Saturday, July 19, 2014

Carnes Moves a Step Toward Confirmation to Eleventh Circuit

R. Robin McDonald
Daily Report, July 17, 2014

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to close debate on the nomination of U.S. District Chief Judge Julie Carnes for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The 68-23 cloture vote means that Carnes' nomination will proceed to a confirmation vote by the full Senate. Carnes' confirmation vote is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to Senate Democrats.

Carnes' nomination and that of five other nominees to the federal bench in Georgia were placed on the Senate's executive calendar on Monday, signaling that the nominations are ready for consideration by the full body.

The other nominees include Jill Pryor, a partner at Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, who was first nominated to the Eleventh Circuit in February 2012 and then renominated in 2013 over the opposition of Georgia's two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. The senators blocked Pryor's nomination until they reached a deal last fall with the White House that led to Carnes' nomination and allowed them to pick three candidates for what are now five open district court posts.

On June 19, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the nominations of Pryor and Carnes to the Senate floor. That same day, the committee also approved the nominations of Troutman Sanders attorney Mark Cohen, DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Ross, and attorney Leigh Martin May of the firm now known as Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak for posts on the Northern District of Georgia. The panel also approved the nomination of assistant U.S. attorney Leslie Abrams for a slot on the Middle District of Georgia in Albany.

The judiciary committee did not vote on the nomination of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs for the fourth open slot on the Northern District bench. Boggs' nomination became a matter of national controversy because of his conservative voting record on abortion and same-sex marriage while a Georgia legislator and his decision to allow his campaign to donate funds to a Georgia non-profit organization that has endorsed conservative Republican candidates and viewpoints.

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