Georgia's Republican U.S. senators have cut a deal with state Democrats that, if approved by the White House, would fill six judgeships on Atlanta's federal appeals and district court benches, Georgia lawyers familiar with the nomination process have told the Daily Report.
The package deal would remove roadblocks thrown up by Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson that have held up the confirmation of Atlanta attorney Jill Pryor, a partner at Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, for the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Pryor was nominated in February 2012.
The deal also recommends the elevation to the Eleventh Circuit of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Julie Carnes of the Northern District of Georgia. Carnes was appointed to her current post by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Carnes' move would create a fourth vacancy on the district court in Atlanta, where judges who left in 2009, 2010 and this year have yet to be replaced.
The new bargain includes the nomination of Leigh Martin May, a personal injury and product liability attorney at Butler Wooten & Fryhofer, for the Northern District bench. May was on a 2009 list of potential nominees that was sent to the White House by a committee appointed by members of Georgia's Democratic congressional delegation; May's law partner, James Butler, was a member of that committee. Chambliss and Isakson initially rejected May and others as nominees.
In return for their agreement not to block the nominations of Pryor and May, Chambliss and Isakson would name candidates to the other three district court vacancies. They include Troutman Sanders partner Mark Cohen, whose name the senators put forth first in 2010 for the Northern District bench and in 2011 for the Eleventh Circuit. Their remaining two picks are two state court judges appointed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal—DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor Ross and Judge Michael Boggs of the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Interesting news out of Atlanta regarding negotiations over judgeships for the 11th Circuit and the district seat. From Robin McDonald's article:
Meantime, the JNC has cut the list for district judge in the Middle District. Now it's up to the Senators to pick from these four:
Paul Byron, Bill Jung, Carlos Mendoza, Waddell Wallace