miracle next year.


      No, I believe @Gavi said there is a 48 hour waiting period once a cloture motion is sent to the desk. That of course is absent a unanimous consent agreement which Republicans wouldn’t give for anybody I want to see confirmed. For example, Brad Garcia’s cloture motion was sent Tuesday morning & the senate voted for cloture on him today on Thursday. I truly have no clue what they are going to do on Tuesday now.


      • Wait, did Schumer invoke cloture on Garcia today? Or is that scheduled for next Monday? As I said, I am still catching up. The rule I mentioned about is for post-cloture time. If that’s happening on Monday, then Wednesday would be when it’s ripe for confirmation (“but a day”).


      • Schumer sent Gracia’s cloture motion to the desk on Tuesday. The senate voted for cloture today, Thursday 2 days later & will confirm him Monday since that’s the next day in session. So that’s why I thought without a unanimous consent (Your favorite thing to remind me… Lol), any cloture motion sent to the desk has to wait 2 days before they can vote to invoke cloture.


      • Three of the nominees had bipartisan support. They are Darrell Papillion (by 15 to 6), Jeremy Daniel , and Brenden Hurson. They should be easy confirmations.

        But Republicans went after the three whom they opposed. Regarding Charnelle Bjelkengren and Kato Crews, John Kennedy remarked “their law degrees came with happy meals.” There is a real chance that Joe Manchin will oppose them.

        Now that Diane Feinstein is back, who will be voted on first?


      • My fear is even with Feinstein back, Schumer will still keep bringing up the low hanging fruit. I don’t think he sees the urgency in the moment to be honest. I don’t think he can foresee the inevitable next Feinstein multi weeks/months long absence.

        Mitch McConnell would have had the 4 pending circuit court judges confirmed before anybody in his caucus boarded a plane next Thursday. We have to come to the realization that while Democrats have come a long way when it comes to the judiciary, they have a long way to go still. Not filing cloture when you have 51 senators finally, 3 & increasingly 2-day work weeks, 5-week Summer vacations, blue slips, circuit court downgrades with no promise of support from home state senators & other issues are things my party has to come to grips with someday or we will spend another generation with the courts in conservative hands.


  10. @Dequan
    Grrr, the one day when I couldn’t watch the hearing you don’t write up a summary? Haha. I was stuck out of office today and have no clue what’s happened in the world today so I quickly scanned this page trying to find your write up.

    Anyway, Rick is correct. I didn’t say 48 hours. The rule is one hour after the Senate meets…:
    “the following [calendar] day” (in this case, meaning Monday), “but a day.” This last bit means an extra day. So not on Monday, but a[n extra] day, Tuesday.
    If the senate was in session tomorrow, that “but a day” would have meant Monday.
    Senate rule is so very easy to follow, isn’t it? Hahaha

    Ha! Who could have predicted this lack of movement on confirming the heavy hitters? I have been saying all along that Feinstein is not the problem on the floor because 50 is still greater than 49. The problem is Schumer. He talks a big talk and nothing. I need to start calling his offices again.


    • Haaaaa

      My bad @Gavi. I actually only do the write ups for judicial related stuff. That usually is at the beginning of the executive meetings so I usually send a recap when they are done with judges & don’t bother to watch the other stuff they talk about related to bills. Yes I know the bills are important too, I just honestly am laser focused on judges.

      So today what happened is I started the write up when they confirmed the three nominees with bi partisan support but then because Feinstein wasn’t there, they started talking about the bills they had on deck. They went on for over a hour so I had to leave for work. When Feinstein finally showed up they finished the three other judges on a party line vote & no vote at all on Delaney. So today was the perfect storm I guess…lol

      As for Schumer, I am disgusted no cloture motions today. It’truly angers me they are about to go on another week long vacation after next week with so much work to be done. He’s truly missing the moment.

      I don’t know if you saw my earlier post but I truly think Delaney’s nomination is dead now. I’ve thought that for a couple weeks actually. What do you think???


