Raul Arias-Marxuach – Nominee for the District of Puerto Rico

President Trump has received some criticism for the lack of diversity in his judicial candidates.  As of June 18, 2018, out of the 125 nominations made to the Article III courts, just four have been Hispanic.  One of those four is Raul Arias-Marxuach, who joins a federal bench composed entirely of Hispanic judges, serving a population where 95% of citizens speak Spanish as their first language.

Background

Raul Manuel Arias-Marxuach was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1967.  Arias-Marxuach received his B.S. cum laude from Boston College in 1989 and his J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1992.[1]  After graduating, Arias-Marxuach clerked on the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and then received an LLM from Harvard Law School.

After receiving his LLM, Arias-Marxuach joined the San Juan firm Fiddler Gonzalez & Rodriguez P.S.C. as a Litigation Associate.[2]  In 1995, Arias-Marxuach moved to McConnell Valdes LLC.  Arias-Marxuach became an Income Partner at the firm in 1999 and a Capital Partner in 2003.[3]  He continues to practice at the firm.[4]

History of the Seat

Arias-Marxuach has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.  This seat opened when Judge Jose Fuste moved to senior status on June 1, 2016.  No nomination was made to this seat during the Obama Administration.

In March 2017, Arias-Marxuach was contacted by the White House after being recommended for a judgeship by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez.[5]  Arias-Marxuach was selected as the primary candidate for the vacancy in April 2017, but was not officially nominated for the next year, until April 10, 2018.

Political Activity

Arias-Marxuach has limited political experience, having worked as a volunteer attorney for the campaign of Governor Luis Fortuno in 2008 (Fortuno caucused with the GOP as a resident commissioner in Washington).[6]  He also served as a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association in 2003.[7]

Legal Experience

Arias-Marxuach has spent his almost entire legal career atMcConnell Valdes LLC,  working in a variety of subject areas including maritime law, product liability, and antitrust matters.[8]  During his career, Arias-Marxuach has tried three cases to verdict before the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.[9]

Among the most notable cases he handled, Arias-Marxuach represented the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in seeking legal remedies against 21 student “strikers” who sought to maintain collective action against the University.[10]  The case went all the way to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, which found that students at the University do not have the right to strike.[11]

Overall Assessment

When nominated, Commissioner Gonzalez described Arias-Marxuach as “very professional…conservative, and his character is impeccable.”[12]  A review of his record mostly confirms her assessment.  Arias-Marxuach brings a long record with complex civil litigation to the bench, along with a generally non-controversial background.  While Arias-Marxuach may draw some questions based on his role in ending the UPR student strike, Democrats are unlikely to target his nomination, focusing on more conservative targets.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Raul Arias-Marxuach: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] See id. at 2.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] NotiCel, New Federal Judge Candidate in PR Closely Linked to UPR Strike, NotiCel, June 12, 2017, http://www.noticel.com/ahora/new-federal-judge-candidate-in-pr-closely-linked-to-upr-strike-document/609378099.

[6] See id. at 8.

[7] See id. at 4.

[8] See id. at 1.

[9] See id. at 18.

[10] NotiCel, New Federal Judge Candidate in PR Closely Linked to UPR Strike, NotiCel, June 12, 2017, http://www.noticel.com/ahora/new-federal-judge-candidate-in-pr-closely-linked-to-upr-strike-document/609378099.

[11] See Univ. of Puerto Rico v. Labarde Torres, 180 D.P.R. 253 (P.R. 2010).

[12] See Noticel, Supra n. 10.

Andrew Brasher – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

Late last year, the Trump Administration suffered an unusual and embarrassing defeat when Alabama judicial nominee Brett Talley withdrew in the face of bipartisan opposition.  Among the many knocks against Talley were his youth and inexperience.  Now, the Administration has replaced Talley with Alabama Solicitor General Andrew Brasher, who is just as young, but brings a significantly greater amount of courtroom experience.

Background

Andrew Lynn Brasher was born in Milan, TN on May 20, 1981.  Brasher moved to Alabama to attend Samford University, a private Christian University in Homewood, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2002.[1]  Brasher went on to Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 2006.

Upon graduation, Brasher clerked for Judge William Pryor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.[2]  He then joined the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as an Associate.

In 2011, Brasher was appointed by Luther Strange, then the Attorney General of Alabama, to be Deputy Solicitor General.  Brasher served in that capacity until 2014 when he was appointed Solicitor General (working with Talley in the office).[3]  Brasher continues to serve in the office.

History of the Seat

Brasher has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.  This seat opened on August 1, 2015, when Judge Mark Fuller resigned after his arrest for domestic violence.[4]  Despite the seat opening in President Obama’s second term, negotiations between the Administration and Alabama’s Republican senators fell apart and no nomination was ever made to fill the seat.[5]

In September 2017, the Trump Administration nominated Talley to the court.[6]  Unfortunately, Talley’s nomination quickly drew criticism from Democrats for his youth and lack of experience.  Shortly after his nomination passed through the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, it became public that Talley did not disclose his marriage to Ann Donaldson, the chief of staff to White House Counsel Don McGahn in his paperwork.[7]  Soon after, news broke of undisclosed posts and comments written by Talley under a pseudonym,[8] including message board comments defending “the first KKK.”[9]  Facing increasing bipartisan pushback to Talley’s nomination, the White House agreed to withdraw Talley’s nomination.[10]

On December 9, 2017, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) reached out to Brasher to schedule an interview for the Middle District vacancy.[11]  Shelby recommended Brasher to the White House in late December.  Brasher was officially nominated on April 10, 2018.

