Matthew Kacsmaryk – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Yesterday, as the Senate recessed, it returned approximately 100 nominees to the White House unconfirmed.[1]  Among the nominees returned was Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Texas lawyer who has made a name for himself as an advocate for religious liberty.  While Kacsmaryk may lack the explosive paper trail that sank fellow Texas nominee Jeff Mateer, he is still likely to face strong opposition for his work on LGBT and reproductive rights issues.

Background

Matthew Joseph Kacsmaryk attended Abilene Christian University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in 1999 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003.  After graduating from law school, Kacsmaryk joined the Dallas office of Baker Botts as an associate.

In 2008, Kacsmaryk left Baker Botts and joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA).  In this role, Kacsmaryk prosecuted criminal and national security cases, working on both trials and appeals.  In 2013, Kacsmaryk joined the First Liberty Institute, a non-profit law firm frequently representing individuals in claims of religious liberty.  He serves as Deputy General Counsel at the organization.

History of the Seat

Kacsmaryk has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  The Northern District is facing a high level of turnover, with four of the twelve allotted judgeships for the District currently vacant, and a fifth scheduled to open later next year.  The high level of vacancies have been exacerbated by the Republican Senate’s failure to confirm three Obama nominations to the Northern District in the 114th Congress.

The vacancy Kacsmaryk has been nominated to fill opened on February 3, 2016, when Judge Mary Lou Robinson moved to senior status.  While Obama sent nominees to three other vacancies on the Northern District, he did not nominate anyone to fill the Robinson seat.  As such, the seat remained vacant, and Kacsmaryk was nominated, with the recommendations of Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, on September 7, 2017.

Legal Experience

Kacsmaryk has worked in three primary legal positions in his career: as an associate at Baker Botts; as a federal prosecutor; and as Deputy General Counsel at the First Liberty Institute.  In his initial position at Baker Botts, Kacsmaryk focused on commercial, constitutional, and intellectual property litigation.[2]  He also received the Opus Justitiae Award for Outstanding Commitment to Pro Bono Work.[3]

From 2008 to 2013, Kacsmaryk worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.  In this capacity, Kacsmaryk worked primarily with the appellate division, arguing criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[4]  He also handled several criminal trials, including the prosecution of college student Khalid Ali Aldawsari for his purchase of nitric acid and other products to construct explosives for a terror plot.[5]

As Deputy General Counsel at the First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk oversees the education and policy advisory teams.[6]  In this capacity, he has frequently commented on issues of religion and the law.  For example, in 2014, Kacsmaryk described the Obama Administration’s executive order requiring all federal contractors to avoid anti-LGBT discrimination as favoring “sexual revolution fundamentalism over the sincerely-held religious beliefs of Americans.”[7]  Kacsmaryk was also involved in fights against the Obama Administration’s directive to school districts encouraging the accommodation of “gender identity” in gender-specific public facilities.[8]  Kacsmaryk also criticized a similar directive in the Fort Worth Independent School District, arguing that the directive made “no reasonable accommodation for dissenting Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, and Protestants who adhere to the Book of Genesis and continue to believe that God ‘created them male and female.’”[9]

Among other cases, Kacsmaryk has been involved in the suit to defend a Mississippi law allowing businesses and government workers to avoid service to LGBT individuals and same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs,[10] as well as a challenge to the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.[11]

Writings

In his capacity at First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk has authored several articles on issues of religious freedom and conscience.  These articles lay out a broad view of “religious freedom” encompassing the rights of religious individuals not to comply with laws that violate their moral beliefs.  In a 2016 article, Kacsmaryk wrote:

“…exceptions for conscientious objectors are the rule in the American legal tradition.”[12]

Kacsmaryk has also repeatedly criticized anti-discrimination provisions for LGBT individuals, as well as same sex marriage.  In an article published shortly before the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell, Kacsmaryk characterized same-sex marriage as an extension of the weakening on marriage’s four pillars, coming on top of no-fault divorce, the decriminalization of consensual extra-marital sexual conduct, and the decriminalization of contraception & abortion.[13]  He went on to note that, with the legalization of same-sex marriage, “faith-based organizations cannot safely assume that their external contracts, grants or cooperative agreements honor their sincerely held religious beliefs.”[14]

