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Law360’s Guide To Trump’s Judicial Picks

By Jimmy Hoover and Michael Macagnone | March 21, 2019, 6:34 PM EDT

Updated May 16, 2019 | President Donald Trump is reshaping the federal judiciary at a staggering rate with the help of Republican Senate leaders, having now eclipsed 100 appointments to the bench, including two Supreme Court justices.

In his first two years, Trump appointed more judges to the appellate bench than any of the previous five presidents, according to a report by Lambda Legal, tapping dozens of conservative lawyers for influential seats on U.S. circuit courts around the country. That pace quickened in 2018 when he more than doubled the number of circuit judges from the year before, the LGBTQ rights group found.

Trump’s success in securing lifetime appointments for right-leaning jurists is in large part due to the shrewd politicking from Republican Senate leaders, who have fast-tracked the president’s nominees to the chagrin of Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his "goal" has been to confirm "as many circuit judges as fast as we could." Indeed, the average wait time for the Senate's confirmation of circuit judges since Trump took office is far shorter than that of district judges: 156 days compared to 270 days.

Some of the tactics that have rankled the minority include holding confirmation hearings for more than one circuit nominee at a time, advancing nominees without approval from both home-state senators, and ending the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. McConnell has defended his bullish approach to filling court vacancies by saying “Advice and consent means whatever the majority at any given moment thinks it means."

Trump has now appointed over 100 judges to lifetime appointments to federal district and circuit courts around the country, as well as the Supreme Court. His selections have drawn criticism for their lack of diversity: 88 percent are white and 76 percent are male. The president has appointed only one African American district judge so far, and none to the courts of appeals. 




Getting Trump picks confirmed hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and a number of nominees with controversial records have been sent packing. That was the fate that nearly befell the president’s second Supreme Court nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after late-breaking allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct—but a few crucial moderate senators pushed his nomination over the line.

Here’s the breakdown of Trump’s current nominees to the federal appellate courts around the country.


Appointment Scorecard




Circuit Courts of Appeals


8

vacant
seats

4

pending
nominations

39

confirmed
judges



U.S. District Courts


126

vacant
seats

64

pending
nominations

64

confirmed
judges



U.S. SUPREME COURT


Brett Kavanaugh

Age: 50
Law School: Harvard Law
Formerly: Judge, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
Nominated: July 9, 2018
Confirmed: October 6, 2018
The monumental battle over the confirmation of Trump's second Supreme Court Justice could fundamentally change the Senate. For months Senators wrestled with sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, his judicial views on abortion, executive authority and more before ultimately confirming him on a two-vote margin, the narrowest in the last century.

Neil Gorsuch

Age: 50
Law School: Harvard Law
Formerly: Judge, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Nominated: Jan. 31, 2017
Confirmed: April 7, 2017
The selection of then-Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was one of Trump’s first acts as president and may prove his most consequential. Justice Gorsuch's April confirmation capped a yearlong saga that included President Barack Obama’s failed nomination of Judge Merrick Garland and a Senate rule change by Republicans forcing through Trump’s pick. The political hardball appears to be paying off, as Justice Gorsuch has already aligned himself with the court’s conservatives.

D.C. CIRCUIT


Gregory Katsas

Age: 53
Law School: Harvard Law
Formerly: Deputy Counsel to the President, Jones Day partner
Confirmed: Nov. 28, 2017
Veteran Washington litigator Gregory G. Katsas replaced retired D.C. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown on what’s often called the country’s second most powerful court. Katsas gained prominence arguing high-profile appeals as a partner at Jones Day, including the first challenge to the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court. His former role as White House deputy counsel raised concerns about his ability to fairly review administrative policy — a regular part of the D.C. Circuit’s specialized docket.

Neomi Rao

Age: 45
Law School: University of Chicago Law School
Formerly: Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Confirmed: March 13, 2018
Trump chose the lawyer overseeing his administration's regulatory rollback to replace Justice Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit. Neomi Rao, a conservative academic with developed views on administrative law, would likely bring Kavanaugh’s skepticism of government agencies to the specialized appeals court, which hears a number of rulemaking challenges. Before her confirmation on a 53-46 vote Rao faced criticism from both sides of the aisle for her views on abortion, administrative law and college age writings on issues like sexual assault.


SECOND CIRCUIT


Joseph F. Bianco

Age: 52
Law School: Columbia Law School
Formerly: Judge, Eastern District of New York
Confirmed: May 9, 2019
A former Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, Bianco has served as a federal district judge for the last 13 years before President Donald Trump picked him in October for a Second Circuit seat. Both of New York’s Senators have opposed Judge Bianco’s as part of a spat over one of Trump’s other Second Circuit picks, but Republicans have advanced both despite that.