Legal Experience

Setting aside his clerkship, Brasher has had two main legal jobs: as an associate at Bradley Arant; and as Deputy Solicitor General and Solicitor General of Alabama.  During his time at Bradley Arant, Brasher worked in complex civil litigation, including product liability cases.  At the firm, he notably represented Republican Gov. Bob Riley in defending a controversial line item veto (later overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court).[12]

As the Deputy Solicitor General and Solicitor General of Alabama, Brasher defended Alabama laws and convictions before state and federal courts.  As such, Brasher argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In McWilliams v. Dunn, Brasher defended the imposition of the death penalty on James McWilliams, despite the latter’s alleged serious mental health issues.[13]  McWilliams argued that Supreme Court precedent required him to have access to a defense expert to provide evidence of mental incapacity, which Brasher disputed.  The Supreme Court ultimately sidestepped the question of whether McWilliams was entitled to a defense expert, ruling instead that the judge erred in denying any expert examination of McWilliam’s mental state.[14]

In Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, Brasher defended the constitutionality of Alabama’s state legislative districts.  The Supreme Court ultimately reversed the lower court ruling upholding the districts, suggesting that many of whom constituted racial gerrymanders.[15]  Additionally, in Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transp., Inc., Brasher defended an Alabama tax on diesel for rail carriers while exempting competitor industries against charges that it was discriminatory.  The Court ultimately held that Alabama had violated federal law.[16]

In addition to his Supreme Court work, Brasher has also litigated extensively in Alabama state and federal courts.  Notably, Brasher defended the constitutionality of “admission privilege” requirements for abortion providers in Alabama, struck down by Judge Myron Thompson, and ultimately enjoined after the Supreme Court struck down a virtually identical law in Whole Woman’s Health.[17]  Brasher also successfully defended Alabama’s ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers against allegations that it violated the First Amendment.[18]

Writings and Speeches

Setting aside his official positions as Alabama Solicitor General, Brasher had written and spoken extensively on legal and political issues.

 

Federal Regulation

On February 4, 2017, Brasher served on a Federalist Society panel titled “Combating Federal Overreach.”[19]  The panel consisted of Brasher and the Solicitor Generals of Florida, West Virginia, and Texas, moderated by Allen Winsor, a former Florida Solicitor General who is now up for a federal judgeship.  On the panel, Brasher discussed the litigation over the EPA’s control of “navigable waters” as defined by the Clean Water Act and interpreted by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Brasher criticizes the rule as overly broad and beyond the statutory intent of Congress.  Later in the discussion, Brasher also criticized local regulations, noting:

“…oftentimes, you actually see a locality within a state that’s really, sort of, in league with the federal government against the state’s authority.”[20]

Charitable Donations

On July 21, 2015, Brasher moderated a debate titled “Fat Cats and Philanthropists: How the IRS Governs Your Charitable Donations.”  The discussion was between Dr. Craig Holman from Public Citizen and Hans Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation and discussed IRS interference in not-for-profits and political organizations.[21]

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2015, while defending Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court, Brasher wrote an article on the subject on SCOTUSBlog.[22]  In the piece, Brasher argues that the Supreme Court “should at least reject the argument that these laws serve no legitimate state interest.”[23]  Brasher suggests that states maintain a legitimate interest in limiting marriage to opposite sex couples, noting:

“I hope that . . . [the Court] does not malign the majority of voters in a majority of states as irrationally prejudiced.”[24]

Death Penalty

Shortly after the Supreme Court narrowly upheld Oklahoma’s lethal injection procedure in Glossip v. Gross, Brasher authored an article in SCOTUSBlog supporting the decision.[25]  In the article, Brasher argues that disputes about the method of administering the death penalty are actually about the legality of the penalty itself, stating:

“Why pretend these disputes are about a particular method of execution when they clearly go to the viability of capital punishment itself?”[26]

However, Brasher also acknowledges some of the arguments of death penalty opponents, noting:

“It is hard to argue that the death penalty is a strong deterrent when capital cases take twenty-five years to process.”

Redistricting

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down North Carolina’s redistricted maps in Cooper v. Harris, Brasher published an article critical of the decision.[27]  Brasher suggests that the decision would lead to more judicial intervention in redistricting without providing adequate standards for them to do so.  Brasher also suggests that courts impose a requirement on plaintiffs to offer a map that would meet the partisan goals of the legislature.[28]

Political Activity

Brasher, a Republican, has worked as a volunteer on the 2010 campaigns of Luther Strange to be Attorney General and of Bradley Byrne (now a U.S. Representative) to be Governor of Alabama.[29]  Brasher also served on the Trump Transition Team, coordinating criminal justice policy with the incoming Administration.[30]

In addition, Brasher donated $300 to the Alabama Republican Party in 2015, his only notable political contribution.[31]

Overall Assessment

While Brasher is the exact same age as Brett Talley, he approaches the confirmation process with several key advantages that the latter did not have.

First, Brasher has served as Solicitor General, a position that has given him significant litigation experience, including three Supreme Court oral arguments.  In recognition of this fact, a substantial majority of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Judiciary rated Brasher “Qualified” for the judicial appointment, with a minority finding him “Well Qualified.” (In comparison, the Committee had unanimously found Talley “Not Qualified.”)

Second, Brasher has not, to our knowledge, ever blogged, anonymously or otherwise, on his personal political views.  Rather, his writings, while revealing a conservative judicial philosophy, focus on interpreting and understanding Supreme Court precedent.

That being said, Brasher will still likely attract significant opposition to his confirmation.  First, having defended many controversial positions as Solicitor General (and having lost repeatedly before the Supreme Court), Brasher will no doubt be called upon to answer for the stances he took.  Second, Brasher’s involvement in the Federalist Society will likely draw criticism, given much scrutiny over the conservative organization’s outsized influence over Trump’s court nominees.  As such, given Brasher’s background and expected longevity on the bench, Brasher will likely be opposed by most Democrats.  Nevertheless, unlike his predecessor, Brasher remains a favorite to be confirmed.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Andrew Brasher: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] Id. at 2.

[3] Id.

[4] Kyle Whitmire, Federal Judge Mark Fuller Resigns, AL.com, May 29, 2015, http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/federal_judge_mark_fuller_resi.html.  

[5] Compare Pema Levy, Jeff Sessions has a History of Blocking Black Judges, Mother Jones, Jan. 9, 2017, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/jeff-sessions-blocked-black-judges-alabama/ with Mary Troyan, Judicial Vacancies in Alabama Pile Up, Montgomery Advertiser, April 22, 2015, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/alabama/2015/04/22/judicial-vacancies-alabama-pile/26166537/.  

[6] Press Release, White House, President Donald J. Trump Announces Seventh Wave of Judicial Candidates (Sept. 7, 2017) (on file at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/07/president-donald-j-trump-announces-seventh-wave-judicial-candidates).    

