The five nominees were confirmed without opposition or debate. For the circuit, they are Mary Murguia, a district judge in Arizona, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; University of Utah law professor Scott Matheson Jr. for the 10th Circuit; and Kathleen O’Malley, a district judge in Ohio, for the Federal Circuit.
For U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Senate confirmed Beryl Howell, who is a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and former staff member of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Venable partner Robert Wilkins (pictured above).
The confirmations bring to 19 the number of nominees approved in the past week. The Associated Press reported Monday that Senate leaders had reached a deal to confirm “at least 19” of Obama’s judicial nominees before leaving for the year, though senators have not made any agreement public.
There are 19 other nominees awaiting confirmation votes. It is all but certain that the most contentious of them, including Goodwin Liu for the 9th Circuit, will not receive votes this year, unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tries to force votes.
National Law Journal photo by Diego M. Radzinschi.