Results matching “goodwin liu”

Sen. Graham's curious praise for the ABA - PointOfLaw Forum

Jarrett Dieterle
Legal Intern, Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy

Who says cozying up to pro-attorney interest groups can't be a bipartisan exercise? The Wall Street Journal picked up on some curious words by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham during a keynote speech at the ABA's recent annual meeting:

Mr. Graham, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee praised the group's work vetting judicial nominees. "That service you provide the United States Senate is invaluable because in these politically charged times in which we live," he said, "you are a filter, sort of a wall, between people who are politically connected and somebody who should be on the bench."

This politically charged environment, Mr. Graham maintains, is the result of the Senate's broken process. "I'm really worried about how we're doing confirmations. They're turning into political events," the South Carolina Republican said. "I'm not worried about judicial activism, I'm worried about Senate activism."

Sen. Graham went on to claim that judicial nominees, regardless of ideology, "are entitled to be confirmed as long as they're qualified." Such comments by Sen. Graham would seem to fly in the face of his actions on the Senate floor, where the Senator has voted to block several Obama nominees that were rated as "well qualified" by the ABA.

More controversial, however, is the ABA's vetting process itself. Far from creating a "filter" or "wall" between politics and qualifications as Sen. Graham suggested, the ABA's judicial evaluations appear to be heavily influenced by politics given the ABA's preference for liberal nominees over conservative nominees. [See also on POL]. The most frequently cited example of bias is the ABA's sparkling rating ("well qualified") for Obama's recent Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu compared to its lukewarm rating ("qualified/not qualified") for Reagan's Seventh Circuit nominee Frank Easterbrook. For perspective, at the time of his nomination Easterbrook's curriculum vitae (former judicial clerk, assistant to the Solicitor General, Deputy Solicitor General, 20 cases argued before Supreme Court, career in academia) dwarfed Goodwin Liu's credentials (former clerk and academic, no cases argued before the Supreme Court).

The bias of the ABA led the Bush Administration to exclude it from the process of evaluating judicial nominees. Undeterred, the ABA further inserted itself into the political arena during Obama's time in office by openly lobbying the Senate to schedule votes on Obama nominees. In light of the ABA's politicized history - and Sen. Graham's own voting record - the Senator's comments to the ABA were curious indeed.

ABA double standard on judicial nominations - PointOfLaw Forum

Since at least the 1984 nomination of Frank Easterbrook, the Senate has used the summer of a presidential election year to refuse to confirm nominations to the appellate branch, and this Senate is no different. The American Bar Association, however, for the third straight year, is lobbying Congress to confirm specific judicial nominees, something they never did during the Bush administration, giving some confirmation to the accusations of the Bush administration that the ABA judicial-nominee rating process was highly partisan and biased. [Kerr; Whelan]

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans (with the exception of Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska) voted against an up-or-down vote for President Obama's nominee Caitlin Halligan, chosen to fill one of three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The rejection of Halligan, general counsel with the New York County DA's office and former NYS solicitor general, is the second by the Senate who rejected Goodwin Liu's nomination to the 9th Circuit in May.

This raises an interesting question about the future of the judicial nomination process. Before a bi-partisan agreement was reached in 2005, there was a real legislative push mounting by Senate Republicans to eliminate the ability to filibuster judicial nominees. Will Senate Democrats now mount a similar effort? Will a new bi-partisan solution be reached? Or will the Obama Administration continue to face a Republican wall of opposition to its judicial nominees?

The WSJ states the following on the matter:

Again, in our estimation, all of this blocking is so much petty politics, the type of which both parties engage in regularly, to the detriment of the U.S. people. Call Republicans obstructionists, however, and they get defensive, arguing that Democrats did plenty to try to block Bush nominations. Ask Dems about the Bush years, and they'll refer to tactics taken up by Republicans under Clinton. And on and on -- all the way back, it seems, to the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Robert Bork in 1987.

Yet, nearly a quarter-century later here we are: History proving, once again, to be a nightmare from which we have yet to awake.

