Senate Judiciary Committee Adds To Growing Queue Of Judicial Nominees Awaiting Confirmation

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 09, 2022 – This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced five more judicial nominees to the full Senate for consideration. This brings the total number of judicial nominees awaiting a full Senate vote to 18 — six circuit court nominees and 11 district court nominees — several of whom will also require discharge petitions before their final confirmation votes.

Today’s nominees advancing included Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr., nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who has already served for eight years on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. He brings experience in criminal defense and has demonstrated a commitment to equal justice under the law as a judge, with rulings defending civil rights, workers’ rights, consumers’ rights, access to health care, and the environment. Judge Mendoza was the first Latino judge to serve in his current district and would be Washington’s first Latino judge to serve on the Ninth Circuit.

Another nominee who advanced this morning was Judge John Z. Lee, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who similarly brings a decade of experience serving on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He would be the first Asian-American judge to ever serve on the Seventh Circuit.

The committee also advanced three district court nominees, including Nancy Maldonado, who spent her career protecting the rights of workers:

  • Stephen Henley Locher (Southern District of Iowa)
  • Nancy L. Maldonado (Northern District of Illinois)
  • Gregory B. Williams (District of Delaware)

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for continuing to advance President Biden’s incredibly qualified and diverse judicial nominees, even as the senators work to respond to the deadly impacts of white supremacy and gun violence. Judge Mendoza is yet another excellent nominee due to his long and demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law. He will add important representation to his circuit court. And Ms. Maldonado’s long career dedicated to fighting for the rights of workers will bring extremely important professional diversity to the Northern District of Illinois.

“Even acknowledging the historic progress and the committee’s dedication, we are falling behind in our goal of filling every judicial vacancy by the end of this year. There are still more than 100 vacancies on our courts, and new ones continue to open as judges announce their retirement or take senior status. We are also still eager to greater representation, especially in Latinx judges on the federal bench. We need the Senate to continue to prioritize moving these nominees across the finish line to clean out the backlog. Mitch McConnell and Republican senators are chomping at the bit to obstruct future nominations, and the fewer left for them to try to block, the better.”