Michael H. Park

Age: 42
Law School: Yale Law
Formerly: Partner, Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC
Confirmed: May 9, 2019
A prominent litigation attorney, Park has been involved in the lawsuit over alleged bias in admissions at Harvard University, litigation over the Waters of the United States rule at the Supreme Court and more. Both of New York’s Democratic Senators have opposed Park over his legal advocacy on issues like abortion, affirmative action and environmental rules, but Republicans still voted him out of committee.

Richard J. Sullivan

Age: 54
Law School: Yale Law
Formerly: U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York
Confirmed: Oct. 11, 2018
The elevation of the longtime U.S. district judge in the Southern District of New York to a Second Circuit vacancy was one of the few circuit court judges advanced with bipartisan support so far in President Donald Trump’s term. An adjunct professor of law at Columbia Law School, Judge Sullivan also served as general counsel and Managing Director of Marsh Inc. and as a federal prosecutor. His nomination followed months of negotiations between New York's Democratic Senators and the White House.

THIRD CIRCUIT


Stephanos Bibas

Age: 48
Law School: Yale Law
Formerly: Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York
Confirmed: Nov. 2, 2017
Stephanos Bibas was confirmed to the Third Circuit 53-43 on Nov. 2, the eighth appellate court nominee to win approval in Trump’s term and the 13th federal judge overall. A former federal prosecutor with a reputation as a criminal law expert, Bias previously worked as University of Pennsylvania law professor and argued six cases in front of the Supreme Court. The newly-minted judge faced questions about his decisions as a prosecutor and writings about corporal punishment.

Paul Matey

Age: 47
Law School: Seton Hall University School of Law
Formerly: Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at University Hospital in Newark, N.J.
Confirmed: March 12, 2019
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie aide Paul B. Matey was nominated by President Donald Trump over the objections of New Jersey’s two Democratic Senators. Matey worked with Christie in the US Attorney office and as a deputy chief counsel and senior counsel when Christie won the governorship. Republicans confirmed Matey despite that opposition however.

Paul Matey

Age: 46
Currently: U.S. District Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania
Nominated: May 3, 2019
Judge Phipps is the latest alumnus of Jones Day named by the president to a high-profile posting, although he worked there over a decade ago. In the meantime, he served as a lawyer in the Department of Justice's Civil Division, and is now sitting on the federal bench in Pittsburgh. His nomination to the Third Circuit comes less than a year after his confirmation to that court.

David C. Porter

Law School: Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
Formerly: Shareholder, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Confirmed: Oct. 11, 2018
Longtime Buchanan attorney David J. Porter was confirmed by the Senate over the objections of Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who said Porter is “far outside the mainstream.” Casey claimed that Porter’s views would denigrate worker rights, healthcare access and equal protection but did not stall his nomination.

FOURTH CIRCUIT


A. Marvin Quattlebaum

Age: 53
Law School: University of South Carolina School of Law
Formerly: U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina
Confirmed: August 16, 2018
Fourth Circuit Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum was President Donald Trump’s first judge to be confirmed to both a trial court and appellate court judgeship. A former Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP partner, Quattlebaum's practice focused on commercial litigation.

Jay Richardson

Law School: University of Chicago
Formerly: Deputy Criminal Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina
Confirmed: August 16, 2018
Fourth Circuit Judge Jay N. Richardson would come to the bench from a prosecutorial career in South Carolina that includes the prosecution of Dylann Roof, convicted in 2016 in a mass shooting in a Charleston church. Richardson previously worked at Kellogg Hansen as an associate.

Allison Jones Rushing

Age: 36
Law School: Duke University School of Law
Currently: Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP
Confirmed: March 5, 2019
A highly active appellate attorney, Rushing represented a wide variety of clients at the trial and appellate level, including Silk Road defendants at the Supreme Court, Liberty Tax owners at the Fourth Circuit in a $4 million dispute and more. The youngest of President Donald Trump’s appellate judges so far, she faced Democratic criticism over her age and Republicans’ holding her confirmation hearing during a Congressional recess.

FIFTH CIRCUIT


Stuart Kyle Duncan

Age: 45
Law School: Louisiana State University Law Center
Formerly: Partner, Schaerr Duncan
Confirmed: April 24, 2018
Former Schaerr Duncan LLP partner Kyle Duncan was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit in late April on a 50-47 tally, Trump’s 15th appeals court judge to get Senate approval. Duncan served as Louisiana’s solicitor general and appellate chief before joining the private sector. He also served as general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and as chief counsel for the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate as it made its way to the Supreme Court.

Kurt D. Engelhardt

Age: 56
Law School: Louisiana State University Law Center
Formerly: Chief Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana
Confirmed: Sept. 28, 2017
Judge Kurt Engelhardt served as chief district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and takes over a vacancy on the Fifth Circuit. During his time on the bench, he has adjudicated several high-profile criminal trials, including one for five police officers accused of shooting evacuees during Hurricane Katrina.

