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Thursday, September 3, 2009

While Rumors Fly About Possible Supreme Court Vacancy, Senate Moves Forward With Nominees

With the news that Justice John Paul Stevens has hired only one clerk for the Supreme Court’s 2010-2011 term, many in DC are speculating that this may be his final term on the court. While Justice Stevens’ office has confirmed that he only hired one clerk, they would not comment on the possibility of retirement. Regardless of whether or not we’ll see another Supreme Court vacancy any time soon, the Senate Judiciary Committee is resuming their work to fill vacancies on the federal appeals and district courts. A hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday, September 9th with Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) presiding.

The hearing will consider the nomination of Judge Joseph Greenaway to fill a seat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in addition to district court nominees Roberto Lange for the District of South Dakota, Irene Berger for the District of West Virginia, and Charlene Honeywell for the Middle District of Florida. The hearing will also consider the nomination of Ignacia Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Energy and National Resource Division. Hopefully, the scheduling of this hearing is a promising sign that the president’s nominees will move more quickly through the confirmation process now that Justice Sotomayor has been confirmed.

And speaking of Justice Sotomayor… Wednesday is shaping up to be quite the busy day. Justice Sotomayor will have an early start to her career as a Supreme Court justice when she hears her first oral argument next week during a special session, the reargument of Citizens United v. FEC. The full Supreme Court term will begin as usual, on the first Monday of October, this year on October 5, 2009.

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