Four Judicial Nominees Advance With Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON (CN) — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees on Thursday, including picks for courts in Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama.

Each of the nominees received bipartisan support, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham holding over some of the more controversial picks the committee was set to consider, like Stephen Schwartz, who is up for a position on the Court of Federal Claims.

In all, three of the nominees would serve on federal district courts, while the fourth — Edward Meyers — would sit on the Court of Federal Claims if confirmed by the full Senate.

John Badalamenti would sit on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida if confirmed and has served on the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida since 2015. Before that, Badalamenti worked as an assistant public defender in the Tampa office of the Federal Public Defender.

A member of the conservative Federalist Society, Badalamenti told the Senate Judiciary Committee that his time working as a public defender will help him handle his criminal docket if he is confirmed to the federal bench.

In explaining her support of Badalamenti, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, cited his work as a public defender, a somewhat uncommon background in a field dominated by corporate attorneys and federal prosecutors.

“I believe he’ll bring a unique and valuable perspective to the bench, and I’ll be supporting his nomination as well,” Feinstein said.

The committee advanced his nomination with a 15-6 vote.

Also clearing the committee was John Heil, who would take a seat shared between the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma. Heil has spent the last two decades at the Tulsa firm Hall, Estill Hardwick, Gable, Golden and Nelson. Rated well-qualified by the American Bar Association, Heil’s practice focuses on representing companies in commercial litigation.

He also spent time as a state prosecutor in Tulsa from 1997 to 2000. The committee approved his nomination 16-5.

With a 15-6 vote, the committee also sent the nomination of Anna Manasco to the full Senate. Up for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Manasco has been a partner at the Birmingham firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings since 2009.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Manasco clerked for Judge William Pryor, Jr. on the 11th Circuit before taking her current position. At her firm, Manasco focuses on complex commercial litigation, specifically on trial strategy and appeals.

The final judge the committee approved Thursday was Meyers, who would serve on the Court of Federal Claims if confirmed.

Another member of the Federalist Society, Meyers works as a partner at the Washington, D.C., firm Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner, having come to the firm from Kirkland & Ellis.

A focus of his current practice is government contracts litigation, an area of law that falls directly in the Court of Federal Claims’ limited jurisdiction.

All of the nominees will now go to the full Senate, where they will await confirmation votes. Their approval in the committee signals the likelihood that they will be confirmed by the Republican-controlled chamber.

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