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Seventh, Ninth Circuit Picks Advance in Judiciary Committee (1)

June 9, 2022, 4:10 PMUpdated: June 9, 2022, 7:01 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance five judicial nominees to the floor, including two appellate picks for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

The committee voted 12-8 on President Joe Biden’s nomination of John Lee to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and 11-2 on Judge Salvador Mendoza’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit.

In addition to committee Democrats, both won support from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Lee also received support from Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).

The committee also approved the nominations of Northern District of Illinois nominee Nancy Maldonado, District of Delaware nominee Gregory Williams, and Southern District of Iowa nominee Stephen Locher.

Locher received a rare voice vote from the panel, indicating broad bipartisan support. He was recommended to the White House by Iowa’s Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked to be recorded as a no on that vote.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) both passed—or did not vote—on several of the nominees.

The full Senate voted Thursday to confirm Robert Huie to the Southern District of California, 51-46. She received Republican support from Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, according to the Senate Press Gallery.

On Wednesday, Innocence Project lawyer Nina Morrison was confirmed to the Eastern District of New York, 53-46. Collins, Murkowski, and Graham backed her.

(Updates with Huie confirmation.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at