In another article, Kacsmaryk described the Equality Act, which would make sexual orientation and gender identity a “protected class” under Title VII as “seek[ing] to weaponize Obergefell.”[15]  Instead, Kacsmaryk endorsed the First Amendment Defense Act, which prevents government enforcement of civil rights laws against those who act with a religious belief or moral conviction opposing same-sex marriage or sexual relations.[16]

Political Activity

Kacsmaryk has frequently supported Republican candidates as a donor, including donations to both Cornyn and Cruz.[17]  Among his more prominent donations, Kacsmaryk donated $1000 to both Fred Thompson and John McCain during the 2008 Presidential campaign, and gave $1000 to Cruz’s campaign in 2016.[18]

Overall Assessment

Based on the aggressive questions from Democrats at his confirmation hearing, and by the strong opposition to his nomination by LGBT groups, it is unlikely that Kacsmaryk will get any Democratic support.  In a post-nuclear option world, the key question is whether Kacsmaryk will maintain enough Republican votes to be confirmed.  After the seating of Alabama senator Doug Jones, opponents will need to peel off two Republican senators to defeat Kacsmaryk.

In making their case, Kacsmaryk’s critics will likely point to his long paper trail of criticism of the LGBT and reproductive rights movement.  Specifically, they may point to his writings that criticize (by comparison) well-established principles such as no-fault divorce and the decriminalization of contraception.  They may also argue that Kacsmaryk’s writings demonstrate a bias against LGBT individuals (indeed, the Alliance for Justice has already made that argument).

In response, Kacsmaryk’s supporters will seek to contextualize his statements as reflecting a commitment to “religious liberty” rather than expressing hostility to LGBT rights.  Furthermore, they will likely point to Kacsmaryk’s less controversial tenures at Baker Botts and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to demonstrate his commitment to the law.

Given the salience of religious, reproductive, and LGBT rights in the political climate, Kacsmaryk’s nomination will likely rise and fall based on the pressure placed on Republican moderates such as Sens. John Kennedy, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski.  As of today, he remains more likely than not to become a federal judge in 2018.


[1] Andrew Restuccia and Seung Min Kim, Democrats Block Dozens of Trump Nominees, Politico, Dec. 22, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/22/trump-nominees-democrats-block-314775?lo=ap_e2.  

[2] First Liberty Institute, Matthew Kacsmaryk, https://firstliberty.org/team/matthew-kacsmaryk/.  

[3] See id.

[4] See id.

[5] See United States v. Aldawsari, No. 5.11-Cr-015-C, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159597 (N.D. Tex. April 6, 2011).  See also Associated Press, Saudi Man Aldawsari Sentenced to Life in Prison for Failed U.S. Bomb Plot, Fox News, Nov. 13, 2012, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/13/saudi-man-convicted-in-failed-us-bomb-plot-to-be-sentenced-faces-life-in-prison.html.  

[6] See supra n. 1.

[7] Press Release, New York County Lawyer’s Association, Liberty Institute Attorneys Respond to President Obama’s Disregard for Faith-Based Contractors in Signing Executive Order that Ignores American Ideal of Diversity (July 22, 2014).

[8] Press Release, First Liberty Institute, Threat to Religious Schools Partially Lifted by Trump Executive Order and Supreme Court Action (Mar. 10, 2017) (available at https://firstliberty.org/category-newsroom/commentary/).

[9] Leah Jessen, Parents Beat Back Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Mandate in Texas Schools, The Daily Signal, July 24, 2016, http://dailysignal.com/2016/07/24/parents-beat-back-obamas-transgender-bathroom-mandate-in-texas-schools/.  

[10] Chuck Lindell, Miss. Ruling Unlikely to Deter Texas GOP, Austin American Statesman, July 2, 2016.

[11] Christian & Missionary Alliance v. Burwell, 2015 WL 437631 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 3, 2015).

[12] Matthew Kacsmaryk, Moral Complicity at Court: Who Decides, The Witherspoon Institute, Apr. 6, 2016, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/04/16709/.  

[13] Matthew Kacsmaryk, The Abolition of Man…and Woman, National Catholic Register, June 24, 2015, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-abolition-of-man-…-and-woman.  

[14] Id. (emphasis in original).

[15] Matthew Kacsmaryk, The Inequality Act: Weaponizing Same-Sex Marriage, The Witherspoon Institute, Sept. 4, 2015, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/09/15612/.  