[7] Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt, Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He is Married to a White House Lawyer, N.Y. Times, Nov. 13, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/us/politics/trump-judge-brett-talley-nomination.html?_r=0.  

[8] Zoe Tillman, A Trump Judicial Nominee Appears to have Written About Politics on a Sports Website and Didn’t Disclose It, Buzzfeed News, Nov. 13, 2017, https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/a-trump-judicial-nominee-appears-to-have-written-about?utm_term=.lfJaLQm8G#.atjgYrER6.

[9] Mark Joseph Stern, Trump Judicial Nominee Brett Talley Appears to Have Defended “the First KKK” in Message Board Post, Slate, Nov. 15, 2017, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/11/15/trump_nominee_brett_talley_appears_to_have_defended_the_first_kkk.html.  

[10] Zoe Tillman, The White House Says Two of Trump’s Controversial Judicial Nominees Won’t Go Forward, BuzzFeed News, Dec. 12, 2017, https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/trump-is-suddenly-facing-a-significant-republican-roadblock?utm_term=.bo9w8BdnA#.siJmaqzpA.  

[11] See Brasher, supra n. 1 at 40-41.

[12] McWilliams v. Dunn, 137 S. Ct. 1790 (2017).

[13] Alabama et al. v. Nat’l Marine Fisheries Service, et al., No. CV-16-00593 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 29, 2016).

[14] See id.

[15] See 135 S. Ct. 1257 (2015).

[16] 135 S. Ct. 1136 (2015).

[17] See Planned Parenthood Southeast v. Strange, 2:13cv405-MHT (M.D. Ala.).

[18] Alabama Democratic Conference v. Attorney Gen., 838 F.3d 1057 (11th Cir. 2016).

[19] Andrew Brasher, Combatting Federal Overreach (Feb. 4, 2017) (video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-71pu5xnOA).

[20] Id. at 1:19:45.

[21] Andrew Brasher, Fat Cats and Philanthropists: How the IRS Governs Your Charitable Donations (July 21, 2015) (video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1tFCp-rYGQ).

[22] Andrew Brasher, Good Faith and Caution, Not Irrationality or Malice, SCOTUSBlog, Jan. 16, 2015, http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/01/symposium-good-faith-and-caution-not-irrationality-or-malice/.

[23] See id.

[24] Id.

[25] Andrew Brasher, The Death Penalty Lives to Fight Another Day, SCOTUSBlog, June 29, 2015, http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/symposium-the-death-penalty-lives-to-fight-another-day/.  

[26] Id.

[27] Andrew Brasher, A Recipe for Continued Confusion and More Judicial Involvement in Redistricting, SCOTUSBlog, Mar. 23, 2017, http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/05/symposium-recipe-continued-confusion-judicial-involvement-redistricting/.  

[28] Id.

[29] See Brasher, supra n. 1 at 20.

[30] See id.

JP Hanlon – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

James Patrick (“J.P.”) Hanlon is President Trump’s nominee for a seat in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.[1]  Based on of Indianapolis, Indiana, Hanlon has worked both as a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer.  He is currently a partner at a prominent Indianapolis firm, where his work centers on white collar criminal defense.[2]  As of the publishing of this article, he had not yet been rated by the ABA.[3]

Background

Born in 1970, Hanlon earned his B.A. in history from DePauw University (1992) and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Valparaiso University School of Law (1996), where he served as an articles editor of the Valparaiso University Law Review.[4]  Shortly thereafter, he clerked for Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.[5]  He worked as an associate in the defense-side labor and employment practice group at Seyfarth Shaw LLP for three years, after which he began a five-year stint as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.[6]

In 2006, Hanlon moved to Baker & Daniels LLP, which in 2012 merged with Faegre & Benson LLP to become Faegre Baker Daniels, where Hanlon is currently a partner and co-chair of the firm’s white collar defense and investigations practice.[7]  His work at Faegre Baker Daniels includes representing clients in government investigations, enforcement proceedings, and related civil litigation; leading corporate internal investigations; and helping clients resolve complex compliance issues.[8]  From 2010-11, Hanlon taught courses on white collar crime as an adjunct professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.[9]

Hanlon has received extensive professional honors and recognition, including The Best Lawyers in America — White Collar Criminal Defense (2013-18), Indianapolis White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year (2015-16), Indianapolis Business Journal Forty Under 40 Award (2010), Indiana Super Lawyers — Rising Star, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2009-10), and Indy’s Best and Brightest — Recipient, Law Category (2008).[10]

Indiana’s senators have publicly supported Hanlon alongside Holly Brady, President Trump’s nominee for the Northern District of Indiana.  Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind) said they have “earned excellent reputations in the legal community as experienced litigators in the types of cases that come before federal trial courts.” He described them as “fair, impartial and highly regarded attorneys with the right temperament to serve on Indiana’s district courts.”  Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) echoed these sentiments, stating that “Both nominees have strong legal backgrounds and a range of experiences that have prepared them for the federal bench.”[11]

History of the Seat 

Hanlon has been nominated for a vacancy that will open on July 1, 2018, when Judge William Lawrence moves to senior status.  He was already under consideration, however, for the seat vacated by Judge Sarah Evans Barker (the White House nominated Indianapolis attorney James Sweeney to fill that seat), for which he applied to Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.).  While he interviewed with Young in April 2017, Hanlon was not contacted by the White House until December.  Hanlon also began contact with the office of Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) shortly therafter.  He was nominated on April 12, 2018.

Legal Career

In a Westlaw search, Hanlon appears on behalf of the government and criminal defendants in a handful of unpublished cases involving supervised release disputes and evidence suppression hearings.

The only published cases Hanlon appears in on Westlaw are from his labor and employment defense days. In Moriarty v. Svec, 55 F.Supp.2d 876 (N.D. Ill. 1999), a union trustee sued the owner of funeral home and livery business under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), seeking payment of delinquent contributions action to recover unpaid pension fund contributions on behalf of some of the owner’s employees.  The defendant funeral home owner, represented by Hanlon, was part of the Funeral Directors Services Association (“FDSA”), a multi-employer bargaining association representing approximately 250 businesses, until he withdrew from the FDSA in 1995.  Id. at 877-78.  Accepting Hanlon’s argument that recovery of three instances of allegedly unpaid pension contributions could have been litigated in prior related litigation, the court granted summary judgment to defendants on res judicata grounds as to those three instances.  The court held, however, that a material issue of fact existed for a separate count for recovery of pension funds occurring after defendant announced its withdrawal from the FDSA.  Whether defendant properly withdrew from the FDSA and was capable of paying those funds after his withdrawal required a trial.

