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Law360’s Guide To Trump’s Judicial Picks

By Jimmy Hoover and Michael Macagnone | October 3, 2017, 4:35 PM EDT

Updated Jan. 4, 2019 | President Donald Trump is reshaping the federal judiciary at a staggering rate with the help of Republican Senate leaders and a high number of vacancies from the Obama era.

In his first two years, Trump has appointed more judges to the appellate bench than any of the previous five presidents, according to a new 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 outgoing Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have fast-tracked the president’s nominees to the chagrin of Democrats.

Some of the tactics 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.

Trump has also benefited from inheriting more vacancies than any president in the past three decades. There were only about 40 federal court vacancies when President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, and he managed during his two terms to put 329 Article III judges on the bench and 18 on the nation’s Article I courts, including the Tax Court and the Court of Federal Claims.

But the pace of Obama’s judicial confirmations fell off after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015. Senate Republicans under McConnell allowed only 11 judges through the chamber in 2016, compared with 89 in 2014. As a result of that effort, Trump entered office with 120 federal court vacancies at the district and appellate level.

Despite the statistics, 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


12

vacant
seats

12

pending
nominations

30

confirmed
judges



U.S. District Courts


119

vacant
seats

58

pending
nominations

53

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
Currently: Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Nominated: Nov. 13, 2018
Trump has chosen 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. Many Democrats fear she will undermine regulations if confirmed.


SECOND CIRCUIT


Joseph F. Bianco

Age: 52
Law School: Columbia Law School
Currently: Judge, Eastern District of New York
Nominated: Oct. 10, 2018
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. While New York’s Senators praised the administration for working with them on prior nominees, they’ve remained silent on Bianco so far.

Michael H. Park

Age: 42
Law School: Yale Law
Formerly: Partner, Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC
Confirmed: Oct. 10, 2018
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. While New York’s Senators praised the administration for working with them on prior nominees, they’ve remained silent on Park so far.

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
President Donald Trump nominated longtime US District Judge Richard J. Sullivan in the Southern District of New York to a Second Circuit vacancy. 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
Currently: Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at University Hospital in Newark, N.J.
Nominated: April 10, 2018
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie aide Paul B. Matey was nominated by President Donald Trump as part of a batch of nominees in April. Matey worked with Christie in the US Attorney office and as a deputy chief counsel and senior counsel when Christie won the governorship.

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 nominated by Trump in April 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 and Casey’s opposition signals potential trouble for Porter’s nomination.

FOURTH CIRCUIT


A. Marvin Quattlebaum

Age: 53
Law School: University of South Carolina School of Law
Currently: U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina
Nominated: April 26, 2018
U.S. District Court Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum finds himself before the Senate again barely a month after being confirmed to his current post. A former Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP partner, Quattlebaum's practice focused on commercial litigation.

Jay Richardson

Law School: University of Chicago
Currently: Deputy Criminal Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina
Nominated: April 26, 2018
Fourth Circuit nominee 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
Nominated: Aug. 27, 2018
A highly active appellate attorney, Rushing has 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 nominees so far, she will likely be criticized by Democrats for her lack of experience.

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
Nominated: June 7, 2018
President Donald Trump nominated Eric Murphy, who has represented Ohio’s Attorney General at the appellate level for years, to a seat on the Sixth Circuit that could open later this year. His nomination quickly ran into opposition from liberal groups and one of his homestate Senators over his record, likely sparking another struggle at the Senate Judiciary Committee over how much sway individual Senators should have.

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 nominated in January. Nalbandian is a former Fifth Circuit clerk, a board member at the State Justice Institute and served as a special justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, and as a member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, according to the announcement. He’s 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
Nominated: June 7, 2018
One of his current Justice Department officials, President Donald Trump nominated longtime Jones Day partner to the federal bench in June. His nomination drew opposition from a number of liberal advocacy groups and one of his homestate Senators, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

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 nominee 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 Northwestern University law graduate is also a registered CPA and leads Skadden’s accounting practice.

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. A former assistant U.S. attorney and member of the Whitewater independent counsel team, 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.

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
Currently: Deputy Chief of Staff and Counsel, Sen Mike Rounds, R-SD
Confirmed: Dec. 11, 2018
Kobes became the first Trump appeals court judge 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


Mark J. Bennett

Age: 64
Law School: Cornell Law School
Formerly: Director, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher
Confirmed: July 10, 2018
Ninth Circuit nominee 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 is currently the director of Honolulu firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, where his practice focuses on complex civil litigation such as antitrust and securities matters. A former assistant U.S. attorney and Cornell University Law School graduate, his nomination has won praise from Hawaii’s two Democratic senators.

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 selection for the powerful Ninth Circuit is Ryan Nelson, 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. He was also a member of Sidley Austin LLP’s appellate practice and clerked for conservative D.C. Circuit Judge Karen Henderson.

TENTH CIRCUIT


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.

Joel M. Carson III

Law School: University of New Mexico School of Law
Formerly: Principal, Carson Ryan LLC
Confirmed: May 15, 2018
New Mexico energy attorney Joel Carson was nominated to the Tenth Circuit in late December 2017. A partner in Roswell-based Carson Ryan LLC, Carson represents energy companies in disputes with state and federal regulators, and works on legal issues for various industry associations and a conservative legal foundation. Carson also serves as a part-time magistrate judge and on the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. He graduated from University of New Mexico’s law school.

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
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. She was previously named as a potential Supreme Court pick by the White House in November.

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
Nominated
April 10, 2018
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
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
District of Colorado Status
Daniel D. Domenico
Managing partner, Kittredge LLC
Nominated
Sept. 28, 2017
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.
Nominated
April 26, 2018
Rodolfo “Rudy” Ruiz II
Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida
Nominated
April 26, 2018
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
Nominated
April 10, 2018
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 Louisiana Status
James D. Cain, Jr.
Founder, Loftin, Cain & LeBlanc, LLC
Nominated
Aug. 27, 2018
Western District of Louisiana Status
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
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
Wendy Vitter
General Counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Nominated
Jan. 23, 2017
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
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
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
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. Limon
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
Northern District of Ohio Status
Pamela A. Barker
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge
Nominated
April 10, 2018
Southern District of Ohio Status
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
Nominated
April 10, 2018
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
Western District of Pennsylvania Status
Susan Paradise Baxter
U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania
Confirmed
Aug. 28, 2018
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
District of Puerto Rico Status
Raúl M. Arias-Marxuach
Vice-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group at McConnell Valdés LLC
Nominated
April 10, 2018
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
A. Marvin Quattlebaum
Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Confirmed
March 1, 2018
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
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
Matthew Kacsmaryk
First Liberty Institute
Nominated
Sept. 7, 2017
Karen Scholer
Partner, Carter Scholer PLLC
Confirmed
March 5, 2018
Southern District of Texas Status
Fernando Rodriguez Jr.
Attorney, International Justice Mission
Confirmed
June 5, 2018
David Morales
Partner, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP
Nominated
April 10, 2018
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
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
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