Obama Renominates 54 Judicial Candidates

     (CN) - President Barack Obama renominated 54 judicial candidates on Monday, after Republicans blocked last year's nominees from advancing to the full Senate.
     All but one of the nominees will start the confirmation process back at the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
     "For purely political reasons, Senate Republicans are forcing us to duplicate work ... that we have already completed in 2013," Leahy said in a statement on Dec. 20, following delays that impeded the nominations from proceeding. "It is a waste of taxpayer dollars and valuable resources that could be spent addressing the difficult issues facing our nation."
     U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins' renomination to the D.C. Circuit was the only nomination to be held over during the holiday break, according to media reports. He could get a full confirmation vote as early as this week.
     Of the 55 previous nominees, only one was not renominated: Miami-Dade Judge William Thomas, who was selected for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
     Sen. Mark Rubio (R-Fla.) placed a hold on Thomas called a "blue slip," which allows senators to veto nominations in their home states.
     A spokesperson for Rubio cited concerns about Thomas' "judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences."
     Had he been confirmed, Thomas would have been the first openly gay black man to serve as a federal judge.
     Leahy said he would "continue to honor the blue slip policy as it currently stands," but cautioned Republican lawmakers that he might reconsider if they "abuse this tradition."
     Judges renominated for positions on federal appeals courts are: David Jeremiah Barron (1st Circuit); Gregg Jeffery Costa (5th Circuit); Michelle T. Friedland and John B. Owens (9th Circuit); Carolyn B. McHugh and Nancy L. Moritz (10th Circuit); and Jill A. Pryor, Robin S. Rosenbaum and Julie E. Carnes (11th Circuit).
     For federal district court positions, the candidates are: Rosemary Marquez, Steven Paul Logan, Douglas L. Rayes, John Joseph Tuchi, James Alan Soto and Diane J. Humetewa (Arizona); Pamela L. Reeves and Sheryl H. Lipman (Tennessee); Timothy L. Brooks and James Maxwell Moody Jr. (Arkansas); Jeffrey Alker Meyer (Connecticut); James Donato, Beth Labson Freeman and Vince Girdhari Chhabria (N. California); Cynthia Ann Bashant (S. California); Jennifer Prescod May-Parker (North Carolina); Pedro A. Delgado Hernandez (Puerto Rico); Bruce Howe Hendricks and Alison Renee Lee (South Carolina); Matthew Frederick Leitman, Laurie J. Michelson, Linda Vivienne Parker and Judith Ellen Levy (Michigan); Christopher Reid Cooper and Tanya S. Chutkan (District of Columbia); Daniel D. Crabtree (Kansas); M. Douglas Harpool and Ronnie L. White (Missouri); Gerald Austin McHugh Jr., Edward G. Smith (Pennsylvania); Stanley Allen Bastian (Washington); Jon David Levy (Maine); Manish S. Shah and Nancy J. Rosenstengel (Illinois); Mark G. Mastroianni, Leo T. Sorokin and Indira Talwani (Massachusetts); Theodore David Chuang and George Jarrod Hazel (Maryland); James D. Peterson (Wisconsin); Michael P. Boggs, Leigh Martin May, Eleanor Louise Ross and Mark Howard Cohen (Georgia); M. Hannah Lauck (Virginia); and Gary Blankinship (Texas).