In Alverio v. Sam’s Warehouse Club, 9 F. Supp. 2d 955 (N.D. Ill. 1998), a retaliation claim under Title VII, the district court granted summary judgment to the defendant employer, represented by Hanlon.  The court found that the plaintiff, a former employee, had failed to show a causal connection between her filing the discrimination charge and her dismissal over one year later, noting that the employer’s reason for discharge (the plaintiff’s alleged involvement in altercation with a coemployee) was not “patently inconsistent with the evidence.”  Id. at 963.  The court denied summary judgment on the employee’s hostile environment claim, holding that the defendant employer was vicariously liable for the bad actor’s conduct.

Hanlon has also engaged in pro bono work, including serving on Indiana University School of Law’s wrongful conviction clinic, representing asylum applicants in removal proceedings, and representing victims of domestic violence in obtaining orders of protection.[12]

Speeches/ Writings

Hanlon has published extensively over the past decade on practical guidance in white collar criminal defense.  In 2008, he co-authored the article, Rethinking How to Respond to Government Investigations, which responded to growing concern among corporations and white-collar defense lawyers in the wake of the 2006 Enron criminal prosecutions, at which point many practitioners contended that federal prosecutors routinely required companies to waive the attorney-client and work-product privileges as a prerequisite to getting credit for cooperation.[13]  Then-Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip (himself a former federal judge) released a 2008 memo announcing substantial changes to the DOJ’s policies then in effect, explicitly prohibiting seeking waiver of the privilege (although a corporation could still choose to waive).  Despite these changes, “the fundamental questions the government will ask in judging the corporation’s culpability remain essentially the same: 1) what steps did the corporation take to prevent the misconduct; and 2) what steps did the corporation take after learning of the misconduct to prevent it from happening again.”  Hanlon’s article provides practical guidance to the corporate criminal defense lawyer: beef up, proactively review, and fine-tune corporate compliance programs before any criminal investigation commences. Id. at 35.  “By proactively rethinking how to respond to a government investigation, a corporation can take action today that will help it when the government comes knocking.”  Id. at 36.

In his 2009 book, Punishing Corporate Crime: Legal Penalties for Criminal and Regulatory Violations, Hanlon discusses criminal punishment trends directed at corporations, analyzing the historical and statutory bases of corporate punishment and reviewing the remedies now employed by the government.  The book also offers advice in addressing the new and evolving punishments that face corporations and discusses preventative programs.[14]

Hanlon co-authored the 2013 article Keeping a Watchful Eye: The FBI’s Crackdown on Insider Trading, explaining the government’s crackdown on insider trading, admonishing “ organisations and compliance professionals [to] take steps to ensure that compliance processes are in place to prevent and detect insider trading activity before the government does.”[15]  Among the processes Hanlon  recommends are “creat[ing] an environment in which prompt reporting is culturally and professionally encouraged, thereby avoiding Dodd-Frank prohibitions against retaliation against whistleblowers,” and monitoring and establishing policies regarding employees’ use of social media for social vs. business purposes, consistent with the employees’ privacy interests.  Id. at 14-15.

Hanlon has also spoken on a wide range of corporate and white collar criminal defense topics as a panelist or presenter.  At the Seventh Circuit Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in 2017, he discussed the DOJ’s new enforcement priorities under the Trump administration and how those changes could impact the defense bar and U.S. Attorney’s Offices.[16]  He also presented at a 2016 CLE entitled “Crisis Management and the Legal Responses to a Government Investigation,” and a 2015 ABA roundtable, “How the DOJ’s Yates Memo Impacts Corporate Liability and Internal Investigations.”[17]

Overall Assessment

Hanlon’s experience in criminal law, both as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, labor and employment experience, and demonstrated expertise in corporate law issues make him an experienced and relatively noncontroversial candidate for the federal bench.  Research has not revealed any public political affiliations, consistent with Sen. Young’s (R-Ind.) effusive review of Hanlon as “fair, impartial and highly regarded … with the right temperament to serve on Indiana’s district courts.”  As such, Hanlon will likely be confirmed.


Holly Brady – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

A prominent labor and employment attorney from Fort Wayne, Holly Brady is an unusual nominee for the federal bench, given her frequent representation of plaintiffs and victims of discrimination.

Background

A native Hoosier, Brady was born Holly Ann Winkeljohn in Fort Wayne on August 14, 1969.[1]  After getting an B.A. from Indiana University in 1991, Brady attended Valparaiso University School of Law, graduating in 1994.  Following her graduation, Brady joined the Fort Wayne law firm Gallucci Hopkins & Theisin P.C. which later merged into Barnes & Thornburg LLP.  In 2002, she moved to the firm Theisen Bowers & Brady LLC as a Member.[2]

In 2007, Brady joined Haller & Colvin P.C. as a Member.  She has served as President at the firm from 2012 to 2018.[3]

History of the Seat

Brady has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.  This seat was vacated on September 29, 2017, when Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen moved to senior status.

Brady was approached by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) for the seat in early June 2017.[4]  While she interviewed with Young in July, she wasn’t selected as the primary candidate by the White House until December 2017.[5]  Brady interviewed with Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and his staff early in 2018 and was nominated on April 10, 2018.[6]

Legal Experience

Brady began her legal career as an Associate at Gallucci, Hopkins & Theisen, which later merged into Barnes & Thornburg.  While there, Brady primarily represented employees in discrimination and wrongful termination cases.  During her time there, Brady represented Monte Sieberns, who was blind, in a discrimination suit against Wal-Mart, who declined to hire him.[7]   Brady argued that Wal-Mart discriminated by failing to hire Sieberns as a telephone operator, while Wal-Mart countered that their phone system could not have been operated by Sieberns.[8]  Brady ultimately lost the argument before Judge William Lee at the trial level and the Seventh Circuit.[9]  In another unique case, Brady represented the Estate of a police officer who was shot and killed by a fugitive.[10]  Brady and her fellow attorneys sued the fugitive’s parents for negligent storage of the firearm, permitting the fugitive to access and use it, successfully persuading the Indiana Supreme Court to recognize a statutory duty of care by firearm owners to store their weapons appropriately.[11]

