Altman First Judicial Pick to Test Faster Confirmation Push (2)

April 3, 2019, 7:21 PMUpdated: April 3, 2019, 11:08 PM

Roy Altman on Wednesday became the first in a likely wave of Donald Trump district court appointees to be considered under an accelerated Senate confirmation timetable.

The Republican-led chamber changed its rules for certain presidential appointees, including trial court judges, to radically shorten the required time between the end of debate and the start of a confirmation vote.

The chamber voted 66 to 33 to invoke cloture, or end debate on Altman’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and set the stage for a likely confirmation vote on Thursday.

Altman, a partner at Podhurst Orseck P.A. in Miami, served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida for more than six years, where he tried and won 30 federal criminal cases.

Trump and Senate Republicans have focused mainly on confirming appeals court judges in record numbers, but only eight circuit vacancies remain, compared to 130 at the district court level.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said cutting the required debate time on a nominee from 30 hours to two was necessary to end what Republicans called Democratic obstruction of Trump nominees.

“It is time for this sorry chapter to end,” the Kentucky Republican said, Bloomberg reported.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said there’s “no truth” to claims of Democratic obstructionism, and that Republicans are simply fast-tracking Trump’s “ultra conservative nominees to the federal bench.”

Trump has nominated 55 picks in addition to Altman to district court vacancies.

Born in Venezuela in 1982, Altman is a member of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservatives and libertarians that has helped Trump pick judges.

He’s also a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which seeks to build “a strong, effective, and respected Jewish Republican voice in Washington” according to its website.

Altman’s a graduate of Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Stanley Marcus at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary Committee gave Altman it’s highest rating of “well-qualified.”

His current practice areas include aviation litigation.

(Recasts lead and updates throughout with latest vote timetable and McConnell, Schumer comments.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick L. Gregory in Washington at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com; Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

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