      • @Dequan
        I just went back to see it. Yeah, it’s basically what I’ve been saying. We should not get stuck on this nominee. If any Dem senator is an immovable NO, they should tell the NH senators, Durbin, and especially the WH so they know that there will not be enough votes for him.
        I’ve supported moving forward on this nomination not out of any love for it, but because this process has taken so long already, who knows how long a replacement will take. Unlike you all, I am not convinced the NH senators will be an automatic sign off for Gilles Bissonnette or Samantha Elliott. They will be out for blood.
        Then what?
        We’ll be without a nominee until election time next year.
        Bottom line: something that rhymes with hit or get off the pot.


      • I think the WH Counsel & Biden needs to have a serious conversation with the New Hampshire senators. I’m just as much team blue as the next person but Delaney gives me & others serous concerns. Yes it’s true I wasn’t thrilled about his nomination from the beginning, but I said from the start I would vote to confirm him (Unlike Childs & Pan for example).

        But with everything that has come out, I just don’t see how he gets to 51 Democrats. I don’t see how he gets to 50. I’m having a hard time seeing how he gets to 49 to be honest. If they want to go the GOP route, I would let Graham, Cornyn, Tillis & Kennedy know if he’s not the nominee, Gilles Bissonnette is the runner up. I’m sure they can get at least two of them to vote to confirm him.

        The main thing is whatever they do, they need to expedite it. I’m actually upset Durbin didn’t hold the vote today. If he failed then good, start the process all over from today.


      • @Dequan

        I actually think that Graham is already supporting Michael Delaney, but doesn’t feel comfortable saying it yet. While Delaney got some aggressive questions in the Judiciary Committee, the right wing blogsphere hasn’t piled on. IMHO, Republicans are also divided on Delaney. What you propose has already entered their minds and while they don’t condone Delaney’s conduct during the college rape trial, they think anyone else would be much worse.

        As for Gilles Bissonnett, I think that Joe Manchin would oppose him.


      • Yea I agree. Delaney is the best you can hope for if you’re a Republican. If this was May 2024, I would guess they would let his nomination tank with hopes if either Biden losing or at least Republicans taking over the senate. But with-it being May 2023, they probably figure it’s either Delaney or a younger & more progressive nominee.

        That’s why I give him nomination a 35% chance of still getting confirmed. If Republicans were smart, they would make sure of it.


  11. Garcia isn’t even controversial especially considering the high profile court he is nominated to. Schumer could have brought his cloture motion up even when Feinstein and Fetterman were out 3 Republicans voted AYE for him

    I’ll fall out my seat if he brings these nominees to the floor”

    Executive Calendar 21 = Rachel Bloomekatz

    Executive Calendar 23 = Julie Ricklema

    Executive Calendar 26 = Dale Ho


    • Molly Silfen is a possible voice vote next Thursday. But of course, the claims court isn’t a lifetime appointment, it’s a 15-year term. But she’s 43 & has the strong support of senator Tillis so it will still be good to get her on the bench so she can be a possible candidate for the Federal Circuit in the future. There are at least 5 judges on that court that can take senior status at any time so it will be good to have her confirmed when it happens.


      • Joseph Drayton would be an excellent choice too. I thought if Biden would nominate the first Black man to the Federal circuit, it might be Gegory Williams from his home state. But Drayton is a couple years younger (1969 & 1971 respectively) plus you wouldn’t have to backfill a district court seat with Drayton.

        My dream nominee for the Federal circuit would be Wally Adeyemo (1981) but I’m not sure a federal judgeship is the career path he wants. But if it was, I would carry him to his hearing if need be.


      • I think Wally Adeyemo is similar to Elizabeth Prelogar. I don’t see them leaving their careers that surely pay them millions over the years for a district court seat. I think the only two jobs that could lure certain high power lawyers away from their potential earnings are a circuit court or Supreme Court seat.