What do you think about filibustering judicial nominees? Should there be a legislative fix? Let us know what you think on Twitter via #PoLforum

Around the web, July 29 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Coverage of the Rice Krispies objection from an interesting new original-reporting legal news website, Business Law Daily. [BLD]
  • I wasn't that impressed with the ABA Journal's "30 Lawyers, 30 Books" list. And it seemed that they only found room for one right-of-center lawyer, Professor Eugene Volokh. But I do wholeheartedly concur with Volokh's recommendation for Ward Farnsworth's The Legal Analyst, which is perhaps the most systematic guide to clear thinking this century.
  • Mississippi Supreme Court stays fishy $322M asbestos judgment. [LNL; earlier on POL]
  • Governor Jerry Brown, apparently nostalgic for Rose Bird, nominates Goodwin Liu to California Supreme Court; his confirmation will be a formality. This gives Asian-Americans four seats out of seven on the Court, with the only Latino on the Court retiring for the big bucks of mediation, so one would expect quota advocates—like Goodwin Liu—to call for affirmative action. [Whelan; Severino; LA Times]

  • Attorney-general cy pres slush fund in Arkansas. [Greenberg via Overlawyered; more on cy pres at POL]
  • What isn't being reported in that Justice at Stake poll on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. [Pero; earlier on POL]
  • Google lawyer says patents gumming up innovation. [Bloomberg]
  • Lawyers behaving badly: fight at the end of a deposition. One of these two lawyers is committing perjury, and if it can be proved which one, he should be disbarred. And somehow, it's hard to think that the aggressor was the one who had to miss the ex parte hearing because of a mandatory chemotherapy session with his oncologist. What does the court reporter say? [ATL]
  • McDonald's engages in defensive restauranting, adds apples to Happy Meals; 89% of parents prefer fries. Meanwhile, Campbell's discovers that people prefer salt in their soup. [Olson @NYDN; Chi. Tribune]

  • "Aussie Woman Seeks Workers Comp for Injury During Hotel Sex" [ABA J]
  • In an age of debt crisis, why aren't we auctioning unused broadband spectrum? [Brito @ Time]

The Senate has just voted 52-43 on the motion to proceed to the nomination of Goodwin Liu to serve on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, thus failing to reach the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture. (Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat to vote against cloture. No Republicans voted for it. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican to vote for it.)

UPDATE (3 p.m.): Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was speaking on a bloggers' conference call as the vote came in. He said:

The problem of Professor Liu is he has never practiced law. He's lived in, I think, an unreal world. His writings are beyond anything I've ever seen in justifying the "evolving Constitution" theory. It's just remarkable.

I think everybody could agree that a judge takes an oath to faithfully follow the law, faithfully serve under the Constitution and under the laws of the United States. If the judge ha s a philosophy of judging that allows him to update based on cultural changes and advancements and all kinds of evolving standards, at some point they're so untethered from reality, so untethered from law, that they've moved judging from a law practice, an act of lawfulness, to an act of politics, and party and ideology and religion and sociology and whatever's in their head. And judges have never been empowered to do that. Judges are empowered to serve faithfully under the Constitution.

There's a strong belief -among people that studied this over the years - Orrin Hatch, Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham, and certainly I felt this way - that this nominee was over the line. It wasn't even close. If I can't believe a judge will be faithful to the Constitution, I'm not going to vote for him.

Sen. Sessions was also asked about the message the vote sent to President Obama.

After a Republican Senator delivered his statement Wednesday against the nomination of Goodwin Liu to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had this to say: "I have been on the Judiciary Committee for 18 years. I have never heard a harsher statement about a brilliant young man than I have just heard."

She was referring to the remarks of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the committee, whose (excellent) floor statement concluded:

If confirmed, I am concerned that Mr. Liu will deeply divide the Ninth Circuit and move that court even further to the left. If confirmed, his activist ideology and judicial philosophy would seep well beyond the Berkeley campus. Sitting on the Ninth Circuit, his opinions and rulings would have far reaching effect on individuals and businesses throughout the nine-state Circuit, including places like Bozeman, Montana; Boise, Idaho, and Anchorage, Alaska.

