Judicial Nominations

  • July 29, 2014

    by Ellery Weil

    The Burlington Free Press reports on the death of Cheryl Hanna, who was the Vice President for External Relations and Professor of Law at Vermont Law School professor. A noted legal analyst, Professor Hanna was also the faculty adviser to the ACS Student Chapter at Vermont Law School. ACS extends its condolences to her family and friends.

    The New York Times Editorial Board continues its series calling for an end to the government’s failed war on marijuana. In “The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests,” the board states what many legal scholars and others have noted for a long time – arrests for marijuana possession target black men and ruin too many of their lives. The newspaper’s editorial board states:

    The sheer volume of law enforcement resources devoted to marijuana is bad enough. What makes the situation far worse is racial disparity. Whites and blacks use marijuana at roughly the same rates; on average, however, blacks are 3.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession, according to a comprehensive 2013 report by the ACLU.

    Emma Green of The Atlantic discusses the new same-sex marriage ruling in Virginia, and how it differs from other pro-marriage equality rulings in the past.

    Writing for The Constitutional Accountability Center, Doug Kendall praises the Senate’s “nuclear option” to prevent filibusters in federal judicial confirmation hearings, particularly in light of the recent Senate confirmation of Pamela Harris.

    In a piece for the ACLU, Alex Sinha discusses what Edward Snowden’s reports on government surveillance mean for the law, and the new measures lawyers must take to ensure attorney-client privilege remains unbroken.

  • July 25, 2014

    by Rebekah DeHaven

    On Monday, the Senate voted 94-0 to confirm Julie Carnes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

    That same day, the Brennan Center for Justice released a report on court delays and unmanageable workloads in the courts caused by persistent judicial vacancies.

    The Senate continued to act on judicial nominations the following day, voting to invoke cloture and then confirm three district court nominees:

    Robin Rosenberg, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 58-42 for cloture, confirmed 100-0;

    John D. deGravelles, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, 57-39 for cloture, confirmed 100-0; and

    André Birotte, Jr., nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 56-43 for cloture, confirmed 100-0.

  • July 18, 2014

    by Rebekah DeHaven

    The Senate earlier this week voted 54-43 for cloture and 56-43 to confirm Ronnie White to the Eastern District of Missouri. White -- the first African American to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court -- was first nominated to the Eastern District of Missouri 17 years ago by President Bill Clinton. His nomination was defeated when then-Senator John Ashcroft accused him of being soft on crime.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee on July 17 voted to send three nominees on to the full Senate:

    • Pamela Harris, nominated to the Fourth Circuit (Maryland), by a vote of 10-8;
    • Pamela Pepper, nominated to the Eastern District of Wisconsin, by a voice vote; and
    • Brenda K. Sannes, nominated to the Northern District of New York, by a voice vote.

    There are now a total of 60 current vacancies and 24 future vacancies (including one vacancy that will become current if a sitting district court judge is elevated to a circuit court). There are 28 pending nominees, one of who is nominated to a future vacancy. There are 22 judicial emergencies. Thirteen nominees remain pending on the Senate floor.

    For more information on judicial nominations, see the latest from “In the News” and “Recommended Readings” on JudicialNominations.org, a project of ACS.

  • July 11, 2014

    by Lara Schwartz

    Because of July Fourth, we will recap two weeks of judicial nominations activity. On Monday, July 7, the Senate confirmed Cheryl Ann Krause by a vote of 93 to 0 to be Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit. She has been a partner at Dechert LLP and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

    Judicial emergencies continue to affect Americans’ access to justice, as explained in this Dallas Morning News editorial.  

    There are now 62 current vacancies and 29 nominees for current vacancies. There are 22 future vacancies and one nominee for a future vacancyThere are 21 judicial emergencies (5 circuit, 15 district). 

    For more information see the latest from “In the News” and “Recommended Readings” on JudicialNominations.org, a project of ACS.

  • June 27, 2014

    by Rebekah DeHaven

    Because of ACS’s National Convention last week, we’ll be recapping the past two weeks of judicial nominations activity today.

    On Friday, June 13, President Obama nominated Victor Allen Bolden to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

    On Monday, June 16, President Obama made four additional nominations to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Gerald Pappert, Joseph Leeson Jr., Mark Kearney, and Wendy Beetlestone.

    Also on Monday, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on three district court nominees:

    Salvador Mendoza, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 55-37;

    Staci Michelle Yandle, of Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 55-37; and

    Darrin P. Gayles, of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 55-37.

    The Senate followed on Tuesday, June 17 with confirmation votes on all three:

    Salvador Mendoza, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 92-4;

    Staci Michelle Yandle, of Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 52-44; and

    Darrin P. Gayles, of Florida, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 98-0.

    There were historic confirmations—Darrin Gayles was the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed to the federal bench, it was the first time two openly gay nominees have been confirmed on the same day (Darrin Gayles and Staci Yandle), and Salvador Mendoza will be the first Latino to serve on U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.