        And in some cases even that can’t lure lawyers away. Paul Clement is a great example. Between GE Bush & Trump’s 5 SCOTUS picks, he surely could have gotten one of them if he really wanted one. Yet he seated in private practice & is making millions.


      • Also anytime a Biden just becomes the youngest judge on the circuit, it’s a good chance they will become chief judge one day. There are still some circuits he has gotten judges confirmed but they aren’t the youngest on the circuit. The 5th circuit is the one we have spoken about the most but there are others. That will no longer be the case for the DC circuit by next week.


      • There is a general formula and an absolute formula. The general pattern involves calculating who will be Chief at any time and works so long as there are no unexpected vacancies (Costa leaving irks me because he could have been Chief in 2031, but instead a Trump judge will be Chief).

        The absolute formula is that a Biden is guaranteed to be Chief if they are >5 years younger than the youngest Trump judge. The absolute formula may be more important in the future if more Chief judges strategically time their exits such as Danny Boggs (left the chiefship a day before Alice Batchelder turned 65 so Alice could be chief — I forgive him because of the antics Boyce Martin pulled as chief) and Edith Jones (even more strategic — left the chiefship on 10/1/12, let Stewart start his term early so that Richman could be chief on 10/1/19, 3 days before she turned 65). If Trump judges are so strategic and extreme as to do judicial gerrymandering, they will definitely strategize to prevent a Biden judge from succeeding them if they can.


      • Oh wow. I had heard about Edith Jones but never knew Danny Boggs did that. Yea that’s pretty strategic. I like your theory about a Biden judge needing to be 5 years or more the youngest judge in a circuit to guarantee they become chief one day. Hopefully if Biden gets a second term & the Dems pull off another senate miracle, they will get that done more often.

        And yea Costa resigning hurts in so many ways. He was an intellectual heavyweight, he could have become Chief & worst of all he will be replaced by a judge to his right & a decade older too. His resignation is a trust gut punch.


      • For Boggs, I don’t know whether that was the real reason, I only suspect it because of the precise timing. Boggs became chief on 9/30/03 and so could have remained chief until 9/30/10 but instead stepped down on 8/14/09. Alice Batchelder was born on 8/15/1944. Boggs was also born in 1944 and took senior status in 2017, eliminating the possibilities that he turned 70 or took senior status right after stepping down.

        Adding in the 6th circuit drama, I don’t see any other reason why Boggs would leave the chiefship early other than to let Batchelder be chief.


      • I personally don’t have any problems with Ramirez other than her age and Costa leaving. The 5th Circuit is a bastion of right wing crazies so anyone who isn’t a federalist society hack is going to look like a flaming progressive. Given her age, it does add a concern that she might take senior status under a GOP president/Senate giving them another FedSoc hack (though she wouldn’t be eligible to go senior until 2034).

        Edith Jones could have been even worse and left the chiefship in 2011 to let Jerry Smith be Chief and cut off Carl Stewart entirely, but from what I’ve heard, Jones’s move was for personal rather than partisan reasons (she had some headbutting with Judge Elrod and making Richman chief delays Elrod’s term as chief).


      • This is also a reason why I care so much about finding judges’ birthdays. Most of the sitting circuit judges’ birthdays are known. Not knowing a judge’s birthday could make it unclear whether they (or another judge) could become chief, which could impact the entire pattern. Candace Jackson-Akiwumi is a prime example of this. She is scheduled to become Chief in 2041, but if the Trump judges move to allow Thomas Kirsch to become chief, CJA won’t have a chance to be chief until 1/25/2044. Because she was born in 1979, her birthday is a very important factor (fortunately in her case, by probability it’s unlikely her birthday falls before Jan. 25).

        Brad Garcia is guaranteed to become Chief if he stays because the 5-year rule has an exception. Garcia is 4 years younger than Justin Walker. However, because the second-youngest judge (Rao) is 9 years older than Walker, the latest Walker could be chief is 2050, at which Garcia will be 64.

        Current Biden judges slated to be chief:
        1st Cir. – Gelpi (2029), Montecalvo (2036). Good timing.

