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Democrats are scrambling to confirm Biden’s nominees for Justice before November

But the committee will also nominate several other federal judge candidates to the Senate as Democrats push to keep the judiciary’s confirmation machinery running while Jackson dominates the limelight.

Since justice Stephen Breyer Announcing his resignation in late January, the Senate confirmed 16 lower court justices — all while Democrats led the high-level and resource-intensive nomination process for the Supreme Court. Two district court judges confirmed the total number of presidential appointments to the Senate on Thursday Joe Biden at the Bundesbank until 58.
“Senate Democrats are proud of this record and we will continue it,” Majority Leader said Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, told reporters last week. “It’s one of the most important things we can do.” a

Democrats have surpassed the number of justices confirmed by former President Donald Trump at a similar point in his presidency, although they currently cannot match his stamping on the Supreme Court, as Jackson’s confirmation does not change that court’s fundamental conservative leaning.

With Democrats at risk of losing the Senate gavel in November’s midterm election, Biden may not have the benefit Trump had from four years of a same-party-controlled Senate — increasing pressure to bench Biden’s appointments.

There are 108 current or expected positions now pending in lower courts, of which 84 positions for which no candidate has yet been named.

The overall time pressure is further complicated by the procedural tactics Republicans can use to slow a candidate’s path to confirmation, in addition to a Senate norm Democrats currently adhere to that gives senators veto power over nominees for their state’s district courts . Any delays by the White House in sending candidates to the Senate could throw Biden further off track.

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“They have to move now. [As] Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Senate Democrats, the White House must work hand-in-hand,” said Rakim Brooks, president of the progressive legal group Alliance for Justice. “They have moved as quickly as any President has, but this is a historic opportunity to reshape the courts and it cannot be missed.”

Democrats launched the Biden administration, which focused on repeating Trump’s success in confirming judges. leave almost no openings on the Appeals Chamber.

“They filled all the positions and we have to fill all the positions,” Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, told CNN.

Republicans are using procedural hurdles to slow things down

Filling the vacancies is easier said than done, as several things must come together for nominees to move forward quickly. And Democrats face several types of maneuvers that Republicans can use to slow the process.

All 58 nominees confirmed to date have required clothe voting – a step in the floor voting process that the The Senate minority can request and one that can increase the speaking time devoted to a candidate before his final confirmation vote.

“In the past, half of that went through by vote. And the Republicans — they just want to hold things up,” said Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.

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(Democrats also welcomed the use of Cloture votes for executive and judicial nominees under Trump; while he was president, there were a few 200 closure Voices about judge candidates.)

But even before the nominees speak, other things may stand in the way of their confirmation. When the Judiciary Committee — which is made up of equal parts Democrats and Republicans — is stuck approving a nominee, it adds an additional procedural maneuver known as a relief motion to present the nomination to the full Senate.

Currently there is five Biden justice nominees who did not receive GOP support in committee and require relief motions to be confirmed. It’s unclear if Democrats have the votes for it at this point.

And in order for county court candidates to even get through the committee, their home state senators must return so-called “blue slips” so their nominations can proceed. For seats in states where both senators are Democrats, this move typically doesn’t pose a problem. Not surprisingly, the majority of confirmation efforts to date have focused on the job postings, or other postings that don’t require blue slips. But one Biden candidate has already been derailed by a blue slip, after Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin refused to return a blue slip for William Pocana state court judge who Johnson recommended to Biden for the seat.

“There are still many open positions in the blue states,” a Democratic Committee staffer, who asked not to be named to speak frankly, told CNN. “You could probably fill hearings with blue states or jurisdictions that don’t require blue slips at all, but obviously we’re hoping to have a mix of blue, purple, red, etc. nominees.”

Three Biden commissioners for Ohio’s federal bank were confirmed in February after being recommended to the White House by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Of the current and prospective positions for which no candidates have yet been named, more than two dozen positions relate to seats where at least one of the senators is Republican.

But Johnson’s reversal of a candidate he once supported is another data point, led by left-wing groups urging Democrats to reconsider the blue slip process, which had already been scuttled for appellate candidates when Republicans controlled the Senate.

“That doesn’t pass the test with a straight face,” Demand Justice chief counsel Chris Kang said of Johnson blocking a candidate he originally recommended.

Balancing a battle for the Supreme Court nomination with a continued push in the lower courts

Democrats say they’re pleased with how they’ve balanced these various factors over the past few months while keeping Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation on the fast schedule they set out for filing Breyer’s seat.

The Judiciary Committee didn’t deviate too much from its usual schedule of holding hearings on nominations every two weeks that the Senate is in session. Since Breyer announced his resignation, nearly a dozen judge candidates have testified before the committee. Preparing these candidates for these hearings was work for the White House to do as it guided Jackson through the Supreme Court’s review and nomination process.

The committee also voted during this period to put 10 candidates for Biden’s lower court on the floor. Many of them have already been confirmed or are likely to be confirmed in the coming days.

When the committee votes on Jackson, it will also vote on Judge Stephanie Davis’ appeal nomination, which, if confirmed, would become the first black woman from Michigan to serve on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Arianna Freeman, a Third Circuit candidate who has been heavily criticized by Republicans for her work as a federal public defender, is also up for a vote on the committee Monday, as are three candidates for federal district court.

In the meantime, six of the previously nominated candidates have left the committee on the Senate executive calendar, put them in the queue for a word choice.

Even at this brisk pace, it’s unclear whether Biden will fill all of the current federal judiciary vacancies this year.

The Judiciary Committee adviser told CNN that the committee intends to hold nomination hearings every two weeks that the Senate is in session during the spring and summer — before the August recess — and in the fall, before the recess the Senate takes around interim periods . For its part, the White House hopes to field new candidates at a pace that guarantees every seat at these nomination hearings — at which five or six candidates typically testify — is filled.

“As many as possible, as soon as possible, in my opinion, because we need to fill these positions for the good of the American people,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “Apart from the midterms, these positions need to be filled as there is pent-up demand in most of our courts.”

https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/04/politics/biden-lower-court-nominations/index.html Democrats are scrambling to confirm Biden’s nominees for Justice before November

Chris Estrada

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