In 2002, Brady joined Theisen Bowers & Brady, a boutique employment law firm.  At the firm, she represented current and former employees in a labor and breach of contract suit against DaimlerChrysler.[12]

In 2007, Brady moved to the Haller & Colvin, where she currently serves.  While she continued her work on labor and employment issues, she also handled other civil litigation.  Notably, Brady represented members of the House Democratic Caucus challenging the collection of fines imposed upon them by the Republican majority.[13]  The suit arose from two incidents in 2011 and 2012, when Indiana State House Democrats fled the state to prevent a legislative quorum and block anti-union legislation.[14]  In response, Republican Speaker Brian Bosma imposed fines on the absent lawmakers, and Democratic lawmakers, represented by Brady, challenged the collection of the fines by garnishing their wages.[15]  The Indiana Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the suit in a 3-2 decision, finding that courts had no jurisdiction over the issue.[16]

Overall Assessment

Generally speaking, regardless of the administration, attorneys practicing civil defense are more likely to become federal judges than those primarily representing plaintiffs.  As such, the nomination of Brady, who has primarily represented plaintiffs, is refreshingly different.  While Brady is a Republican,[17] her representation of Democrats, labor plaintiffs, and the victims of discrimination is likely to deem her a consensus nominee.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Holly A. Brady: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[2] Id. at 2.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 25-26.

[5] Id. at 26.

[6] See id.

[7] Sieberns v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 946 F. Supp. 664 (N.D. Ind. 1996).

[8] See id. at

[9] Sieberns v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 125 F.3d 1019 (7th Cir. 1997).

[10] Estate of Eryn T. Heck v. Stoffer, 786 N.E.2d 265 (Ind. 2003).

[11] Id. at 269.

[12] Bell v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 547 F.3d 796 (7th Cir. 2008).

[13] See Berry v. Crawford, 990 N.E.2d 410 (Ind. 2013).

[14] Frank James, Indiana Democratic Lawmakers Imitate Wisconsin, Flee State, NPR, Feb.. 22, 2011, https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2011/02/22/133966237/indiana-democratic-lawmakers-imitate-wisconsin-flee-state.

[15] See Berry, supra n. 13 at 413.

[16] Id. at 422.

[17] See Brian Francisco, City Lawyer Picked for Federal Post, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Apr. 11, 2018, http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20180411/city-lawyer-picked-for-federal-post (citing Mark Gia-Quinta).

David Morales – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

David Morales is Trump’s second hispanic judicial nominee to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after fellow S.D. Tex. nominee Fernando Rodriguez.  Unlike Rodriguez, however, who worked primarily in human rights law, Morales was a longtime litigator with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, working closely with Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott, among others.  He also served as General Counsel to then-Gov. Rick Perry (now the Secretary of Energy).

Background

David Steven Morales was born in Edinburg, TX (in the Valley near the Mexican border) in 1968.  Morales attended Texas A&M University for a year, but received a B.B.A. from St. Edwards University in Austin.  After graduating, Morales spent a year at a Sales Associate at the Zale Corporation.[1]

In 1994, Morales received his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law and then was hired by Texas Attorney General Dan Morales (a Democrat) as Assistant Attorney General in the General Litigation Division.[2]  Morales was appointed the Associate Deputy Attorney General for Litigation and Chief Ethics Officer by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (now the Republican Governor) in 2004.[3]  Abbott promoted Morales to Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation in 2007 and to Deputy First Assistant Attorney General in 2010.[4]

In 2011, Morales joined the Office of Gov. Rick Perry as General Counsel.  In 2014, Morales became Deputy General Counsel for the University of Texas System Board of Regents.  In 2016, Morales left that position to become a Partner in the Austin office of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP.  He currently serves in that capacity.

History of the Seat

Morales has been nominated to fill the second longest pending judicial vacancy in the country.  This seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas opened on June 1, 2011, when Judge Janis Graham Jack moved to senior status.  The bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee twice sent recommendations for nominees to Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, but the two were unable to agree on a nominee with the White House.[5]  As such, no nominee was ever put forward to fill the vacancy during the Obama Administration.

After the election of President Trump, Cruz and Cornyn reset up the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee to take applications for the federal bench.  Morales interviewed with the Committee on March 17, 2017, and with Cornyn and Cruz on April 7.  Morales then interviewed with the White House Counsel’s Office and the Department of Justice on May 3, 2017, and was finally nominated on April 12, 2018.[6]

Important Cases

While Morales spent four years advising Perry as his General Counsel, and currently practices litigation in private practice, Morales’ most significant cases came during his 17-year long tenure at the Texas Attorney General’s Office, where he was responsible for both trial and appellate litigation involving the Texas government.

At the Texas Attorney General’s office, Morales litigated approximately 150 cases.[7]  Among his most notable cases, Morales successfully defended a challenge to Texas’ lethal injection method for capital punishment before the U.S. District Court, as well as assisting with the defense on appeal.[8]  Morales also negotiated an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in an investigation involving the treatment of persons with developmental disabilities in 12 Texas state schools.[9]

Morales also had an opportunity to work on briefing before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Notably, he helped assist Abbott and Cruz (then the Solicitor General) in defending a monument of the Ten Commandments that was displayed before the Texas Capitol.[10]  The Texas Supreme Court ultimately upheld the monument while striking down a similar display in Kentucky.[11]

Writings

In 2016, Morales published a letter to the editor for the Houston Chronicle in response to an editorial criticizing the decision to drop the lawsuit against Trump University.[12]  In the article, Morales described his role in leading the investigation against Trump University, stating that Abbott and political superiors had no role in directing or ending the inquiry.[13]  Rather, Morales stated that he decided to end the inquiry himself after Trump University agreed to permanently suspend Texas operations, noting:

“[The agreement] ensured that no further Texas citizens would be exposed to the company,”[14]

Morales also stated that his office had no written complaints from those who had used Trump University’s services, while also noting:

“I am proud that our Consumer Protection Division was able to get Trump University to immediately and permanently leave the State of Texas.”[15]

Morales’ letter sparked a letter in opposition from Houstonian John Fisch who noted that Trump University was given no sanctions for their deceptive conduct, stating:

“[Dropping the investigation] is akin to allowing a burglar to leave with the money and goods it took from a home, as long as he agrees not to break into the same house again.”[16]

Political Activity

Morales has a limited history of political activity.  He volunteered on President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004 and worked in then-Gov. Rick Perry’s Presidential Campaign in 2012, volunteering to assist with the Iowa caucuses.[17]

Overall Assessment

With over twenty years of litigation experience, Morales is clearly qualified for a seat on the federal bench.  While he has spent much of his career defending conservative statutes, the positions Morales took on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office cannot necessarily be considered predictive of his own approach on the bench.

