The Senate confirmed Andre Mathis to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, marking the longest period between nomination and confirmation for any Biden circuit nominee.
The chamber voted 48-47 on Thursday to confirm the Butler Snow LLP partner to a Tennessee seat, nearly 10 months after he was nominated.
Mathis was President Joe Biden’s first circuit nominee to a seat in a state with two Republican senators. Tennessee Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty said they weren’t adequately consulted and both voted against confirming him. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, a member of the Judiciary Committee,
was the lone Republican to vote yes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee reported his nomination favorably out of committee that February in a 12-10 tally, but Mathis had been waiting for a vote by the full Senate ever since.
Home-state senator support isn’t needed for nominees to advance after Republicans did away with that practice under President Donald Trump, but widespread Republican opposition to a nominee can create hurdles in the current 50-50 Senate. Tight confirmations, for example, mean all Democrats need to be present for the vote.
Before his work at Bulter Snow in Memphis, Mathis was a lawyer at Glankler Brown PLLC. His is also a member of the Western District of Tennessee’s Criminal Justice Act Panel and worked on pro-bono cases for the Tennessee Innocence Project. Prior to his confirmation hearing, Mathis received a “Well Qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.
The Senate also voted 48-43 on Thursday to invoke cloture, or end debate, on the nomination of Salvador Mendoza, Jr. to the Ninth Circuit. A confirmation vote is scheduled for Monday.
—With assistance from John Crawley