On Wednesday, February 12 Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on four nominees. When the Senate returned on Monday, February 24, the Senate confirmed the first of these nominees, Jeffrey Alker Meyer to the District of Connecticut by a vote of 91-2. On Tuesday, February 25, the Senate confirmed the remaining three nominees:
James Maxwel Moody, Jr. to the Eastern District of Arkansas, 95-4,
James Donato to the Northern District of California, 90-5, and
Beth Labson Freeman to the Northern District of California, 91-7.
On Tuesday, February 25, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on four judicial nominees:
Gregg Jeffrey Costa to the Fifth Circuit,
Tanya S. Chutkan to the District of Columbia,
M. Hannah Lauck to the Eastern District of Virginia, and
Leo T. Sorokin to the District of Massachusetts.
On Thursday, February 27, the Senate Judiciary Committee held and Executive Business Meeting and reported six nominees to the District of Arizona out of Committee. The Committee held over three other nominees.
The nominees to the District of Arizona reported out were:
Steven Paul Logan,
John Joseph Tuchi,
Diane J. Humetewa,
Douglas L. Rayes, and
James Alan Soto.
If confirmed, Diane Humetewa would be the first Native American woman to serve on the federal bench. Rosemary Marquez was originally nominated in June of 2011 and is the nominee who has been pending the longest.
The D.C. Circuit essentially presides over the federal government; it has jurisdiction over all the federal agencies, and has original jurisdiction in some matters. Judge Tatel remarked that the court excels at issuing objective and non-ideological opinions – or comes as close to it as a court can get. He attributed this, in part, to small size of the court, which allows the judges to get to know each other well. The culture in the D.C. Circuit encourages judges to keep an open mind, and to have respect for each other and for panel decisions. Judge Kavanaugh agreed that the relationship between the judges was collegial, and noted that even when the judges disagree they do so with a tone of respect.
According to Judge Tatel, the greatest challenge in being a judge is overcoming the immediate instinct judges develop about the case based on who they are and where they came from. How do you move beyond those instincts in trying to resolve the case within a framework of objective legal standards? He noted that the challenge is the greatest when the applicable standards drive the court to a decision that conflicts with the judge’s original instinct. This might end up leading the judge to decide a case that is different than how he might recommend resolving it as a member of Congress. Judge Tatel also commented that these sorts of decisions were the most satisfying.
In an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish, Daniel Webster—Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research—discusses the grave consequences that followed Missouri’s 2007 repeal of a law requiring background checks for gun buyers.
President Obama continues to face criticism concerning the diversity of his judicial nominees. MSNBC’s Adam Serwer reports on growing liberal concern surrounding the president’s judicial nominees in Georgia.
Ta-NehisiCoates of The Atlantic reflects on the Jordan Davis murder, eloquently identifying racism in America as “not merely a belief system but a heritage.”
A group of legal organizations are using television advertising to push the issue of court transparency at the Supreme Court. Josh Gerstein of Politico has the story.
At CAC’s Text & History Blog, Tom Donnelly shares “six reasons to keep an eye on the Greenhouse Gas Cases.”
Matt Bodie at Prawfs Blawg argues in favor of incentivizing cheaper law school course material.
Volkswagen workers at a Chattanooga, Tennessee plant announced their decision last Friday not to join the United Automobile Workers. Steve Greenhouse of The New York
Times reports on the possibility of a German-style works council in
Chattanooga and what it could mean for Volkswagen and the UAW.
At the CPRBlog, Thomas McGarity and Matt Shudtz examine the legal concessions made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a policy proposal that protects workers from silica dust exposure.
Writing for The Daily Beast, Jamelle Bouie discusses the Michael Dunn murder trial and the racial consequences of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Mark Sherman of The Associated Press notes how President Obama’s judicial appointees are shaping the discussion on same-sex marriage in Virginia.
Writing for The Root, Henry Louis Gates Jr. explains why the race of a mythical princess continues to play a role in the study of black history.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for three judicial nominees. They were:
Robin Rosenbaum, Eleventh Circuit,
Bruce Hendricks, District of South Carolina, and
Mark Mastroianni, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, Sen. Pryor (D-Ark.) requested that Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) ask unanimous consent to consider the nomination of James Moody to the Eastern District of Arkansas. Sen. Pryor stressed the importance of moving Moody’s nomination because of uncertainty regarding Judge Moody’s current Pulaski County Circuit judgeship election.
Sen. Reid asked the Senate for unanimous consent to consider Moody’s nomination, along with the nomination of Jeffrey Meyer to the District of Connecticut, James Donato to the Northern District of California and Beth Freeman to the Northern District of California. Sen. Cornyn (R-Tex.) objected, and Sen. Reid filed cloture on all four nominees. The first cloture vote will occur at 5:30pm on Monday, Feb. 24 when the Senate returns from recess.