Morales may draw questions, however, regarding his dropping of the investigation against Trump University.  Given his acknowledgment that he himself made the decision, Morales will likely be questioned on his motivation and reasoning.  Given the Republican majority and his otherwise noncontroversial record, however, Morales is still a favorite to be confirmed.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary 115th Cong., David S. Morales, Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 3.

[2] See id. at 2.

[3] See id.

[4] See id.

[5] Krista M. Torralva, 26 Apply for Federal Judge Post in Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, March 1, 2017,  https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/2017/03/01/26-apply-federal-judge-post-corpus-christi/98580400/.  

[6] See Morales, supra n. 1 at 26.

[7] See id. at 14.

[8] See Raby v. Livingston, 600 F.3d 552 (5th Cir. 2010).

[9] See United States of America v. State of Texas, No. 009-CV-00790 (W.D. Tex.).

[10] Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005).

[11] McCreary Cnty. v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844 (2005).

[12] David Morales, Saturday Letters; Trump U. and Texas, Houston Chronicle, June 3, 2016, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/letters/article/Saturday-letters-Trump-U-and-Texas-7961669.php.  

[13] See id.

[14] Id.

[15] Id.

[16] John Fisch, Curious Actions, Houston Chronicle, June 20, 2016, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/letters/article/Trump-U-and-Texas-8000753.php.  

[17] See Morales, supra n. 1 at 11.

Justice Lance Walker – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

Justic Lance Walker of the Maine Superior Court is Trump’s first judicial nominee from the Pine Tree state and boasts the strong support of his home-state senators.

Background

A native Mainer, Lance Edward Walker was born in the small town of Milo on March 13, 1972, and raised in Dover-Foxcroft.[1]  Walker attended the University of Maine and then started at Vermont School of Law in 1997.  However, he returned to his home state after a year to finish his J.D. at the University of Maine Law School, graduating in 2000.[2]

After graduating, Walker clerked on the Maine Superior Court and then joined the Maine law firm Norman Hansen & DeTroy LLC as Associate Attorney.[3]  In 2007, Walker was named a Member in the Portland Office in 2007.[4]

In 2014, Republican Governor Paul LePage appointed Walker as a District Court Judge.[5]  He was elevated to be the Maine Superior Court in 2015 and serves as a Justice on that court.

Walker was a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization that has produced many Trump nominees, between 1997 and 2002.[6]  He has also been a member of the National Rifle Association since 2001.[7]

History of the Seat

Walker has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.  This seat opened on June 27, 2017, when Judge John Woodcock moved to senior status. In June 2017, Walker applied for the judgeship with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).[8]  Walker interviewed with the Commission, Collins, and the White House Counsel’s Office before becoming confirmed as a nominee in October 2017.  Walker was officially nominated on April 10, 2018.[9]

Legal Career

Before he became a judge, Walker worked in litigation at Norman Hansen & DeTroy LLC for thirteen years.  During this time, he worked on approximately twenty cases as lead counsel, including five jury trials.[10]

Among his more notable cases as an attorney, Walker defended an insurance company being sued for damages owed to a tenant by her landlord who sexually molested her.[11]  In defending against the claim, Walker argued that a policy exclusion in the insurance contract prevented liability on the part of the insurer.[12]  While the trial court ruled for the tenant, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reversed, finding that the policy exclusion barred the claims.[13]

Jurisprudence 

From 2014 to 2015, Walker served as a judge on the Maine District Court, where he heard civil, criminal and family matters from the bench.  Since 2015, Walker has served on the Maine Superior Court, where he has managed over thirty jury trials.[14]

Among the many cases that Walker has handled over his tenure, two are particularly notable.  In the first, Walker granted a preliminary injunction to the State of Maine barring anti-abortion protester Brian Ingalls from being within 50 feet of Planned Parenthood facilities and ordered Ingalls to pay civil penalties and attorney’s fees for the state.[15]  While the Ingalls case was pending, a second abortion protester succeeded in getting the law enjoined by U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen (although Torresen’s ruling was later overturned by the First Circuit).

In his second notable matter, Walker blocked the State of Maine from reinstating criminal charges against 17 protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement.[16]  The criminal charges were initially dismissed as part of an agreement to seek a restorative justice session, but were reinstated after negotiations over the session fell apart.[17]  In blocking the reinstatement of charges, Walker held that the State was bound by its earlier agreement to seek a restorative justice session.[18]

Overall Assessment

As a judicial nominee, Walker has parts of his background that can please both the right and the left.  For conservatives, they can note Walker’s prior Federalist Society membership and his current affiliation with the NRA.  For liberals, they can be happy with his favorable decisions in the Ingalls and Black Lives Matter cases.  As such, Walker can potentially be seen as a consensus nomination.

This is not to say that Walker’s nomination does not have the potential to draw any controversy.  In 2017, Judge Scott Palk, an Obama nominee renominated by Trump drew 16 no votes over his membership in the NRA.  Given the heightened controversy over the NRA in recent months, it is possible that Walker’s membership will also raise opposition.  On the flip side, Planned Parenthood has been a bete noire for many on the right.  As such, Walker’s imposition of a civil penalty on a protester may lead some to paint him as a Planned Parenthood supporter and may draw the opposition of anti-abortion groups.

At the end of the day, all a nominee needs to be confirmed in 50 votes.  Given Walker’s support from Collins and Sen. Angus King (I-ME), he looks likely to get it.


[1] Judy Harrison, Trump Tapes Maine Superior Court Justice for Federal Vacancy, Bangor Daily News, Apr. 10, 2018.

