Despite some GOP concerns about her litigation experience, Yale University lawyer Susan Carney got the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee today in her nomination for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
The committee voted 16-2 in favor of her nomination, sending it to the full Senate.
Carney is deputy general counsel at Yale, where she’s been since 1998. She’s a former associate general counsel at the Peace Corps in Washington, and she spent about 11 years working for a series of law firms in Washington, including labor-focused Bredhoff & Kaiser.
At her confirmation hearing in September, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) questioned Carney’s lack of courtroom experience. She’s never argued in a federal appellate court. “If you want to be a judge, you normally would like to see one in action,” Sessions said.
Carney said then that she’s worked on about 15 appellate briefs. At Yale, much of her focus has been supervising outside counsel, according to her answers to a Senate questionnaire. At Bredhoff & Kaiser, she helped to represent the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, working alongside Virginia Seitz, who is now a nominee for the U.S. Justice Department.
Sessions was one of two senators to oppose Carney in committee. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was the other. If confirmed, Carney would be the fourth Obama appointee on the New York-based 2nd Circuit.