In Post-Election Thaw, Senate Confirms Four Judges

The U.S. Senate this week confirmed four federal judges whose nominations had been held up in the months before the election.

“The freeze on federal judicial nominations appears to be thawing for the first time since the presidential election, at least when it comes to district court nominees,” according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. “The bigger question among nomination watchers now is when will the Senate consider nominees to appellate courts, and if it will be during the lame duck session.”

Approved this week were Mark Walker to the Northern District of Florida, Terrence Berg to the Eastern District of Michigan, Paul Grimm to the District of Maryland, and Michael Shea to the District of Connecticut.

Meanwhile a nominee to a local Washington, D.C., court will likely benefit from the resignation of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who is leaving to lead the Heritage Foundation, according to another story by The BLT. DeMint had been blocking the judicial nomination of Donna Murphy to the District of Columbia superior court. Murphy is a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

It’s unclear if DeMint had specific reasons for blocking the nomination or if it was part of his pledge to reject all White House nominees to protest President Obama’s recess appointments, the story says.

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