James C. Ho

Age: 44
Law School: University of Chicago Law School
Formerly: Partner, Gibson Dunn, Solicitor General of Texas
Confirmed: Dec. 14, 2017
Former Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP partner Jim Ho was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit on Dec. 14, becoming the first Asian-American judge on the New Orleans-based appeals court, and the sixth sitting Asian-American judge in the country. Ho served early in his career as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and later became solicitor general for Texas before joining the firm.

Andrew S. Oldham

Age: 39
Law School: Harvard Law School
Formerly: General Counsel to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Confirmed: July 18, 2018
Confirmed Fifth Circuit judge Andrew Oldham was formerly general counsel to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, previously having been the state’s deputy solicitor general. Before that, Oldham worked with Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick in Washington, D.C., and had clerkships with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and D.C. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle. Texas’ two Republican senators had praised his nomination.

Don Willett

Age: 51
Law School: Duke University School of Law
Formerly: Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel, Texas
Confirmed: Dec. 13, 2017
Don Willett served on his state's high court for 12 years before he was confirmed to the Fifth Circuit on Dec. 13. An alumnus of the George W. Bush administration and the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Willett is perhaps best known for his witty Twitter account, which has won a broad following. It’s not clear whether the Supreme Court contender will continue his social media activity while on the federal appellate bench.

SIXTH CIRCUIT


John K. Bush

Age: 53
Law School: Harvard Law School
Formerly: Partner, Bingham Greenebaum
Confirmed: July 20, 2017
Sixth Circuit Judge John K. Bush, one of Trump’s more controversial judicial nominees, was confirmed by the Senate 52-47 in July in the face of Democratic criticism over the judge's partisan blog posts and past public statements. In one post, Judge Bush appeared to conflate decisions of “activist justices” in the Dred Scott case and Roe v. Wade. Bush previously helped lead the litigation department at Bingham Greenebaum, representing corporate clients like Philip Morris USA Inc. and Humana Inc. 

Joan Louise Larsen

Age: 48
Law School: Northwestern University School of Law
Formerly: Justice, Michigan Supreme Court, Professor, University of Michigan School of Law
Confirmed: Nov. 1, 2017
The Sixth Circuit is just the latest stop in the diverse legal career of Judge Joan Larsen, who was confirmed by a 60-38 Senate vote on Nov. 1. A clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Larsen worked as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP and spent time in academia before being named to the Michigan Supreme Court. At a September confirmation hearing, Justice Larsen defended her judgment and impartiality under probing from Democrats about her time at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration. Trump listed her as a potential Supreme Court nominee during the 2016 campaign.

Eric Murphy

Age: 39
Law School: University of Chicago
Currently: State solicitor of Ohio
Confirmed: March 7, 2019
The Senate confirmed Sixth Circuit Judge Eric Murphy, who represented Ohio’s Attorney General at the appellate level for years, over the objections of Ohio’s homestate Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. He and other Democrats opposed his nomination over arguments he made in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges case on marriage equality and other issues.

John Nalbanian

Law School: University of Virginia School of Law
Formerly: Litigation partner and appellate lawyer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Confirmed: May 15, 2018
Trump’s fourth pick to the Sixth Circuit, litigation partner and lead appellate lawyer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP John B. Nalbandian, was confirmed in May 2018. He represented major telecommunications infrastructure companies like Fiberlight, pharmaceutical companies, West Virginia residents in a class action suit against DuPont and others.

Chad A. Readler

Age: 46
Law School: University of Michigan Law School
Currently: Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Confirmed: March 6, 2019
The Senate confirmed Sixth Circuit Judge Chad Readler over the objections of Sen. Brown, all Democrats and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, over his involvement in an Affordable Care Act case as a Justice Department official. Democrats uniformly opposed Readler's nomination, and sought to tie a vote against Readler to support for the ACA's pre-existing conditions coverage mandate.

Amul Thapar

Age: 48
Law School: UC Berkeley School of Law
Formerly: Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Confirmed: May 25, 2017
Sixth Circuit Judge Amul Thapar was Trump’s first court of appeals appointee to take the bench, after a largely party-line Senate vote in May. His 52-44 confirmation was backed uniformly by Republicans, who praised his tenure as a federal district judge in Kentucky over the past nine years. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., had said that Thapar was “not right” for the people of Michigan, which is included in the Sixth Circuit. The judge handed down his first opinion for his new court in August, throwing out a class action against ContextLogic Inc.

