02.14.13

SJC Sends 13 Judicial Nominees To Full Senate

WASHINGTON  – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved thirteen judicial nominees, including two circuit court nominees, who all had to be renominated at the start of this year.

Caitlin Halligan, nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Patty Shwartz, nominated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, each won committee approval last year but were ultimately denied action on the Senate floor before the 112th Congress adjourned.  Both were renominated by President Barack Obama in January, and their nominations now go before the full Senate for consideration.

The Judiciary Committee also approved by voice vote nine nominees to Federal district courts and two nominees to the U.S. Court of International Trade.  There are currently 89 court vacancies throughout the country, including 31 vacancies designated as judicial emergencies. 

In addition to the judicial nominees who were reported, the Judiciary Committee held over the nomination of David Medine to lead the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and three nominees to Federal district courts.

The Committee’s action on the slate of 13 nominees comes one day after the full Senate voted to confirm William Kayatta, a circuit court nominee whose nomination lagged for ten months before winning bipartisan approval on the floor. In a statement, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called for the Senate to clear the judicial backlog.

“So far during President Obama’s first four years in office and as far into the future as we can see there have never been less than 60 vacancies, and for much of that time many, many more,” Leahy said.  “This is a prescription for overburdened courts and a Federal justice system that does not serve the interests of the American people.”

Nominations approved by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday include:

  • Caitlin Joan Halligan, to be a U. S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Patty Shwartz, to be a U. S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit
  • Pamela Ki Mai Chen, to be a U. S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York
  • Katherine Polk Failla, to be a U. S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York
  • Andrew Patrick Gordon, to be a U. S. District Judge for the District of Nevada
  • Ketanji Brown Jackson, to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia
  • Raymond P. Moore, to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Colorado
  • Troy L. Nunley, to be a U. S. District Judge for the Eastern District of California
  • Beverly Reid O'Connell, to be a U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California
  • Analisa Torres, to be a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York
  • Derrick Kahala Watson, to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Hawaii
  • Mark A. Barnett, to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade
  • Claire R. Kelly, to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade

For more information about judicial nominations, click here.

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