[16] See id.

[17] Center for Responsive Politics, https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=matthew+kacsmaryk&order=desc&sort=D (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[18] See id.

Ten Upcoming Judicial Nomination Battles

This week, Justice Brett Kavanaugh sat for his first arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court.  His path to those arguments, however, left countless Americans angry and relations between the two parties at a new low.  Unfortunately, the fight over the judiciary has not ended with Kavanaugh’s confirmation.  Instead, it has returned to a familiar front: lower court nominations.  With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushing for the confirmation of over thirty pending lower court nominations on the Senate Executive Calendar, many more confrontations are upcoming.  Below, we highlight ten nominees currently pending on the Senate floor who are expected to cause controversy, ranked in order from least to most likely to trigger a fight.  (All ten nominees passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on 11-10 party-line votes)

10. Cam Barker – Eastern District of Texas

John Campbell “Cam” Barker, the 38-year-old Deputy Solicitor General of Texas, has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  As Deputy Solicitor General, Barker joined efforts by Attorney General Ken Paxton to challenge Obama Administration initiatives and protect Trump Administration efforts.  In his three years in that position, Barker litigated the challenge (alongside now-Fifth Circuit Judge Andy Oldham) against the Obama Administration’s DAPA initiatives on immigration, defended Texas’ restrictive voter id laws, and sought in intervene in support of President Trump’s travel bans.  Barker also litigated to crack down on “sanctuary cities” in Texas, challenged the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and helped to defend HB2, restrictions on women’s reproductive rights struck down by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellersdedt.

In responding to questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barker argued that his work at the Solicitor General’s Office represented positions “of my clients, as opposed to my personal positions.”  Nevertheless, Democrats have argued that Barker’s work reflects a conservative ideology that is likely to tilt his judicial rulings.

9. Stephen Clark – Eastern District of Missouri 

Stephen Robert Clark Sr. is the founder and managing partner of the Runnymede Law Group in St. Louis, Missouri.  Clark has advocated extensively for pro-life groups and causes, and has statements on record criticizing Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood, and same-sex marriage.  For example, Clark advocated for medical schools to stop partnering with Planned Parenthood, suggesting that the schools were “training the abortionists of the future.”

Unlike the other nominees on this list, Clark did have a blue slip returned from the Democratic home-state senator, namely Sen. Claire McCaskill.  Nevertheless, Clark was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 11-10 vote, with all Democrats opposed.  His nomination is expected to draw opposition from pro-choice and reproductive rights organizations.

8. Justice Patrick Wyrick – Western District of Oklahoma

The 37-year-old Wyrick made waves in 2017 when he became the youngest candidate to be added to the Trump Administration’s Supreme Court shortlist.  Wyrick, who currently serves on the Oklahoma Supreme Court, built up a record of aggressive litigation as Oklahoma Solicitor General under then-Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  His nomination to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2017 was itself controversial due to Wyrick’s purported lack of ties to the Second District, the District from which he was appointed.

Since his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Wyrick has been criticized for his relative youth, lack of experience, and alleged ethical issues from his time as Solicitor General.  Specifically, two incidents have been raised.  First, while defending Oklahoma’s death penalty protocol in Glossip v. Gross, Wyrick’s office mis-cited the recipient of a letter sent to the Texas Department of Corrections in their brief and was forced to issue a letter of correction.  Additionally, Wyrick was directly called out in oral argument by Justice Sonia Sotomayor for mis-citing scientific evidence.  Second, Wyrick had engaged in communications with Devon Energy, an energy company whose lobbyist had ghost-written letters sent out by Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has alleged that Wyrick was aware and potentially complicit in the ghost-writing.

7. Mark Norris – Western District of Tennessee

The 63-year-old Norris currently serves as the Majority Leader in the Tennessee State Senate.  His nomination is one of the longest pending before the U.S. Senate, having been submitted on July 13, 2017.  Norris has twice been voted out of the Judiciary Committee on party-line votes, with Democrats objecting to his conservative record in the Tennessee State Senate.  In particular, they note that Norris pushed to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Tennessee, suggesting that it would allow “potential terrorists” to enter the state.  For his part, Norris has argued that his work in the Tennessee State Senate was on behalf of his constituents, and that it would not animate his work on the bench.