SEVENTH CIRCUIT


Amy Coney Barrett

Age: 45
Law School: Notre Dame Law School
Formerly: Professor, Notre Dame Law School
Confirmed: Oct. 31, 2017
Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett started her career as a clerk to Justice Scalia and later spent over a decade teaching law at Notre Dame Law School. Barrett’s Catholic faith, however, inspired the brunt of her questioning during a September hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, with Democrats questioning her ability to judge impartially. Barrett insisted her personal views would not affect her role as a judge and was confirmed by a 55-43 vote on Oct. 31.

Michael Brennan

Age: 53
Law School: Northwestern University School of Law
Formerly: Partner, Gass Weber Mullins
Confirmed: May 10, 2018
Newly-minted Seventh Circuit Judge Michael Brennan served on the state bench in Milwaukee County for nearly a decade before leaving to join Gass Weber Mullins LLC, where he developed a successful trial and appellate practice. Brennan’s conservative credentials — which include founding the Federalist Society’s Milwaukee chapter and defending Wisconsin’s “informed consent” abortion law while an assistant district attorney in the 1990s — suggest that he will further push the Chicago appeals court to the right.

Michael Y. Scudder

Law School: Northwestern University School of Law
Formerly: Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
Confirmed: May 14, 2018
Seventh Circuit Judge Michael Scudder has spent nearly a decade with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, which he joined after serving as general counsel to President George W. Bush’s National Security Counsel. A former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, Scudder works on white collar and government enforcement. The White House and Illinois’ homestate Democrats worked together on his nomination, a rare instance so far in Trump’s term.

Amy J. St. Eve

Age: 52
Law School: Cornell University
Formerly: Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Confirmed: May 14, 2018
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve was tapped for a promotion to the Seventh Circuit in February 2018 after more than 15 years on the federal bench. Judge St. Eve has presided over several high-profile Chicago trials, including one in 2013 which she reprimanded President Donald Trump when he was still best known as a brash billionaire real estate mogul. The White House and Illinois’ homestate Democrats worked together on her nomination, a rare instance so far in Trump’s term.

EIGHTH CIRCUIT


Ralph Erickson

Age: 58
Law School: University of North Dakota School of Law
Formerly: Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
Confirmed: Sept. 28, 2017
One of the few judicial nominees to garner significant bipartisan support so far in Trump's term, former North Dakota U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson was approved to the Eighth Circuit by the Senate in a 95-1 vote on Sept. 28. A county and state court judge before joining the federal bench in 2003, Judge Erickson has chaired the U.S. Sentencing Commission's tribal issues advisory group.

L. Steven Grasz

Age: 55
Law School: University of Nebraska College of Law
Formerly: Senior Counsel, Husch Blackwell LLP, Chief Deputy Attorney General of Nebraska
Confirmed: Dec. 12, 2017
Senate Republicans confirmed Husch Blackwell senior counsel L. Steven Grasz to a seat on the Eighth Circuit, brushing aside Democrats' concerns about his partisan bent and a "not qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. Grasz served as a longtime deputy assistant attorney general for the state of Nebraska, and his tenure there proved a flash point in considering his nomination.

Jonathan A. Kobes

Age: 44
Law School: Harvard Law School
Formerly: Deputy Chief of Staff and Counsel, Sen Mike Rounds, R-SD
Confirmed: Dec. 11, 2018
Judge Kobes became the first Trump appeals court nominee to win confirmation through a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence after outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., withheld his support over concerns about protecting the special counsel’s investigation. The American Bar Association gave a "not qualified" to Kobes, a former federal prosecutor turned Senate aide.

David R. Stras

Age: 42
Law School: University of Kansas School of Law
Formerly: Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court
Confirmed: Jan. 30, 2018
The Senate confirmed Minnesota Justice David R. Stras to the Eighth Circuit despite opposition from then-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., bucking a decades-old Senate tradition of deference to nominees from a Senator’s home state. At his committee hearing Stras defended his record at the high court, including his inclination to defer to legislatures as a judge.

NINTH CIRCUIT


Bridget Shelton Bade

Age: 53
Law School: Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Formerly: Magistrate Judge, District of Arizona
Confirmed: March 26, 2019
A magistrate judge for the last six years, she’s presided over a variety of litigation, including a Labor Department suit over alleged overtime violations by a chain of Arizona restaurants. Bade would fill the open Ninth Circuit seat for Arizona.

Mark J. Bennett

Age: 64
Law School: Cornell Law School
Formerly: Director, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher
Confirmed: July 10, 2018
Ninth Circuit Judge Mark Bennett rose to prominence as Hawaii’s attorney general for eight years under Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, arguing twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Bennett previously the director of Honolulu firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, where his practice focused on complex civil litigation such as antitrust and securities matters. Bennett’s nomination was unique in Trump’s term; he received more opposition from Republicans than Democrats over briefs he wrote in Supreme Court cases on gun rights.