For the reasons I have articulated – (1)his controversial writings and speeches; (2)an activist judicial philosophy; (3) his lack of judicial temperament; (4) his lack of candor before the Committee, and (5) his limited experience – as well as many other concerns which I have not expressed today, I shall oppose this nomination.


It appears Liu's nomination is in serious trouble. The 11 Republicans who voted against a filibuster on the nomination of trial lawyer John "Jack" McConnell to be a U.S. District Court judge in Rhode Island were moved by arguments against "politicizing" the confirmation of district court nominees. But Liu, whose qualifications appear primarily to his being a "brilliant young man" -- he's 40 -- and a legal radical, is being nominated to the appellate court.

The Senate continues the debate on Liu at 11 a.m. with a cloture vote anticipated for 2 p.m.

UPDATE (10:15 a.m.): Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweets: "Goodwin Liu's outrageous attack on Judge Samuel Alito convinced me that he is an ideologue." When you've lost Sen. Graham ...

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Here's Graham's statement opposing Liu's nomination. On Senate floor, Graham says he accepts judicial candidates who have differing views, but there is no excuse for impugning the motives and reputations of conservative judicial nominees.

The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted 11-7 on party lines to approve the nomination of John "Jack" McConnell for the U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island. Whether the Motley Rice trial attorney and Democratic contributor ever gets a final confirmation vote on the Senate floor is another matter. (Updated Friday, 9 a.m.: Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) joined the Democrats in supporting McConnell.)

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the committee's ranking member, read a lengthy and strongly worded statement in opposition to McConnell's nomination. Excerpt:

Mr. McConnell has a view of the law that I believe is outside the mainstream of legal thought. Much of Mr. McConnell's career has been devoted to bringing some of the most controversial mass tort litigation of recent years. He has pursued the manufacturers of asbestos, tobacco, and lead paint, whose actions he believes to be "unjust." In bringing many of these cases, Mr. McConnell has often stretched legal argument beyond its breaking point. An example is the "public nuisance" theory he pursued in the Rhode Island lead paint case. Well-respected attorneys have said Mr. McConnell's theory "just [did not] mesh with centuries of Anglo-American law" and a former attorney general called the lead-paint cases "a lawsuit in search of a legal theory." 

The Rhode Island Supreme Court unanimously ruled against him in State v. Lead Industries Associates, Inc. In a well-reasoned opinion, the court found that there was no set of facts that he could have proven to establish that the defendants were liable in public nuisance.


The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a business meeting Thursday that includes a vote on the nomination of John "Jack" McConnell to be U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Rhode Island.

McConnell was one of the leading tobacco lawyers, a top money maker for the Motley Rice firm in Providence and a big Democratic contributor. He later worked with Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) Sheldon Whitehouse to gin up and pursue public nuisance claims against manufacturers of lead-based paint. The contingency fee lawsuit would have brought many more millions to McConnell, but was unanimously rejected by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in 2008.

And that's why he should be a federal judge!

Judicial Watch has pored through McConnell's committee disclosures and found that, if confirmed as a federal judge, he would still be pulling in millions of dollars annually from the tobacco settlement.

As the top litigator at his mega Providence law firm (Motley Rice), McConnell has raked in between $2 to $3 million a year since 1999 and will receive between $2.5 and $3.1 million annually through 2024 in “deferred compensation” for work on tobacco litigation.

See also Providence Journal, March 17, "Panel takes up McConnell nomination again." Also on the committee's agenda for a vote is Goodwin Liu, nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): There's a North Dakota angle? Of course there is. Say Anything blogger Rob Port wonders if the tobacco settlement money is still driving politics in the state.

Whelan on Goodwin Liu - PointOfLaw Forum

Ed Whelan has a page of resources on Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu. In a new Bench Memos post, Whelan scoffs at Liu's new claim that his philosophy is that "the courts of the United States have a very limited role":