[2] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Lance Walker: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 1.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Judy Harrison, LePage’s Ex-Counsel, Former AG, Homicide Prosecutor Among Those Nominated to Replace Retiring Judges, Bangor Daily News, Feb. 7, 2014.

[6] Id. at 4.

[7] Id.

[8] Walker, supra n. 1 at 38.

[9] Press Release, White House, President Donald J. Trump Announces Twelfth Wave of Judicial Candidates, Twelfth Wave of United States Attorneys, and Sixth Wave of United States Marshals (Apr. 10, 2018) (on file at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office).  

[10] See Walker, supra n. 1 at 29.

[11] See Jacobi v. MMG Ins. Co., 17 A.3d 1229 (Me. 2011).

[12] Crest Group, Inc. v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP., No. 27-CV-03-005617 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 25, 2007).

[13] See id.

[14] United States v. Abdul-Ahad, No. 08-CR-142 (D. Minn. Oct. 27, 2008).

[15] See State v. Ingalls, No. 15-CV-487, 2016 Me. Super. LEXIS 55 (Me. Super. Ct. Mar. 17, 2016).

[16] Jake Bleiberg, Judge Won’t Reinstate Charges Against Portland Black Lives Matter Protesters, Bangor Daily News, May 24, 2017.

[17] See id.

[18] Id. (quoting Judge Lance Walker).

Judge Allen Winsor – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

A state appellate judge and former solicitor general, Judge Allen Winsor brings extensive legal experience to the bench.  However, he also brings a long record in hot-button cases.

Background

A native Floridian, Allen Cothrell Winsor was born in Orlando in 1976.  Winsor graduated from Auburn University in 1997 and worked in two years as a Solution Sales Specialist in Rockville, Maryland.[1]  In 1999, Winsor returned to Florida to attend law school at the University of Florida, receiving a J.D. in 2002.[2]

After graduating, Winsor clerked for Judge Ed Carnes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  He then joined the Atlanta office of King & Spalding as an Associate (that office has produced two other Trump judges).  In 2005, Winsor moved to Tallahassee to be an Associate at GrayRobinson PA.[3]  He became a Shareholder at the firm in 2008.[4]

In 2013, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi chose Winsor to be Florida Solicitor General.  He served in this capacity for the next three years, until being appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.[5]  He continues to serve on that court.

History of the Seat

The seat Ray has been nominated for opened on November 7, 2016, with Judge Robert Hinkle’s move to senior status.  Florida Senators Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, continued the use of a Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) to solicit recommendations for vacancies.  The JNC recommended Winsor for the Northern District alongside three other candidates on November 16, 2017.[6]  After interviews with Nelson, Rubio and the White House, Winsor was nominated for the vacancy on April 10, 2010.[7]

Private Practice

Before he became Florida Solicitor General, Winsor spent ten years in private practice working at King & Spalding and GrayRobinson.  At these firms, Winsor’s specialty was in election law and he frequently worked with Republican lawmakers in defending election regulations.

Election Regulation

While at GrayRobinson, Winsor frequently represented Florida’s Secretary of State in defending Florida’s election regulations.  For example, Winsor successfully defended Florida’s registration deadline set 29 days before the election.[8]  He also successfully defended a provision that matched voter applications against drivers license registries and other databases (the provision was challenged by the NAACP).[9]  Winsor also defended bans on electioneering near polling places,[10] and restrictions on third party voter registration organizations.[11]

Redistricting

In 2012, Winsor was part of the legal team challenging the Fair Districts Initiative (a citizen ballot initiative that restricted gerrymandering in Florida).[12]  Winsor, representing the Florida House of Representatives, joined other attorneys in arguing that the Initiative violated the Constitution’s Elections Clause.[13]  The Eleventh Circuit upheld the Initiative.[14]

Winsor also represented the Florida House of Representatives in defending the redistricting maps drawn before the Florida Supreme Court.[15]

Solicitor General

From 2013 to his appointment as a judge in 2016, Winsor served as the Solicitor General of Florida, serving as the primary appellate attorney for the state.  In this role, Winsor has participated in many high-profile cases.

Dealth Penalty – Sentencing

Until 2016, Florida permitted judges to make the requisite factual findings to impose the death penalty, even if a jury recommended otherwise.  In Hurst v. Florida, Winsor defended this sentencing scheme before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that no judge had overruled a jury’s recommendation not to impose death since 1999.[16]  The Supreme Court rejected the scheme in a 8-1 opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, finding that it violated the Sixth Amendment.[17]

Death Penalty – Intellectual Capacity

Winsor was also charged with defending Florida’s bright-line intellectual capacity rule before the Supreme Court.  Florida barred inmates subject to the death penalty from claiming lack of intellectual capacity where their IQ scores were above 70.[18]  Winsor again came up short in the case, as the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to strike down the bright-line rule.[19]

Gay Marriage

Winsor also defended Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.  The Solicitor General’s Office drew criticism during the defense for stating in a brief that overturning Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage would “impose significant public harm.”[20]  While the statement went viral and drew significant criticism, Winsor responded that the statement was taken out of context.[21]  He stated:

“Florida is harmed whenever a federal court enjoins enforcement of its laws, including the laws at issue here.”[22]

Docs v. Glocks

Winsor was charged with defending Florida’s “Docs v. Glocks” law, which prevents physicians from discussing gun ownership with their patients.[23]  At oral argument, Winsor argued that, as the law instructed physicians to “refrain” from the discussions, the law merely offered a recommendation rather than a prohibition.[24] The law was ultimately struck down by the Eleventh Circuit.[25]

Medical Marijuana

In 2015, Winsor represented the State of Florida in challenging a ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana.[26]  Winsor argued that the Amendment’s language was too broad, and that it would permit individuals with minor injuries to receive medical marijuana.[27]  The Florida Supreme Court, however, unanimously approved the Amendment’s language.[28]  The Amendment was approved by 71% of voters in 2016.

Jurisprudence

Winsor has served as an appellate judge on Florida’s First District Court of Appeals for the last two years.  In his two years on the bench, Winsor has heard over 1300 cases.[29]  During this tenure, none of Winsor’s opinions were reversed by a higher court.