Daniel A. Bress

Age: 39
Law School: University of Virginia School of Law
Currently:Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Nominated: Jan. 30, 2019
A new pick for the Ninth Circuit, President Donald Trump nominated Bress over the objections of California’s home-state Senators, who have not been happy with any of the administration’s choices for the vacant California seats on the high-profile appellate court. As a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis, he’s been involved in cases involving alleged defects in talc powder, a False Claims Act suit the United States brought against Honeywell Corp. and more.

Daniel P. Collins

Age: 55
Law School: Stanford Law School
Currently:Partner, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP
Nominated: Oct. 10, 2018
President Trump picked a fight with California’s Democratic Senators by nominating Collins and several other Ninth Circuit picks over their objections. A prominent litigator, Collins has represented companies like Royal Dutch Shell in its suits with various municipalities over the alleged costs of infrastructure damage from climate change.

Kenneth Kiyul Lee

Age: 43
Law School: Harvard Law School
Currently: Partner, Jenner & Block LLP
Nominated: Oct. 10, 2018
President Trump picked a fight with California’s Democratic Senators by nominating Lee and several other Ninth Circuit picks over their objections. A former associate counsel to President George W. Bush, Lee has represented a diverse group of clients, including Kraft Foods, Smuckers and even Kanye West since going into private practice.

Eric Miller

Age: 44
Law School: University of Chicago
Formerly: Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Confirmed: Feb. 26, 2019
A longtime Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission attorney, Judge Miller joined Perkins Coie in 2012, where he represented major corporations like Amazon, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, major food companies and others. The Senate confirmed Judge Miller over the objections over both of Washington’s Democratic Senators, the first time it had done so in Trump’s term.

Ryan Nelson

Age: 44
Law School: Brigham Young University Law School
Currently: General Counsel, Melaleuca Inc.
Formerly: Partner,Sidley Austin
Confirmed: Oct. 11, 2018
Trump’s third confirmed pick for the powerful Ninth Circuit is Judge Ryan Nelson, formerly the general counsel for Idaho-based household goods giant Melaleuca Inc. Nelson was originally tapped by President Trump for the top legal job at the U.S. Department of the Interior, but the nomination was never voted on. Nelson previously worked on Supreme Court nominations for former Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Al., and led the Environment and Natural Resources Division at President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice.

TENTH CIRCUIT


Joel M. Carson III

Law School: University of New Mexico School of Law
Formerly: Principal, Carson Ryan LLC
Confirmed: May 15, 2018
Tenth Circuit Judge Joel Carson previously worked as a partner in Roswell-based Carson Ryan LLC. Carson represented energy companies in disputes with state and federal regulators, and worked on legal issues for various industry associations and a conservative legal foundation. Carson also served as a part-time magistrate judge and on the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

Allison Eid

Age: 51
Law School: University of Chicago Law School
Formerly: Justice, Colorado Supreme Court, Professor, University of Chicago Law School
Confirmed: Nov. 2, 2017
The vacancy left by Justice Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the Supreme Court was filled in early November with the confirmation of Allison Eid, a former justice on Colorado’s top bench. Eid won a rare three Democratic votes for her approval, after many in the party looked suspiciously on her past writings, decisions and advocacy on the balance of federal power, gun rights and civil liability. She was also listed by Trump as a potential Supreme Court pick last year.

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT


Elizabeth Branch

Age: 48
Law School: Emory University School of Law
Currently: Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals
Formerly: Professor, University of Minnesota Law School
Confirmed: Feb. 27, 2018
Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth “Lisa” Branch is Trump’s second appointee to the Eleventh Circuit following her confirmation with bipartisan support in February. Active in the Federalist Society’s Atlanta chapter and an alumna of the Bush Department of Homeland Security and Office of Management and Budget, Branch joins four other full-time female judges on the 12-member appeals court, replacing female U.S. Circuit Judge Frank M. Hull. Branch defended her originalist principles during a Dec. 13 confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee.

Britt C. Grant

Law School: Stanford Law School
Formerly: Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia
Confirmed: July 31, 2018
The Senate confirmed former Georgia Justice Britt Grant to an Eleventh Circuit seat in July 2018 over the objections of most Democrats. Trump has previously named Judge Grant to a Supreme Court shortlist. Justice Grant took office in January 2017, after being appointed to the post by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Prior to that, she served as the solicitor general for the state of Georgia from 2015 onward and served as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Kevin Newsom

Law School: Harvard Law School
Formerly: Partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Confirmed: Aug. 1, 2017
Judge Kevin Newsom was approved by the Senate in a 66-31 vote in August after receiving Democratic support on the chamber floor. A Harvard Law grad who clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter in 2000 and 2001, Newsom’s path to the Eleventh Circuit included a stop at Covington & Burling LLP, a stint as Alabama’s solicitor general and a decade in the Birmingham office of Bradley Arant, where he eventually led the firm’s appellate practice.