        3rd Cir. – Arianna Freeman (2041; 4/8/2043 at latest). Knowing from an old Wikipedia edit that Freeman was born on 11/26/78, they can’t stop her from being Chief. As an added bonus, Montgomery-Reeves can become chief if something happens to Freeman before the early 2040s.

        7th Cir. – Candace Jackson-Akiwumi (2041; 1/25/2044 at latest). Assuming her bday is after Jan. 25, they can’t stop her from being Chief.

        D.C. Cir – Garcia (2047; 2050 at latest).

        Fed Cir. – Cunningham (2035)

        Biden would need judges born in the following years to get a Chief on the other circuits: 1983 for 2nd Cir., 1984 for 4th Cir., 1980 for 5th Cir., 1984 for 6th Cir., 1979 for 8th Cir., 1983 for 9th Cir., 1976 for 10th Cir., 1983 for 11th Cir.

        Ok I literally just learned that Jabari Wamble (born in 1979) could become Chief if he was confirmed to the 10th Circuit. I was only slightly mad that Wamble was downgraded, now I’m really mad that he was downgraded.

        Whoever served as Trump’s designated Mathematician to the President of the United States did a good job at maximizing the number of Chief Judges on the Court. If I were Biden’s Mathematician to the President of the United States, I would advise him to select one judge for each circuit court young enough to become Chief one day (more than one for non-trumped courts like the 1st Cir.). Trump never finished his actual wall, but he did build a wall of future chief judges. Biden hasn’t made any crucial mistakes in the order of nominating judges/handing out judicial commissions and to his credit he did it right for the 1st Cir. & W.D. Washington, but he has come close to fumbling (Cindy Chung & Leonard Stark would each be 1 year too old to be Chief if they were the first Biden nominee to their court).

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is a great look into the future. Thanks for the detailed dates. Hopefully there will be a couple SCOTUS appointments that changes things up a bit though… Lol

        And so true about Trump building a walk around the chief judgeships. Out of all the things he failed out, judges wasn’t one of them sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Good point, although Garcia may end up on SCOTUS at some point and skip that. But yes, love to see the young nominees getting confirmed.

    I hope Bidens picks for 4th (MD) and 10th (KS) especially end up on the young side because those circuits lean a bit older.


    • I don’t know if Delaney will get a vote on the 18th. We shall see if he doesn’t get skipped again. I also see on the agenda the Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act of 2023. I have seen a few Biden nominees with past work with Project Safe Neighborhoods so good to see it seems to be a bipartisan agenda.


      • That’s surprising. I would think any of the NYC Republicans are amongst the most venerable in the House.

        No new judicial news today. Hopefully next week we get another batch of nominees to avoid another missed SJC hearing. It really would be good to get a double-digit batch so we don’t have to sweat week to week but with THIS White House Counsel’s office I think 4 -5 per batch is the max we can hope for.


      • It’s not totally surprising.
        His upset was not only big but very embarrassing. In situations like that you want to duck out. Would be worse risking a repeat. Besides, it’s not like the Dems aren’t going to strongly contest Lawler’s district. Gretchen Whitmer’s sister and Mondaire Jones are already top tier declared candidates for the seat.

        I’ve all but given up on this WH team.


      • I don’t know much about Gretchen Whitmer’s sister. I’ll assume she is good since her sister being a great governor but of course that’s not always how it works out. Mondaire Jones was one of the most progressive members of Congress (Full disclosure I’ve been on conference calls with him when I worked with Demand Justice in the past) so I definitely hope he is the nominee.


    • I think the vetting process should be moving along now quicker than the first two Biden years. A lot of the J6 insurrectionist have already had their trials & Biden had very little cabinet & other officials turnover compared to other post midterms for past presidents. Hopefully that translates to reducing the vetting time for nominees.

