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Judicial Nominees

Jill Pryor Confirmed to Eleventh Circuit

Yesterday, on the first day back after its August recess, the Senate confirmed Jill Pryor to a Georgia-based seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now-Judge Pryor had originally been nominated to fill this judicial emergency back in February 2012, making her the longest-pending judicial nominee in the Senate.

Judge Pryor's confirmation vote follows the confirmation of three other female Court of Appeals judges in July -- moving the percentage of active female federal court of appeals judges even closer to 35%. She becomes the 8th female circuit court judge, and the 12th court of appeals judge overall, to be confirmed this year. She is the 23rd female circuit court judge confirmed during President Obama’s Administration. Read more »

Judicial Nominations Update: August Edition

Last week, the Senate left for its August recess after having confirmed Pamela Harris to a Maryland-based seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and obtaining cloture on the nomination of Jill Pryor to a seat on the Eleventh Circuit (her confirmation vote presumably will take place shortly after the Senate returns in early September).  Read more »

Pam Harris Nomination Moves Forward in Senate

Yesterday, the Senate voted to move forward on the nomination of Pamela Harris to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A confirmation vote is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Monday. Read more »

Senate Poised to Vote on More Judges

Yesterday evening, the Senate confirmed three district court nominees (Andre Birotte to the Central District of California, Robin Rosenberg to the Southern District of Florida, and John deGravelles to the Middle District of Louisiana). These votes follow on the heels of the confirmation of Julie Carnes to a Georgia-based seat on the Eleventh Circuit, 94-0, on Monday evening. In addition, last night, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed cloture on the nomination of Pamela Harris to a Maryland seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the question of whether or not it will move to a confirmation vote on Harris’ nomination. Read more »

Judicial Nominations Update

Today, the Senate unanimously confirmed four district court nominees, including one woman: Paul Byron and Carlos Mendoza to the Middle District of Florida; Beth Bloom, to the Southern District of Florida; and Geoffrey Crawford, to the District of Vermont. Read more »

Senate Confirms Three District Court Judges Today

Today, the Senate confirmed three district court nominees:  Mark G. Mastroianni, to the District of Massachusetts, Bruce Howe Hendricks, to the District of South Carolina, and Tanya S. Chutkan, to the federal district court in the District of Columbia. Read more »

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing This Week

Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on 7 nominees to federal courts in Georgia – including Michael Boggs, nominated to a seat on the Northern District of Georgia. Boggs, a former state legislator and currently a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals, was vigorously questioned about statements that he had made while running for a state judicial position: “I am proud of my record. You don’t have to guess where I stand – I oppose same-sex marriages. . . . I have a record that tells you exactly what I stand for.” Boggs’ legislative record includes not only strong opposition to same-sex marriages, but also support of legislation hostile to women’s reproductive rights. For example, he voted for an amendment that would have added information about the number of abortions performed by a doctor to profiles maintained by the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners. The amendment would not have required any other specific medical procedure to be listed. Because anyone could request copies of doctor profiles from the Board, individuals looking to take violent action against doctors who perform abortions would have had easy access to that information, if the amendment had passed. A number of Senators asked Boggs whether he understood that the amendment he supported would have put doctors at risk of harm, and he responded by saying that, at the time, he was unaware of violence against abortion providers, and that his constituents were strongly anti-abortion. Read more »

Senate Confirms First Native American Woman to the Federal Bench

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed three nominees to district court seats in Arizona – including Diane Humetawa, who becomes the first female Native American federal judge in this nation's history. In addition to this historic and long-overdue confirmation, this week, the Senate confirmed Robin Rosenbaum to a Florida-based seat on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (on Monday). Read more »

Female Judges Confirmed Yesterday Break More Barriers

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed three nominees to federal district courts, Nancy Rosenstengel to the Southern District of Illinois, James Peterson to the Western District of Wisconsin, and Indira Talwani to the District of Massachusetts. Judge Rosenstengel’s confirmation is notable because she will be the first female judge in the Southern District of Illinois, bringing the number of women who are confirmed as the “first” in their district under the Obama Administration to 14. In addition, Judge Talwani will be the first person of Asian descent to serve as a federal judge in Massachusetts, and only the second female Article III judge of South Asian descent nationwide. Read more »

Senate Schedules Confirmation Vote on Michelle Friedland for April 28

After voting to move forward on her nomination yesterday morning, the Senate scheduled an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Michelle T. Friedland to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – for April 28. That is, two weeks from Monday, after the Senate returns from its two-week recess. 

This two-week delay came about because Senate Republicans refused to allow the vote to take place before Senators left town, even though the bipartisan procedural vote leaves little doubt that this outstanding nominee will imminently be confirmed to this important court. Read more »