Gee, how'd I miss that in reading his actual book (Keeping Faith with the Constitution) that presents his view on how courts should interpret the Constitution? As I discuss here, Liu's judicial philosophy is indistinguishable from the "living Constitution" approach that he finds convenient to purport to disavow. Indeed, in that book, Liu maintains only that his approach, when "conscientiously applied," "does not give judges unchecked power to determine what society's values are or to impose their own values on society" (p. 28 (emphasis added)). He doesn't assert that his approach, under which judges pick and choose among "multiple sources of wisdom and authority" (p. 29) to "adapt[] [the Constitution's] broad principles to the conditions and challenges faced by successive generations" (p. 2), gives them only a "very limited role." On the contrary, while he calls judicial restraint "an important value," he says that it does not provide "a meaningful guide to constitutional interpretation" and he argues that "[f]aithful application" of the principles he espouses "may sometimes require a robust judicial role" (p. 41). "Sometimes" turns out to be quite often, as his defense in that book of an array of liberal judicial inventions of rights shows that he does not believe in a "very limited role" for the judiciary.

Further, Liu has called for such models of judicial restraint as San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (education is not a fundamental right subject to strict scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment) and Milliken v. Bradley (limiting the availability of interdistrict school desegregation remedies) to be "swept into the dustbin of history." (At his hearing, Liu referred with seeming approval to Rodriguez as "very much informed by principles of judicial restraint," but didn't note that he had called for it to be "swept into the dustbin of history.")

Today, Whelan continues his critique of Liu's testimony.

Judiciary hearings next week: Goodwin Liu, Regulations - PointOfLaw Forum

The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking another run at the most controversial of President Obama's judicial nominees, holding a confirmation hearing this Wednesday on Goodwin Liu to serve on the Ninth Circuit.

Liu, a professor and associate dean at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall), has been nominated three times: Feb. 24, 2010, Sept. 13, 2010, with the nominations expiring with Senate recesses; and this Jan. 5. Ed Whelan has written extensively on Liu's shortcomings at National Review Online.

On the House side, the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law holds what could be a very informative hearing Monday, "The Administrative Procedure Act at 65 - Is Reform Needed to Create Jobs, Promote Economic Growth and Reduce Costs?" Witnesses:

  • Susan Dudley, Director, Regulatory Studies Center, The George Washington Institute of Public Policy. Dudley is the former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Bush Administration.

  • Jeffrey A. Rosen, Esq., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, one of the nation's top experts on federal preemption.

  • Peter L. Strauss, Betts Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

President Obama has renominated 42 judicial candidates returned to the White House after the Senate adjourned on Dec. 22. His list contains the four controversial nominees we've been tracking: Edward Chen, Goodwin Liu, Louis Butler, Jr., and John "Jack" McConnell.

Missing from the list, however, is Robert Chatigny, previously nominated to the Second Circuit.

The list of the nominations starts on Page 3 of The Congressional Record's Daily Digest.

Time for new generation of "Schoolhouse Rocks" videos, this one on how a federal judicial wins confirmation ... or doesn't. You could illustrate it with a symbolic black-robed figure walking up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, back and forth between the White House and the Senate. Or perhaps something more modern: The candidate could use the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane to cycle between the two locations, with Chatigny sidelined with a flat.

Earlier posts.

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Judicial confirmations - PointOfLaw Forum

At the end of the day, Obama did pretty well for himself with judicial confirmations compared to other presidents, and to the extent he didn't, it's because he made only 41 nominations for 92 pending vacancies. Goodwin Liu, Louis Butler, and John McConnell were not among the confirmed. [Whelan; Kerr @ Volokh]

News reports: Senate to move on judicial nominations - PointOfLaw Forum

AP reports: "WASHINGTON -- After a monthslong blockade, Senate Republicans have agreed to let at least 19 of President Barack Obama's non-controversial judicial nominees win confirmation in the waning days of the congressional session in exchange for a commitment by Democrats not to seek votes on four others, according to officials familiar with the deal."

The AP only cites Goodwin Liu, nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) last week identified the other three to The National Law Journal: Edward Chen, nominated to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California; Louis Butler Jr., nominated to District Court for Wisconsin; and John "Jack" McConnell, the Motley Rice partner and Democratic contributor nominated to the District Court for Rhode Island.