FAILED NOMINATIONS


Ninth Circuit, Ryan Bounds
In a dramatic last-minute reversal, Republican leaders scuttled a planned Senate vote on President Donald Trump's choice of federal prosecutor Ryan Bounds for a Ninth Circuit judgeship rather than have the nominee fail to win confirmation. Several GOP senators said members of their caucus had concerns about Bounds' controversial college writings and that at least two would not vote to confirm him. 

Eastern District of North Carolina, Thomas Alvin Farr
Ogletree Deakins partner Thomas Farr’s long pursuit of a federal judgeship — which included two nominations under President George W. Bush — may have finally come to an end after Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., pulled his support. Scott cited a DOJ memo that detailed alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act by a congressional campaign that Farr had represented.

Eastern District of Texas, Jeffrey C. Mateer
Jeffrey C. Mateer was nominated for the federal bench in September, but his judicial prospects fell by the wayside after a video emerged of Mateer delivering a lecture titled “The Church and Homosexuality” to a group of pastors, in which he said a transgender child plays a role in “Satan’s plan.”

District of Columbia, Matthew S. Petersen
Federal Election Commissioner Matthew Petersen blew his chances at a federal judgeship during his Senate confirmation hearing in mid-December, when he was unable to define basic trial terms like a “motion in limine”.

Court of Federal Claims, Damien Schiff
Damien Schiff, an attorney for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, is a failed nominee for the Court of Federal Claims, which hears cases against the U.S. government. Democrats said Schiff wrote “strident, provocative and in some cases deeply offensive opinions” on his personal blog prior to his nomination. Those statements included calling Justice Anthony Kennedy a “judicial prostitute” and attacking a program in California that is meant to discourage anti-LGBT bullying.


Middle District of Alabama, Brett Talley
Brett Talley’s nomination sank following reports of thousands of anonymous online postings he authored, as well as his omission of his marriage to a White House lawyer in his Senate questionnaire.