6. Wendy Vitter – Eastern District of Louisiana

The general counsel to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese (and the wife of former Senator David Vitter), Wendy Vitter has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Vitter drew criticism at her hearing for refusing to say that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided (a decision this blog noted at the time could be justified).  Vitter has also drawn sharp criticism for her pro-life and anti-birth control activism, including her apparent endorsement of the views of Angela Lanfranchi, who has suggested that taking birth control increases women’s chances of being unfaithful and dying violently.

5. Howard Nielson – District of Utah

The son of a former Congressman, Howard C. Nielson Jr. has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah despite being based at Cooper & Kirk in Washington D.C.  Nielson has two powerful Judiciary Committee members in his corner, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee.  Nevertheless, Nielson has faced strong opposition based on his work in the Office of Legal Counsel under President Bush.  Specifically, Democrats have objected to Nielson’s alleged involvement in the approval of the controversial memos that justified the use of torture.  In his defense, Republicans have argued that Nielson was not involved in the drafting of the memos and worked to get them rescinded.  Democrats also object to Nielson’s work defending Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that revoked the right of same-sex couples to marry.  In particular, LGBT groups have complained that Nielson tried to move for the presiding judge in the case, Judge Vaughn Walker, to recuse himself based on the judge’s sexual orientation.

4. Ryan Nelson – Ninth Circuit

The General Counsel for Melaleuca, Inc. in Idaho Falls, Nelson’s nomination to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior was pending when he was tapped for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Nelson has drawn critical questions from Committee Democrats regarding his work at Melaleuca, particularly focused on his filing of defamation actions against Mother Jones for their work investigating Melaleuca Founder Frank Vandersloot.  The lawsuit against Mother Jones has drawn criticism for chilling First Amendment rights and trying to silence investigative journalism.

3. Matthew Kacsmaryk – Northern District of Texas

Kacsmaryk, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, currently serves as Deputy General Counsel for the First Liberty Institute, a non-profit firm focused on cases involving “religious freedom.”  In his role, Kacsmaryk has been particularly active on LGBT rights issues, challenging the Obama Administration’s efforts to ban discrimination against LGBT employees by government contractors, and its initiatives on transgender rights in public schools.  In his writings, Kacsmaryk has criticized same-sex marriage alongside no-fault divorce, the decriminalization of consensual pre-marital sex, and contraception as weakening the “four pillars” of marriage.  He has also lobbied for legislation exempting individuals had religious beliefs or moral convictions condemning homosexuality from civil rights enforcement.  Kacsmaryk’s advocacy has drawn the strong opposition of LGBT rights groups.

2. David Porter – Third Circuit

A Pittsburgh-based attorney, Porter was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit over the express opposition of home state senator Bob Casey.  As Republicans processed Porter over Casey’s objection, Democrats raised both procedural and substantive objections to Porter, including his writings urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and his previous advocacy against the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  In his own statement, Casey pulled no punches, stating that Porter had “an ideology that will serve only the wealthy and powerful as opposed to protecting the rights of all Americans.”

1. Thomas Farr – Eastern District of North Carolina

Perhaps no lower court nominee has incited as much anger as Farr, the Raleigh based litigator tapped for the longest pending federal judicial vacancy in the country.  Farr had previously been tapped for this seat in the Bush Administration but was blocked from a final vote by the then-Democratic-controlled Senate.  Through the Obama Administration, this seat was held over by Sen. Richard Burr’s refusal to return blue slips on two African American nominees, including one recommended by him.

Since Farr’s renomination by Trump, he has faced opposition from civil rights groups, including one who has referred to him as a “product of the modern white supremacist machine.”  At issue is Farr’s representation of the North Carolina legislature as it passed a series of restrictive voting laws with a disproportionate impact on minority communities.  Many of these restrictions were struck down by the Fourth Circuit, which noted that the laws targeted African Americans with “surgical precision.”  Additionally, Farr has been charged with sending out thousands of postcards to African American voters in 1990 threatening to have them arrested if they voted.  (Farr has denied this latter charge, arguing that he was unaware that the postcards had been sent out.)  With Democrats and civil rights groups convinced that Farr worked to disenfranchise African Americans, and Republicans equally passionate in their support, Farr’s ultimate confirmation is sure to draw a level of intensity that district court judges rarely evoke.