The vast majority of appeals that Winsor has heard have been criminal in nature, and Winsor has voted to uphold the underlying convictions in most of those appeals.  In a few, however, Winsor has voted in favor of the defendant.  In one case, Winsor reversed a father’s conviction for sexually assaulting his daughter, noting that the prosecution had failed to timely disclose expert evidence that they offered at trial.[30]  In another case, a divided panel affirmed the defendant’s conviction for sexual battery on a child, finding that admitting child hearsay did not violate the defendant’s rights.[31]  Winsor dissented, arguing that the evidence was improperly admitted and that the defendant was entitled to a new trial.[32]

Writings

In 2012, Winsor authored an article that was critical of the Florida Supreme Court decision in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. v. Browning, and specifically criticized the ruling on “implied pre-emption.”[33]  In the article, Winsor criticizes the Supreme Court for failing to find that a voter initiative regulating Sarasota County’s elections and voting was pre-empted by Florida state law.[34]  Among his criticisms, Winsor suggests that the Supreme Court “understated the public-policy considerations” noting that:

“…differing local treatment of votes can have disastrous effects, as evidenced in 2000.”[35]

As such, Winsor urged the Florida legislature to pass statements in election codes expressly pre-empting local regulation of vote-counting.[36]

Overall Assessment

Despite his relative youth, Winsor has managed to rack up an impressive array of accomplishments.  Having experience both as an attorney and as a judge, Winsor is qualified for a federal judgeship.  That being said, Winsor may draw questions regarding his defense of conservative laws and his challenge to the medical marijuana amendment as Florida Solicitor General.  He may also draw opposition based on his defense of voting restrictions and his opposition to gerrymandering reform as a private practice attorney.

Overall, Winsor’s support from Rubio and Nelson, as well as his relatively uncontroversial tenure on the bench should help his confirmation along.


[1] Sen. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong., Allen C. Winsor: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees 3.

[2] Id. at 1.

[3] Id. at 2.

[4] Id. 

[5] Julie Kanner, Career Track, Florida Times-Union, Feb. 9, 2016.

[6] Alex Leary, Finalists Named for Federal Bench in Northern District of Florida, The Buzz, Nov. 16, 2017, http://www.tbo.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/11/16/finalists-named-for-federal-bench-in-northern-district-of-florida/.  

[7] Press Release, President Donald J. Trump Announces Twelfth Wave of Judicial Nominees, Twelfth Wave of United States Attorneys, and Sixth Wave of United States Marshalls (April 10, 2018) (on file at www.whitehouse.gov/thepressoffice).

[8] Diaz v. Cobb, 541 F. Supp. 2d 1319 (S.D. Fla. 2008).

[9] Florida State Conference of NAACP v. Browning, 522 F.3d 1153 (11th Cir. 2008).

[10] Citizens for Police Accountability Political Comm. v. Browning, 581 F. Supp. 2d 1164 (M.D. Fla. 2008); 572 F.3d 1213 (11th Cir. 2009).

[11] League of Women Voters v. Browning, 575 F. Supp. 2d 1298 (S.D. Fla. 2008).

[12] Brown v. Secretary of State of Florida, 668 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 2012).

[13] Id.

[14] Id. at 1273.

[15] In re Senate Joint Resolution of Legislative Apportionment 1176, 83 So. 3d 597 (Fla. 2012).

[16] Robert Barnes, Supreme Court Hears Criminal Justice Cases, Wash. Post, Oct. 14, 2015.

[17] Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016)

[18] Mark Sherman, Court Skeptical of IQ Scores in Deciding Execution, Bismarck Tribune, Mar. 4, 2014.

[19] Hall v. Florida, 572 U.S. __ (2014).

[20] John Woodrow Cox, Public Harm and Gay Marriage, Tampa Bay Times, May 31, 2014.

[21] Id. 

[22] Id. (quoting Allen Winsor).

[23] Curt Anderson, US Court Hears Appeal in Docs vs. Guns Case, New Zealand Herald, July 19, 2013.

[24] See id.

[25] Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida, No. 1:11-cv-22026-MGC (11th Cir. 2017) (en banc).

[26] Matt Dixon, Marijuana Sides Argue Before State High Court; Debate Was About a Proposed Constitutional Amendment’s Wording, Florida Times-Union, Dec. 6, 2013.

[27] See id.

[28] Dan Sweeney, Medical Marijuana Proposal Moves Closer to Ballot, Sun-Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2015, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-medical-marijuana-supreme-court-approval-20151217-story.html.  

[29] See Winsor, supra n. 1 at 9.

[30] See Millette v. State, 223 So. 3d 466 (Fla. 1st DACA 2017).

[31] See Cabrera v. State, 206 So. 3d 768 (Fla. 1st DACA 2016).

[32] See id. (Winsor, J., dissenting).

[33] Allen Winsor, Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, Inc. v. Browning: The Implied End to Implied Pre-Emption, 41 Stetson L. Rev. 499 (Winter 2012).

[34] Id. at 507.

[35] Id. at 508.

[36] See id. at 515.

[37] See, e.g., I.A. Group, Ltd. Co. et al. v. RmNandco, Inc., 784 S.E.2d 823 (Ga. App. 2016) (rev’g judgment to plaintiff); Moore-Waters et al. v. Met-Test, LLC., 782 S.E.2d 848 (Ga. App. 2016) (rev’ing grant of default judgment to plaintiff); Martin et al. v. Hansen, 755 S.E.2d 892 (Ga. App. 2014) (rev’ing denial of summary judgment to defendant); Askew et al. v. Rogers, 755 S.E.2d 836 (Ga. App. 2014) (rev’ing grant of summary judgment to plaintiff); Security Real Estate Servs. Inc. v. First Bank of Dalton, 752 S.E.2d 127 (Ga. App. 2013) (rev’ing denial of summary judgment to defendant).

[38] See, e.g., Teston et al. v. Southcore Constr. Inc., 783 S.E.2d 921 (Ga. App. 2016) (rev’ing grant of default judgment to defendant); Gomez v. Innocent et al., 746 S.E.2d 645 (Ga. App. 2013) (rev’ing grant of summary judgment to defendant); Deberry v. Johnson et al., 747 S.E.2d 886 (Ga. App. 2013) (rev’ing grant of summary judgment to defendant).