DISTRICT COURT NOMINEES
District of Columbia Status
Timothy Kelly
Chief Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee
Confirmed
Sept. 8, 2017
Carl J. Nichols
WilmerHale partner and vice chair of the government and regulatory litigation practice group
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Middle District of Alabama Status
Emily C. Marks
Partner, Ball Ball Matthews & Novak PA
Nominated
Sept. 7, 2017
Andrew Brasher
Solicitor General of Alabama
Confirmed
May 1, 2019
Northern District of Alabama Status
Annemarie Axon
Member, Wallace Jordan Ratliff & Brandt LLC
Confirmed
June 6, 2018
Liles Burke
Judge, Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Cory L. Maze
Special Deputy Attorney General, Alabama Attorney General’s Office
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Southern District of Alabama Status
Jeff Beaverstock
Partner, Burr & Forman LLP
Nominated
Sept. 7, 2017
Terry F. Moorer
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Alabama
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
District of Alaska Status
Jon Katchen
Of counsel, Holland & Hart LLP
Nominated
April 10, 2018
District of Arizona Status
Susan Brnovich
Trial court judge, Maricopa County Superior Court
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Dominic W. Lanza
Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Michael Liburdi
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Central District of California Status
Stanley Blumenfeld
Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Jeremy B. Rosen
Partner, Horvitz & Levy LLP
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Mark C. Scarsi
Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy LLP
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Southern District of California Status
Patrick Bumatay
Assistant US Attorney, Southern District of California
Nominated
Jan. 30, 2019
District of Colorado Status
Daniel D. Domenico
Managing partner, Kittredge LLC
Confirmed
April 9. 2019
District of Connecticut Status
Kari A. Dooley
Superior Court Judge, Connecticut Judicial Branch
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
District of Delaware Status
Colm F. Connolly
Partner, Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP
Nominated
Dec. 20, 2017
Maryellen Noreika
Partner, Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP
Nominated
Dec. 20, 2017
District of Columbia Status
Dabney Friedrich
Former Commissioner, U.S. Sentencing Commission
Confirmed
Nov. 27, 2017
Trevor McFadden
Deputy Assistant Attorney General, DOJ Criminal Division
Confirmed
Oct. 30, 2017
Middle District of Florida Status
Thomas P. Barber
Circuit Judge Thirteenth Judicial Circuit
Nominated
April 26, 2018
William F. Jung
Partner, Jung & Sisco PA
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Northern District of Florida Status
T. Kent Wetherell II
Judge on the First District Court of Appeal
Nominated
April 26, 2018
Judge Allen Winsor
Judge, Florida First District Court of Appeal
Nominated
April 10, 2018
Southern District of Florida Status
Roy K. Altman
Partner, Podhurst Orseck P.A.
Confirmed
April 4, 2019
Rodolfo “Rudy” Ruiz II
Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida
Confirmed
May 2, 2019
Rodney Smith
Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit
Nominated
April 26, 2018
Middle District of Georgia Status
Tilman Eugene Self III
Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals
Confirmed
March 5, 2018
Northern District of Georgia Status
Michael Lawrence Brown
Partner, Alston & Bird LLP
Confirmed
Jan. 11, 2018
J.P. Boulee
Judge, Dekalb County Superior Court
Nominated
Aug. 27, 2018
William Ray II
Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Southern District of Georgia Status
R. Stan Baker
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Southern District of Georgia
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
District of Hawaii Status
Jill A. Otake
Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Hawaii
Nominated
Dec. 20, 2017
District of Idaho Status
David Nye
Judge, Sixth District of Idaho
Confirmed
July 12, 2017
Northern District of Illinois Status
Martha M. Pacold
Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Mary M. Rowland
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Steven C. Seeger
SEC senior trial counsel
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Northern District of Indiana Status
Holly A. Brady
Partner, Haller & Colvin PC
Confirmed
April 10, 2019
Damon R. Leichty
Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Southern District of Indiana Status
James R. Sweeney II
Partner, Barnes & Thornburg
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
J.P. Hanlon
Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Northern District of Iowa Status
C.J. Williams
Judge, U.S. Magistrate Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
District of Kansas Status
John W. Broomes
Attorney, Hinkle Law Firm LLC
Confirmed
April 12, 2018
Eastern District of Kentucky Status
Claria Boom
Partner, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Confirmed
April 10, 2018
Robert Wier
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of Kentucky
Confirmed
June 5, 2018
Western District of Kentucky Status
Claria Boom
Partner, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Nominated
June 12, 2017
Rebecca G. Jennings
Director, Middleton Reutlinger
Confirmed
April 12, 2018
Eastern District of Louisiana Status
Barry W. Ashe
Partner, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
James D. Cain, Jr.
Founder, Loftin, Cain & LeBlanc, LLC
Nominated
Aug. 27, 2018
Greg Guidry
Justice, Louisiana Supreme Court
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Wendy Vitter
General Counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Confirmed
May 16, 2019
Western District of Louisiana Status
Terry Doughty
Judge, Fifth Judicial District of Louisiana
Confirmed
March 6, 2018
Michael Joseph Juneau
Partner, Juneau David APLC
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Robert R. Summerhays
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Louisiana
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Holly Lou Teeter
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri
Nominated
Aug. 3, 2017
District of Maine Status
Justice Lance Walker
Justice, Maine Supreme Court
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
District of Maryland Status
Stephanie A. Gallagher
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Eastern District of Michigan Status
Stephanie D. Davis
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of Michigan
Nominated
March 8, 2019
Western District of Michigan Status
Michael S. Bogren
Managing Partner, Plunkett Cooney PC
Nominated
March 8, 2019
District of Minnesota Status
Nancy E. Brasel
Judge, Minnesota State District Court
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
Eric C. Tostrud
Of counsel, Lockridge Grindal Nauen
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Eastern District of Missouri Status
Stephen R. Clark
Founder, Runnymede Law Group
Nominated
April 10, 2018
District of Nebraska Status
Brian C. Buescher
Partner, Kutak Rock LLP