Robert Chatigny, nominated to the Second Circuit, has not been reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

UPDATE (Tuesday, 10 a.m.): News coverage:  

No omnibus, but sneakiness looms as Congress leaves - PointOfLaw Forum

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pulled the $1.1 trillion, 1,924-page omnibus spending bill after Republicans withdrew their support because of the now politically noxious earmarks. But we think it was Hans von Spakovsky's report that sealed the legislation's fate. Thursday afternoon, the Heritage Foundation's legal maven posted this at National Review Online, "In the Omnibus Bill, a Treat for the Litigation Industry":

Only God and Harry Reid know all of the goodies and unpleasant surprises tucked into the 2,000-page omnibus spending bill being crammed through Congress, but there's at least one gift for community organizers and ambulance-chasing tort lawyers: pages 199-200 of the bill, which contain funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

For years, liberals used the semi-government corporation to pursue lawsuits advancing their political and social causes, until a 1996 reform put a stop to most of the abuses. Lawyers funded by the LSC were prohibited from pursuing class-action lawsuits; engaging in political activities; challenging welfare reform and abortion restrictions; or representing illegal aliens.

However, as the "Explanation" accompanying the spending bill explains at page S9399 of the Congressional Record, Title V of the omnibus lifts the ban on class-action lawsuits and will "permit the use of funds" to file such actions.

It was the final straw!

Even without the omnibus, there's plenty of opportunity for legislative mischief as Congress winds up within the next week. There's a continuing resolution to fund the government, which one assumes will be clean, but maybe not. Sen. Reid this morning stressed his desire to move on nominations, again citing Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole as a priority. Many judicial nominations have also been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could receive floor action, including controversial candidates like Goodwin Liu, Edward Chen, Jack McConnell and Louis Butler Jr. (Robert Chatigny, nominated to the Second Circuit, never did get a committee vote.) The closing hours of a session often see the approval of a long slate of nominees.

Congress' departure is no guarantee of calm on the civil justice front, either. With Republicans in control of the House, the plaintiffs' bar is expected to turn to the Executive Branch to achieve its goals. Tax breaks for trial lawyers? As The Washington Times reported this week in a Page One story, "Changes on Hill bode ill for trial lawyers":

Tiger Joyce, president of the Washington-based American Tort Reform Association, said the trial lawyers group still has support from congressional Democrats who survived the midterm elections, but he thinks industry lobbyists will shift their "liability expansion" efforts toward "friends throughout the executive branch."

Mr. Joyce noted that the group has started a campaign through the Treasury Department to get a tax break that will allow trial lawyers to deduct costs advanced to clients immediately. Repeated attempts to persuade Congress to enact the tax break, valued at an estimated $1.6 billion over 10 years, have failed.

So many judicial nominees, so little time - PointOfLaw Forum

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave a Senate floor speech Wednesday protesting the slow pace of judicial confirmations. Leahy inserted into The Congressional Record a Slate article on the issue by Dahlia Lithwick and Carl Tobias.

Leahy's remarks could be seen as laying the groundwork for a move by the majority Democrats to force a vote on pending judicial confirmations. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) bruited such a move to the Blog of the Legal Times for the most controversial nominees, Rhode Island trial lawyer John "Jack" McConnell, Louis Butler of Wisconsin, Goodwin Liu of California for the 9th Circuit, and Edward Chen for the Northern District of California. The WSJ's Law Blog also reports, "Lame Duck Senate Looking to Act on Controversial Judges."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of 12 federal judges this morning, including the controversially beleaguered and embattled Robert Chatigny to the Second Circuit.

Conservatives groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid on Monday urging him not to push any executive branch nominations during the lame-duck session, citing the mentioned judicial candidates as among "the most egregious."

So Sen. Leahy's remarks Wednesday could be rallying the troops for the fight. Oh, they could have been just be another floor speech. Before he spoke, Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) made a brief speech about S. 3538, the National Cyber Infrastructure Protection Act. After Sen. Leahy, Sen. Ron Wyden commemorated National Home Care and Hospice Month.

UPDATE (12:35 p.m.): The Judiciary Committee postponed action on all the judicial nominees.

Another push for judicial confirmations - PointOfLaw Forum

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled confirmation hearings for four U.S. District Court nominees on Wednesday, Nov. 17. The next day, the committee votes on confirming nine District Court nominees and three nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals, including the controversial nomination of U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to the Second Circuit. (The other appellate nominees scheduled for votes are Susan L. Carney, Second Circuit, and James E. Graves, Fifth Circuit.)