 

Alan Albright – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

An attorney who first became a judge over 25 years ago (and left the bench approximately 20 years ago) would not seem like a likely judge from an Administration focused on youth as a key criteria of nomination.  However, Alan Albright became a judge at just 32 years of age and left the bench before he was forty.  As such, the seasoned litigator, now 58, is still young enough to serve on the bench for another thirty years.

Background

Alan D. Albright was born on November 24, 1959 in Hershey, PA.  After getting a B.A. from Trinity University in 1981, Albright received a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in 1984.  After his graduation, Albright served as a law clerk to Judge James Nowlin on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.[1]

After his clerkship, Albright joined McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore LLP. as an associate.  Two years later, he joined the Austin office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as an associate.  In 1992, Albright, only 32, was tapped to be a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Albright left the bench in 1999 to join the Austin office of Thompson & Knight LLP.  Two years later, he left Thompson to join Gray Cary (now DLA Piper) as a Partner.  In 2005, he moved to the Austin office of Fish & Richardson as a Partner.  In 2009, he joined the Austin office of Bracewell & Giuliani (now Bracewell) as a Partner.  In 2014, he left Bracewell to become a Partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.  In 2015, he returned to Bracewell as a Partner, and works there to this day.

History of the Seat

Albright has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  This seat opened on September 14, 2016, when Judge Walter Scott Smith Jr. retired amidst allegations of sexual misconduct.[2]  In February 2017, Albright applied for a federal judgeship with an Evaluation Committee set up by Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.[3]  He interviewed with the Committee in March 2017 and then with Cornyn and Cruz in April.  Albright interviewed with the White House and Department of Justice on July 18, 2017.[4]  He was nominated on January 24, 2018.

Legal Experience

Albright’s work in private practice can be divided into two periods sandwiched around his seven years on the bench.  The first period was from 1986, when Albright finished his clerkship, to 1992, when he became a federal judge.  During his period, Albright primarily worked in insurance litigation, starting at the Austin firm McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore LLP and then working for the Biglaw firm Akin Gump.

The second period was from 1999, when Albright left the bench, to the present.  In this period, the primary focus of Albright’s career has been on patent litigation, at the firms Thompson & Knight, Gray Cary, Fish & Richardson, and Bracewell & Giuliani (now Bracewell).  Notably, Albright represented Overstock.com in defending against a patent infringement action, representing the website through a jury trial (the jury found for the defendants).[5]

While Albright focused primarily on patent litigation , he occasionally handled other cases.  Notably, Albright represented the Williamson County government in defending against a suit brought by Robert Lloyd, a conservative Republican who claimed that the County had improperly taken his political affiliation and his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage into account in rejecting him for a Constable appointment.[6]

Jurisprudence

Albright served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas from 1992 to 1999.  In this capacity, Albright presided over the pretrial aspects of approximately 1000 misdemeanor and civil cases and approximately 500 civil cases.[7]  He also presided over around 15-20 civil cases by consent.[8]   Among the more prominent cases Albright handled, he overturned a $275,000 jury verdict for a San Marcos plaintiff shot by a police officer on qualified immunity and official immunity grounds (his decision was affirmed on appeal).[9]  In another notable case, Albright found for the parents of a daughter who suffered permanent injuries during birth due to the negligence of the doctor delivering the baby.[10]

In his seven years on the bench, Albright was reversed by the Fifth Circuit in four cases.  In three of the reversals, the Fifth Circuit reversed plaintiff-friendly rulings by Albright.[11]  In the fourth case, the Fifth Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a Lanham Act case.[12]

Political Activity

Albright has been a frequent donor to Republican candidates.  Cornyn was a particular beneficiary, having received approximately $5000 from Albright.[13]  Albright also donated almost $5000 to Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 Presidential campaign.[14]

Additionally, Albright volunteered on the campaigns of several Texas politicians, including Republican Governor Bill Clements, and Democrats Bob Krueger and Henry Cisneros.[15]

Overall Assessment

Compared to other nominees from Texas who have incited more pushback, Albright is relatively uncontroversial.  His long-time tenure as a patent litigator has allowed Albright to steer clear of controversial cases while maintaining the intellectual vigor needed for the bench.  Additionally, supporters will argue Albright’s representation of Williamson County in defending against a discrimination suit brought by a conservative employee reflects an apolitical approach to the law.

