12/23. President Bush announced his intent to nominate twelve persons to be judges
of the U.S. Court of Appeals. See, statement by
President Bush. The twelve are as follows:
Judge Terrence Boyle (4th
William Haynes (4th Circuit)
Justice Priscilla Owen (5th
Judge David McKeague (6th
Judge Susan Neilson (6th
Judge Henry Saad (6th Circuit)
Judge Richard Griffin (6th
William Myers (9th Circuit)
Judge William Pryor (11th
Janice Brown (DC Circuit)
Brett Kavanaugh (DC Circuit)
Thomas Griffith (DC Circuit)
President Bush also nominated all of these persons in the 108th Congress. He
also nominated some as early as the beginning of his first administration.
Senate Democrats have delayed, and in some cases, filibustered, these nominations.
Some names are not on this list. For example, Bush will not renominate
Estrada for a seat on the DC Circuit.
Bush nominated him in May of 2001. He withdrew from consideration in September of 2003.
Although, President Bush may yet nominate him for the Supreme Court.
Estrada is a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. He represented
radio station owner Clear Channel in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC (a
petition for review of the Federal Communications
Commission's media ownership rules).
Also, President Bush did not renominate Judge Charles Pickering for a seat on
the Fifth Circuit. He briefly served on the
Fifth Circuit with an recess appointment, and recently announced his retirement.
President Bush will not renominate Claude Allen for the
4th Circuit. And, he will not renominate
Carolyn Kuhl for the 9th Circuit.
The 4th Circuit hears many technology related cases. Bush has just announced
his intent to renominate
Boyle and Haynes. Judge Terrence Boyle is Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of North Carolina.
William Haynes (at right) is General Counsel of the
Department of Defense
(DOD). He has previously worked as a partner at the law firm of
Jenner & Block and as a VP and Associate
General Counsel at General Dynamics Corporation. See, DOD
Justice Priscilla Owen, renominated for the
5th Circuit, is an Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court of Texas.
Judge David McTeague is a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Michigan. Judge Susan Nielson is a state court judge in Michigan. Judge
Henry Saad is a Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Judge Richard Griffin is a Judge
of the Michigan Court of Appeals.
All four will be nominated for the 6th Circuit. Nominations to this circuit
are currently controversial. Democrats seek to maintain control of this circuit.
However, this circuit decides few major technology related cases.
William Myers has served as Solicitor of the
Department of the Interior. Some liberal
groups oppose his nomination on the basis of environmental issues. See for
example, report [PDF]
of People for the American Way. Myers
previously worked for the National Lands Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef
Association. He is also a veteran of prior judicial confirmation battles. He worked
for former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WO), who sat on the
Senate Judiciary Committee, at the time of
the Scalia and Rehnquist nominations in 1986, the Bork, Ginsburg and Kennedy nominations
in 1987, and many contested Appeals Court nominations during the second Reagan
administration. Then, he worked in the Department of Justice during the administration of
the elder President Bush at the time of the Souter and Thomas nominations. He has written
about judicial appointments.
Bush renominated Judge William Pryor for the
11th Circuit. President Bush
nominated him in April of 2003. Bush gave him a recess appointment in February of 2004.
The DC Circuit is important for technology and communications law for several
reasons. It hears most of the petitions for review of orders of the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), such
as the FCC's recent triennial review order. It also hears petitions for review
of orders of other agencies, such as the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC). The DC Circuit also hears some appeals in major antitrust cases,
such as the government antitrust action against Microsoft. And, it hears some major
copyright cases, such as the Eldred case (regarding copyright terms) and RIAA
v. Verizon (regarding DMCA subpoenas).
Senate Democrats have obstructed most of President Bush's nominations to this
circuit. Bush has just announced his intent to renominate Brown, Kavanaugh, and Griffith.
While liberals may oppose the
nomination of Justice Janice Brown because of their expectations regarding her future
opinions on social issues, persons concerned about technology law may note that she wrote
the August 25, 2003
[54 pages in PDF] of the Supreme
Court of the State of California in DVD Copy Control Association v. Bunner, a
case regarding California trade secret law, free speech, and the publication of the DeCSS
program in web sites. See also, Brown's California Supreme Court
Brett Kavanaugh works for President Bush. He has, among other things, picked
judges in the Office of White House Counsel. He has also worked for Ken Starr at
the Office of Independent Counsel. He also worked for the law firm of
Kirkland & Ellis, which is Starr's firm.
Kavanaugh has represented Verizon and
AOL. In one lawsuit in the Western District of
Pennsylvania, GTE Internetworking Inc. and GTE Intelligent Network Services
Inc. v. Tele-Communications Inc., Comcast, and At Home Corp, he represented
GTE's internet subsidiaries in alleging that the bundling of high speed cable data
transport with ISP service is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. See,
(GTE Internetworking had previously been known as BBN. GTE merged with Bell
Atlantic, which entity then became Verizon.)
Thomas Griffith is General Counsel for Brigham
Young University in Provo, Utah. He previously worked as legal counsel for
the Senate, from 1995 through 1999, and for the Washington DC communications law
firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding. See, story
titled "Bush Nominates Griffith for DC Circuit" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 895, May 11, 2004.
President Bush also announced his intent to nominate eight persons to be U.S.
District Court Judges. These too are renominations. The eight are as follows:
Paul Crotty (Southern District of New York)
James Dever (Eastern District of North Carolina)
Robert Conrad (Western District of North Carolina)
Judge Thomas Ludington (Eastern District of Michigan)
Judge Daniel Ryan (Eastern District of Michigan)
Judge Sean Cox (Eastern District of Michigan)
Michael Seabright (District
Peter Sheridan (District of New Jersey)
Paul Crotty is a senior executive at
Verizon Communications. See, story titled "Bush Nominates Verizon's Crotty
for Federal Judgeship" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 972, September 8, 2004. While this is another renomination, Crotty
may not face difficulty obtaining Senate confirmation. He was first nominated
late in the 108th Congress. Also, he has the support of
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).
James Dever is a Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of North Carolina
Robert Conrad is the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Sean Cox, Daniel Ryan and Thomas Ludington are a state court judges in
Michael Seabright works in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of
Peter Sheridan is a attorney in the law firm of
Graham Curtin & Sheridan.
Ralph Neas, President of People for the
American Way, stated in a
that "If justices like these are appointed ... We can watch as our rights to
privacy and civil liberties are eroded ..." See also,
release of the Alliance for
Justice criticizing President Bush's announcement.