The usual legislative strategy at this point of a Senate's term is to get as many nominees out of committee as possible, working toward a session-closing compromise and confirmation by unanimous consent. The inclusion of Chatigny in any slate would likely kill that strategy. Nominated by President Obama in February, Chatigny has drawn vociferous opposition by conservative groups and Republicans largely over his leniency shown toward a serial killer, Michael Ross. Chatigny had suggested Ross's diagnosis of sexual sadism might be an extenuating factor that prevented the death penalty. (Washington Times editorial, "Obama nominee's sympathy for sexual sadists.")

And here's a surprise: the Alliance for Justice excoriating "unprecedented Republican tactics of procedural obstruction" in a Nov. 8 news release, "Broken Judicial Nominations Process Limps Into Lame-Duck Session."

The Senate will keep the 'Fringe Five' controversial judges - PointOfLaw Forum

Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell that worked out an arrangement that will prevent President Obama from making recess appointments before the Senate returns to session after the November elections.

As in 2008 when Sen. Reid blocked recess appointments by President Bush, the Senate will hold brief pro forma sessions twice a week. By these regular meetings, the Senate avoids being recessed for a long enough period that the President's appointment authority would go into effect. Such is the claim, at any rate. You would think a leader of the Executive Branch would challenge the limits on its authority.

With the agreement, Senate Republicans also allowed the five controversial judicial nominees that were sent back President in August to remain under Senate consideration. Thus, President Obama will not have to renominate his controversial judges: Edward M. Chen, District Judge for the Northern District of California; Louis B. Butler, Jr., Western District of Wisconsin; John J. "Jack" McConnell, Jr., to District of Rhode Island; Goodwin Liu, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; and Robert N. Chatigny, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.

Senate Judiciary votes out controversial judicial nominees - PointOfLaw Forum

From today's business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

  • Kathleen M. O'Malley, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit, Ordered Reported By Voice Vote
  • Beryl A. Howell, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, Ordered Reported By Voice Vote
  • Robert L. Wilkins, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, Ordered Reported By Voice Vote
  • Edward M. Chen, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 12-7
  • Louis B. Butler, Jr., to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin, Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 12-7
  • John J. McConnell, Jr., to be United States District Judge for the District of Rhode Island, Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 13-6
  • Goodwin Liu, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 12-7
  • Robert N. Chatigny, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit, Held Over

UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): It's the bottom five on that list, the "fringe five," who are the disputed candidates. News coverage, commentary ...

The five controversial federal judicial candidates President Obama re-nominated on Tuesday were moved without any new hearings -- which would be superfluous, to be sure -- to the Senate Judiciary Committee's schedule for a vote at today's business meeting, but then action was held over until next week. The five are: Edward M. Chen, District Judge for the Northern District of California; Louis B. Butler, Jr., Western District of Wisconsin; John J. "Jack" McConnell, Jr., to District of Rhode Island; Goodwin Liu, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; and Robert N. Chatigny, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.

The Washington Times weighed in on the judges in an editorial, "GOP Senate needed to block bad judges," objecting most vigorously to Chatigny and Chen. The Providence Journal covers the local story, "McConnell renominated to federal judgeship."

President tries again on controversial judicial nominees - PointOfLaw Forum

From the White House, Sept. 13, "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate":

Louis B. Butler, Jr., of Wisconsin, to be United Stated District Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin, vice John C. Shabaz, retired.

Robert Neil Chatigny, of Connecticut, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit, vice Guido Calabresi, retired.

Edward Milton Chen, of California, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, vice Martin J. Jenkins, resigned.

Goodwin Liu, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, vice a new position created by Public Law 110-177, approved January 7, 2008.

John J. McConnell, Jr., of Rhode Island, to be United States District Judge for the District of Rhode Island, vice Ernest C. Torres, retired.

In accordance with Senate rules, the Senate returned the nominations to the President in August when it recessed. Republicans refused to suspend the rules to allow these specific nominations to be carried over.

Earlier posts here.