TLJ News from July 1-5, 2013

Pending Judicial Appointments

7/2. There are seven judicial nominees who have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), but not yet considered by the full Senate. See, Senate Executive Calendar.

Two are scheduled for Senate votes on Monday, July 8 -- Greg Phillips, who has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals (10thCir), and Jennifer Dorsey, who has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court (DNev).

Raymond Chen, who has been nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir), is moving through the Senate quickly and without public opposition. See, stories titled "Obama Nominates Raymond Chen for Federal Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,522, February 8, 2013, and "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Chen for Federal Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,562, May 15, 2013.

Todd Hughes, who has also been nominated for the Federal Circuit, has not yet been approved by the SJC. His hearing was on June 19. Hence, he is not yet on the Senate calendar.

Both Patricia Smith and Elaine Kaplan, who have been nominated seats on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, are pending on the Senate calendar.

Valerie Caproni and Vernon Broderick, both of whom have been nominated for seats on the U.S. District Court (SDNY), are moving expeditiously through the Senate. The SJC held a hearing on both on May 23. The SJC approved both on June 13.

This short list provides no support for Democrats' contention that Republicans are now improperly delaying or filibustering judicial nominees.

However, Senate Republicans may now be allowing most judicial nominees to be approved expeditiously because they anticipate a huge battle over the three nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir), and over the Senate's filibuster rules.

President Obama nominated Patricia Ann Millett, Cornelia Pillard, and Robert Wilkins on June 4. See, stories titled "Obama Launches Effort to Pack the DC Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,571 June 4, 2013, and "Senators Move Closer to Conflict Over Obama's Plan to Pack the DC Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,580 June 19, 2013.

The first hearing has been scheduled on July 10 for Millett.

Republican strategy may be to allow quick approval of all but these three, in order to be able to rebut accusations that they are broadly blocking Democratic nominees and leaving the courts under judged.

Caproni, under other circumstances, might have been a lightening rod for opposition and criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. But, Democrats will not oppose a nominee who has been recommended to the President by a Democratic Senator, and nominated by a Democratic President. And, Republicans may be saving their fight for the President Obama's court packing plan. See also, story titled "Obama Nominates Caproni to District Court" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,474, November 19, 2012.

House Commerce Committee Makes Staff Changes

7/1. The House Commerce Committee (HCC) announced staff changes. David Redl will become Chief Counsel of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology (SCT). He will replace Neil Fried.

Redl has worked for the HCC since 2011. He is from Oregon, as is Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the SCT. He is also a former Chairman of the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (OPUC). Before joining the HCC, he worked for the CTIA.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the HCC, stated in a release that "Neil has been a fixture of the Energy and Commerce telecommunications team for nearly a decade. I have greatly appreciated his wise and steady counsel through the years dating back to my days at the helm of the telecommunications subcommittee. He was instrumental in the ongoing effort to keep the Internet free of regulations and helping spur innovation and technological advancement in the communications sector."

The Hill and Politico have reported that Fried will go to work for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

In addition, the HCC announced that Ray Baum "will provide strategic counsel for the committee in an expanded role as senior policy advisor and chief strategist on state initiatives, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and technology."

Also, Kelsey Guyselman was named counsel to the SCT. She has also worked for the CTIA.

Finally, Noelle Clemente was named to the HCC's news team. She will handle health care matters. She previously worked for the American Action Forum. Also, she was previously press secretary for Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Sean Bonyun continues to handle SCT communications.

Go to News from June 26-30, 2013.