      I could see a potential batch of double-digit nominees, albeit I’m not sure if it will be the next batch. A potential batch could include Florida – 3, Illinois (Either Gowen or Sheley), Indiana – 3 (1 CC & 2 DC), 4th (Maryland), California – 2, Michigan – 1 & Connecticut – 1. That’s not including any of the 8 DC vacancies from Texas which I have to assume some have already been agreed to & submitted for vetting.


  13. I agree, conversations regarding some of the remaining vacancies have been ongoing for a while now so theoretically there should be a fairly substantial number of vetted or partially vetted nominees out there. My hope is that we do not miss another SJC hearing date the rest of the year. By my count that would be another 14 possible hearings and theoretically a minimum of 42 district nominees plus and the remaining appellate nominees. That would go quite a long way, but would still leave a bit of work to do in 2024.


    • @Joe

      Exactly. They already missed 3 SJC slots this year because of a lack of nominees. With Durbin’s absolute refusal to come in for one day during a recess like the 5 weeks they are taking off for the Summer to hold a hearing, makes it that much more important not to miss a hearing when the time comes.

      Of course Republicans had no problem having a hearing during recess or back to back weeks which is why they got 230 judges confirmed in 4 Trump years but since this is Democrats we are talking about, at the bare minimum no more missed weeks. Man do I miss the days of last Summer when we got three batches in one week. There was a point where there were more nominees than hearing dates for the rest of the year. Those days are long gone.


    • Right. I get not holding the vote last week with Feinstein just getting back & me reading she hadn’t made up her mind yet. But now I’m reading & hearing about Booker, Blumenthal & even Ossoff not making their minds up yet. To just prolong the vote is only making things worse. Get it over with one way or another while there is still time to get a replacement before the elections next year.


  14. Personal news:

    I met Senator Jon Ossoff last night, and he is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    I asked him if he has made up his mind on Michael Delaney and he said he hasn’t.

    I also asked him if he thinks blue slips will last and he said he does, saying “while there are currently more open district court seats in Republican states, there are more total district court seats in Democratic states, so do you really want Republicans picking judges for the Southern District of New York”?

    He also said there should be a vote on Nancy Abudu this coming week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • @Ethan

      That is absolutely amazing. If Ossoff hasn’t made up his mind on Delaney, I truly don’t see him getting over the hump without Republican help. But that is still very possible because as I said earlier, I think they probably know he is the best case nominee they will get.

      As for his blue slips response, it’s the second time in the past two weeks I’ve been disappointed in a Georgia senator response regarding blue slips. I definitely want to see all of the Democrat senators in favor of keeping them response once Republicans are back in the presidency & senate majority & ditch them. The question isn’t if blue slips will get ditched but who will do it first.

      My God I sure hope he’s right about Nancy Abudu. She should have been confirmed during the runoff. It is well past time. From his lips to Gods ears.

      But nevertheless, amazing constituent you are. Great to hear about your meeting.


      • I am happy to hear that Ossoff is meeting with constituents. I have said before that there’s more to job of a Senator than roll call votes. So, we have something that indicates that Senators aren’t “lazy” as some here suggest.

        It’s easy for outsiders to say toss out the blue slips, but we just got good response it’s not Durbin’s decision alone to keep that practice in place. There were scores of judicial vacancies in blue states that Republicans left for the Democrats.

        At some point, folks have to learn to take people at face value. If a Ossoff says that Abudu will be voted on this week , why would you question that? Ossoff is a Senator on Judiciary Committee , if anyone would know this it would be him.

        I’m sure if Abudu could have been confirmed earlier then she would have. Anyway, it’s pointless to be talking about what could been done earlier when it wasn’t. What does anyone get out of that? I think the Dems are doing a good job.


      • @ shawnee68

        Lots to answer so I’ll go point by point.

        I too am happy to see Ossoff is meeting with constituents. He ran behind Warnock in the 2020 runoff so he will need to get a head start well before 2026. Seems like he is doing just that.

