Trump-picked 9th Circuit judge clears last hurdle to confirmation, with more nominees in pipeline

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By a 77-20 vote, the Senate invoked cloture to end debate on Trump’s nomination of Arizona-based Magistrate Judge Bridget Bade, a former clerk to conservative 5th Circuit Judge Edith Jones. Bade is slated to replace Bill Clinton-nominated Judge Barry Silverman, who has been on senior status since late 2016 — effectively judicial semi-retirement.

Bade was one of 51 judicial nominees the White House renominated earlier this year after the Senate failed to take action on them during the previous congressional session. Still waiting in the wings were Trump’s other conservative 9th Circuit nominees: Daniel P. Collins, a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia; Daniel A. Bress, also a former Scalia clerk; and former George W. Bush administration official Kenneth Lee. All are currently in private practice.

Monday’s vote all but assures Bade’s confirmation this week after she was cleared out of the Judiciary Committee by a 17-5 bipartisan vote in February. Democrat Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons joined Republicans to support Bade in the committee, while Democrat presidential contenders Amy Klobuchar, Corey Booker, and Kamala Harris sided with Richard Blumenthal and Mazie Hirono to reject Bade.

Bade attracted little fanfare even among traditionally vocal progressive groups during her confirmation hearings last October, with the left-wing Alliance for Justice warning only that the Senate should “carefully review” her record and noting that it was unusual for a federal magistrate judge, as opposed to a full district court judge, to be appointed directly to the appellate bench.

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