Biden renominates 25 judicial nominees, including longest pending ones

Dale Ho, a voting rights advocate with the ACLU nominated to become a federal district court judge in Manhattan, prepares to give his opening statement during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
  • Biden to resubmit other stalled candidates for the bench later this month
  • President has won confirmation for 97 judicial nominees

(Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Tuesday renominated 25 candidates for the federal bench who failed to win Senate confirmation last year and plans to resubmit other stalled judicial nominees later this month.

On the first day of the new Senate, Biden resubmitted more than half of his 45 picks to serve on federal circuit and district courts whose nominations were still pending when the last Congress came to a close.

The candidates included many of the 150 judicial nominees Biden has announced since he took office two years ago whose nominations had been pending the longest. A White House official said the other half would be renominated later in January.

Tuesday's nominees include Dale Ho, a voting rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union nominated to be a federal judge in Manhattan, and Nancy Abudu of the Southern Poverty Law Center, nominated to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Their nominations, along with six others in Tuesday's batch, had been pending since January 2022 or longer. In the previously, evenly divided Senate, the Judiciary Committee deadlocked on both of their nominations, with Republicans opposed.

Julie Rikelman, an abortion rights lawyer at the Center for Reproductive Rights who argued for the Mississippi clinic that was on the losing side of the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, was also renominated.

She's been tapped for the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Judiciary Committee deadlocked on her nomination as well in December.

She and the others could face fewer hurdles in the new Congress, with Democrats now holding a clear majority, ensuring the Judiciary Committee can avoid deadlocked votes that can complicate a nominee's path to winning approval on the floor.

The Senate during the last Congress confirmed 97 of Biden's judicial nominees, a majority of whom were women and people of color.

Biden has announced plans to nominate another six candidates. He formally nominated three of them on Tuesday.

John Collins, a law professor at George Washington University, on Twitter on Tuesday predicted just two of Biden's nominees from the last Congress would not be re-submitted.

One is William Pocan, a state court judge in Milwaukee whose nomination to be a district court judge in Wisconsin was blocked by his state's Republican senator, Ron Johnson, who declined to return a necessary "blue slip" supporting him.

The other is Jorge Rodriguez, a lawyer in the New York attorney general's office whose nomination was derailed when the judge he was nominated to succeed in the state's Northern District rescinded his decision to take senior status, eliminating the vacancy.

Pocan and Rodriguez did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Read more:

Biden, Senate Democrats gear up to prioritize judges in 2023

Biden announces last six judicial nominees of 2022

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Nate Raymond reports on the federal judiciary and litigation. He can be reached at nate.raymond@thomsonreuters.com.