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
District of New Mexico Status
Kea W. Riggs
Judge, New Mexico Fifth Judicial Circuit
Nominated
May 3, 2019
Eastern District of New York Status
Gary R. Brown
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of New York
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Diane Gujarati
Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Southern District of New York
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Eric R. Komitee
General Counsel, Viking Global Investors LP
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Rachel P. Kovner
Assistant, U.S. Solicitor General’s Office
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Lewis J. Liman
Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Northern District of New York Status
Thomas Marcelle
Judge, Cohoes City Court
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Southern District of New York Status
Philip M. Halpern
Managing partner, Collier, Halpern, Newberg & Nolletti LLP
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Mary K. Vyskocil
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of New York
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Western District of New York Status
John L. Sinatra Jr.
Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP
Nominated
May 10, 2018
Eastern District of North Carolina Status
Thomas Farr
Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC
Nominated
July 13, 2017
Western District of North Carolina Status
Kenneth D. Bell
Partner, McGuire Woods LLP
Nominated
April 10, 2018
District of North Dakota Status
Peter Welte
Shareholder, Vogel Law Firm
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Northern District of Ohio Status
Pamela A. Barker
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge
Confirmed
May 1, 2019
Southern District of Ohio Status
Douglas R. Cole
Partner, Organ Cole LLP
Nominated
May 3, 2019
Matthew W. McFarland
Judge, Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Sarah Daggett Morrison
CEO, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Nominated
April 10, 2018
Western District of Oklahoma Status
John M. O’Connor
Shareholder, Hall Estill
Nominated
April 10, 2018
Scott L. Palk
Assistant Dean, University of Oklahoma College of Law
Confirmed
Oct. 26, 2017
Justice Patrick Wyrick
Justice, Oklahoma Supreme Court
Confirmed
April 9, 2019
Charles Goodwin
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of Oklahoma
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
District of Oregon Status
Judge Karin J. Immergut
Oregon Circuit Court Judge
Nominated
June 7, 2018
Eastern District of Pennsylvania Status
Chad F. Kenney
Judge, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Joshua Wolson
Partner, Dilworth Paxson LLP
Nominated
May 10, 2018
John Milton Younge
Judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Nominated
July 13, 2018
Middle District of Pennsylvania Status
Jennifer Wilson
Partner, Philpott Wilson
Nominated
May 3, 2019
Western District of Pennsylvania Status
Susan Paradise Baxter
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
Robert J. Colville
Judge, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
Nominated
March 1, 2019
Stephanie L. Haines
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Pennsylvania
Nominated
March 1, 2019
Marilyn Jean Horan
Judge, Butler County Court of Common Pleas
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Peter J. Phipps
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
J. Nicholas Ranjan
Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Nominated
July 13, 2018
William Shaw Stick
Partner, Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd LLC
Nominated
May 3, 2019
District of Puerto Rico Status
Raúl M. Arias-Marxuach
Vice-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group at McConnell Valdés LLC
Confirmed
May 2, 2019
District of Rhode Island Status
Mary McElroy
Public defender, state of Rhode Island
Nominated
April 10, 2018
District of South Carolina Status
Donald Coggins Jr.
Partner, Harrison White Smith & Coggins PC
Confirmed
Nov. 16, 2017
Eastern District of Tennessee Status
Clifton L. Corker
Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of Tennessee
Nominated
Oct. 10, 2018
Middle District of Tennessee Status
William Campbell Jr.
Member, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Confirmed
Jan. 9, 2018
Eli Richardson
Member, Bass Berry & Sims PLC
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Western District of Tennessee Status
Mark Norris Sr.
Special Counsel, Adams and Reese LLP
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Thomas Parker
Shareholder, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC
Confirmed
Jan. 10, 2018
Eastern District of Texas Status
J. Campbell Barker
Deputy Solicitor General, Texas Attorney General’s Office
Nominated
Jan. 23, 2017
Sean D. Jordan
Partner, Jackson Walker LLP
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Jeremy D. Kernodle
Partner, Haynes and Boone LLP
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Michael J. Truncale
Partner, Orgain Bell & Tucker LLP
Nominated
Jan. 23, 2017
Northern District of Texas Status
Ada E. Brown
Justice, Texas Fifth Court of Appeals
Nominated
March 15, 2019
James Wesley Hendrix
Assistant US Attorney, Northern District of Texas
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Matthew Kacsmaryk
First Liberty Institute
Nominated
Sept. 7, 2017
Mark Pittman
Justice, Texas Second Court of Appeals
Nominated
Jan. 16, 2019
Karen Scholer
Partner, Carter Scholer PLLC
Confirmed
March 5, 2018
Southern District of Texas Status
Jeffrey V. Brown
Justice, Texas Supreme Court
Nominated
March 8, 2019
Charles R. Eskridge
Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Nominated
May 3, 2019
Fernando Rodriguez Jr.
Attorney, International Justice Mission
Confirmed
June 5, 2018
David Morales
Partner, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
Confirmed
April 10, 2019
Western District of Texas Status
Alan D. Albright
Partner, Bracewell LLP
Confirmed
Sept. 6, 2018
Walter David Counts III
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of Texas
Confirmed
Jan. 11, 2018
Jason K. Pulliam
Of Counsel, Prichard Young LLP
Nominated
March 1, 2019
District of Utah Status
Howard C. Nielson
Partner, Cooper & Kirk
Nominated
Sept. 28, 2017
Eastern District of Virginia Status
Judge Rossie Alston Jr.
Virginia Court of Appeals Judge
Nominated
June 7, 2018
David J. Novak
Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of Virginia
Nominated
March 15, 2019
G. Zachary Terwilliger
US Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia
Nominated
July 13, 2018
Western District of Washington Status
Tessa Gorman
Assistant US Attorney for the Western District of Washington
Nominated
July 13, 2018
Kathleen M. O’Sullivan
Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Nominated
July 13, 2018
Northern District of West Virginia Status
Thomas S. Kleeh
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Confirmed
Oct. 11, 2018
Eastern District of Wisconsin Status
Gordon P. Giampietro
Assistant General Counsel, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Nominated
Dec. 20, 2017