This Week in Judicial Nominations

November 16, 2009

President Obama's first judicial nominee may finally get a vote amid a flurry of stories about the pace of judicial nominations. Judge David Hamilton was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last March and quickly drew public support from both Indiana Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar. His nomination was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 12-7 vote last spring. Judge Hamilton's nomination then met conservative obstruction, including a letter from Senator Jeff Sessions urging Republicans to filibuster his nomination. Reports indicate that conservatives are split on whether to filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed for a cloture vote last week, which may come as soon as tomorrow.

Later this week, the Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider more judicial nominations. Wednesday, November 18 at 2:30 p.m. (EST), the committee will hear from a panel of witnesses on the nomination of Judge Denny Chin to to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, then witnesses regarding nominations to the Western District of Wisconsin and the Eastern District of Washington.

At 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 19, the Judiciary Committee plans to consider the nominations of Jane Branstetter Stranch to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Judge Thomas Vanaskie to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in addition to nominations to the District of Vermont, the Western District of Wisconsin and the Northern District of Alabama.

(H/T: Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli.)