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Trump Renominates 11 California, Nevada Judicial Picks

Feb. 13, 2020, 7:43 PM

President Donald Trump renominated nearly a dozen judicial picks for seats on federal district courts in California and Nevada after their nominations lapsed at the end of last year due to Senate inaction.

The renominations announced Thursday again set in motion the judicial confirmation process in the Republican-led Senate.

So far, no California district nominee has made it through to confirmation under Trump, yet the state leads the nation in vacancies. Ten of the renominations are for courts in California and one is for a court in Nevada.

Confirmations in states with one or two Democratic senators will be very important for the administration this year if it wants to maintain its historic rate of judicial appointments. The majority of the roughly 75 current and future vacancies left are in blue states, and that poses a few hurdles for Trump.

Senators have a say in who gets appointed to their state district courts and can prevent a nominee from moving forward by not returning something known as a “blue slip.” That means the White House will have to work with those lawmakers to get more judges through.

Some states like Illinois and New York have had success getting some nominees confirmed, but others have faced major delays. Trump’s nominees confirmed to blue states took almost twice as long to get through the process than those nominated in red states, according to a recent Brookings Institution report. Those delays happen after Senators have given their approval, or returned their blue slip.

That pace would have to change this year, an election year where there’s already less time to get things done while lawmakers campaign, if the White House and Senate want to keep the rate of confirmations up.

The renominations are:

  • Adam L. Braverman, to the Southern District of California;
  • John W. Holcomb, to the Central District of California;
  • Knut Sveinbjorn Johnson, to the Southern District of California;
  • Steve Kim, to the Central District of California;
  • Sandy Nunes Leal, to the Central District of California;
  • R. Shireen Matthews, to the Southern District of California;
  • Michelle M. Pettit, to the Southern District of California;
  • Rick Lloyd Richmond, to the Central District of California;
  • Todd Wallace Robinson, to the Southern District of California;
  • Jeremy B. Rosen, to the Central District of California; and,
  • Jennifer P. Togliatti, to the District of Nevada.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture, or a motion to end debate, on the nomination of Silvia Carreno-Coll to serve as judge for the District of Puerto Rico.

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at malder@bloomberglaw.com

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

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