        As for senators are not just lazy, nobody said they were. We said they have a 3 day work week. I don’t think they are sitting on a beach in Tahiti the other 4 days, but regardless yes, I would like to see them spend a full 4 days a week at work when in session until all of the work is done. Then feel free to take plenty of recess. There’s a lot of problems in this country & as nice as it is to meet with constituents, that doesn’t translate into votes for judges that will uphold our rights. Get the judges confirmed first, then I’ll be happy to drive any senator to the airport that can’t find an Uber for their 4 day weekend.

        We have gone over blue slips extensively on the blog so I won’t rehash everything. I’ll just repeat my two questions from before.

        Question one, if Republicans told you right now they are going to ditch blue slips on day one of the next time they have the presidency & senate, would you want Democrats to keep blue slips now? If the answer to that is no then question two. Do you have that much confidence that Republicans won’t ditch blue slips if Democrats don’t? If your answer to that is yes, we just have an honest disagreement. Nothing in history suggest that Republicans will follow norms when in power if it gets in their way. If your answer is no to question two (Like my answer is), then you have no argument for jerking blue slips. So it really comes down to trusting Republicans, which I don’t.

        Why would we question if Abudu will get confirmed next week? Are you kidding? Have you not been watching? Do you really have that much confidence that Feinstein, let alone any of the other 50 senators can’t be out next week for any number of reasons? We aren’t saying Ossoff is lying, but to say nothing can happen to stop Abudu from getting confirmed next week is ridiculous… Lol

        As to your final point, the reason we are talking about it as I’ve said countless times before is this is a judicial blog. That’s what we do here… Haaaaa


      • @ Ryan Joshi

        I would keep blue slips if I trusted the GOP to keep them the next time they are in power too. The problem is I don’t trust them. They were the first to filibuster a Supreme Court Justice nominee & it resulted in Nixon getting justice Berger instead of LBJ getting Justice Fortas. They were the first to end the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees & it resulted in 3 Trump justices in 4 years. They were the first to end blue slips for circuit court nominees & it resulted in 54 Trump circuit court nominees in 4 years (Obama had 55 in 8 years).

        So if history is a guide, Democrats will play nice only for Republicans to turn around & change the rules when they get into power. Then they will confirm more judges then Democrats & everybody will be sitting around with their rights stripped away wondering why.

        You want to complain about rulings from Matthew J. Kacsmaryk but guess what? His seat became vacancy under Obama. Due to blue slips, Obama couldn’t fill the seat & now we get our rights ripped away.

        But hey, maybe Republicans will gain power again & play nice this time. Btw anybody that believes that let me know because I got a beautiful bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you… Lol

        Liked by 1 person

    • @Ethan

      Thanks for sharing.
      It’s a nice touch that the Senator used SDNY, my home district, and easily the most important. He could have easily used a Georgia court as an example. I go back an forth. It scares me to think that DeSantis would be making nominations to this court without the blue slips of our senators. With this horror in mind, the pendulum swings towards keeping the blue slips.

      “But that is still very possible because as I said earlier, I think they probably know he is the best case nominee they will get.”
      Graham is one of the few Rs I see *possibly* voting for Delaney. I don’t see any other SJC Rs supporting him in committee or on the floor. If there are 3 Dem Nays in SJC or 5 Dem Nays on the floor, Delaney will need more Rs to offset that deficit.
      What other R senators you see supporting him?

      Also, with the WH’s statement of continued support, which is quite standard, Durbin should put the nomination to a vote and be done with it. That will be the only way to move on, either way, with this nomination. It’s a strategic blunder to keep putting it off.
      Dem senators saying that they haven’t made up their minds yet aren’t being truthful. I suspect people like Ossoff are waiting to see how the vote will turn out before revealing their vote.


  15. I don’t remember, how was Delaneys reception by GOP senators at his SJC hearing? I could see Kennedy voting yes as some sort of matter of principle like he did with Mathis. Delaney seems pretty traditionally qualified on the merits so they shouldn’t be any objections there.

    I know she’s not on SJC but I could see Collins being a yes on the floor because of the NE connection.


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