Furthermore, Albright’s record on the bench is relatively non-ideological.  While Albright did overturn a jury verdict for a plaintiff against the cop who shot him, his ruling for the victims of medical negligence in a bench trial suggests that he is not biased against plaintiffs.  Furthermore, most of his reversals from the Fifth Circuit have been from plaintiff-friendly rulings.

Overall, these factors, combined with his age and experience, suggest that Albright will be considered a consensus nominee.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Alan D. Albright: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 46.

[2] Tommy Witherspoon, Probe of Federal Judge Ends With His Retirement, Waco Tribune, Sept. 29, 2016, http://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/probe-of-federal-judge-ends-with-his-retirement/article_232c914f-578a-5e3d-813e-0f963cd75be3.html.

[3] See Albright, supra n. 1 at 44.

[4] See id.

[5] Alcatel-Lucent USA v. Amazon.com, Inc., 6:09-cv-00422-LED (E.D. Tex. Nov. 2, 2011), aff’d, 505 F. App’x 957 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

[6] Lloyd v. Birkman, No. 1:13-cv-00505 (W.D. Tex.).

[7] See Albright, supra n. 1 at 13-14.

[8] Id.

[9] Tamez v. City of San Marcos, No. 93-CV-666 (W.D. Tex. July 8, 1996), aff’d, 118 F.3d 1085 (5th Cir 1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 115 (1998).

[10] Jackson v. United States, No. 1:96-cv-00491-ADA (W.D. Tex. Aug. 20, 1998).

[11] See Castillo v. City of Round Rock, Tex., No. A-96-CV-863 (W.D. Tex. Feb. 2, 1998), rev’d, 177 F.3d 977 (5th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1019 (1999) (reversing denial of summary judgment to defendants, noting that claims were barred by qualified immunity); Travis v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Tex. Sys., No. A-94-CV-712 (W.D. Tex.), rev’d, 122 F.3d 259 (5th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1148 (1992) (reversing verdict for plaintiff on sex discrimination and retaliation claims); Texas v. Thompson, No. A-93-CA-343 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 12, 1994), appeal dismissed in part and rev’d in part, 70 F.3d 390 (5th Cir. 1995) (per curiam) (reversing denial of summary judgment to one defendant). 

[12] Soc’y of Fin. Exam’rs v. Nat’l Ass’n of Certified Fraud Exam’rs, Inc., No. A-92-CA-792/ A-92-CV-937 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 8, 1993), vacated, 41 F.3d 223 (5th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 515 U.S. 1103 (1995).

[14] See id.

[15] See Albright, supra n. 1 at 29-30.

New Judicial Nominations – Sept. 7, 2017

Today, President Donald Trump announced the nominations of three circuit court nominees and thirteen district court nominees. The nominees are as follows:

Judge R. Stan Baker – a federal magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Baker has been tapped to fill a vacancy on the same district.

Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock – a partner in a Mobile law firm, Beaverstock has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

Ryan Wesley Bounds – a federal prosecutor and former clerk to conservative Judge Diarmund O’Scannlain, Bounds has been nominated to fill O’Scannlain’s Oregon seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Judge Elizabeth Branch – a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, Branch has been nominated to fill the Georgia seat vacated by Judge Frank Hull on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

John W. Broomes – a partner in an Overland Park based law firm, Broomes has been tapped for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

Judge Walter David Counts III – a federal magistrate, Counts has been nominated to a fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  He had been nominated to the same court by President Obama but was not confirmed.

Rebecca Grady Jennings – a Louisville law firm partner, Jennings has been tapped for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Matthew Kacsmaryk – Deputy General Counsel to the First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Gregory Katsas – a Deputy White House Counsel and former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, Katsas has been nominated to fill a vacancy left by Judge Janice Rogers Brown on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Emily Coody Marks – a Montgomery law firm partner, Marks has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Jeff Mateer – the first Assistant Attorney General of Texas, Mateer has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Judge Terry F. Moorer – a federal magistrate judge, Moorer’s nomination was announced for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in May (but never submitted).  Moorer has instead been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

Matthew Petersen – a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, Petersen has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Fernando Rodriguez – field office director in the Dominican Republic for International Justice Mission, Rodriguez has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Karen Gren Scholer – a principal at a Dallas law firm, Scholer has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  She had previously been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas by President Obama.

Brett Talley – a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice, Talley has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.