President Donald Trump on Friday renominated two candidates for federal judicial posts in Georgia after their nominations expired when the 2018 Congress adjourned last month.
The president renominated Elizabeth “Lisa” Branch to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and William Ray II to a judicial post in the Northern District of Georgia. Both nominees are judges on the Georgia Court of Appeals.
In a Jan. 3 story, the Daily Report erroneously reported that three of the president’s other nominations for federal judgeships in Georgia — that of Alston & Bird partner Michael Brown to the federal bench in Atlanta, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self III to the federal bench in Macon, and U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker to the Southern District of Georgia bench — also had expired. They did not. Before adjourning for the year, the Senate unanimously agreed to hold over all three nominations for action in the New Year, a spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, said. The Senate did not agree to hold over the nominations of either Branch, whose confirmation hearing was Dec. 13, or Ray, who shared an Oct. 13 confirmation hearing with Brown.
On Thursday night, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on Brown’s nomination, ending debate in preparation for a final vote of the full Senate. Brown’s nomination was also placed on the Senate calendar and a vote could occur as early as next week, Isakson’s spokeswoman said.
The nominations of Branch and Ray expired because of a Senate rule that calls for the expiration of nominations that are pending when the Senate adjourns for more than 30 days. Without unanimous consent of the full Senate, those nominations are then returned to the president who must nominate each candidate again for new consideration. Congress adjourned Dec. 21.
Trump nominated Branch in September to fill an open slot on the Eleventh Circuit that became vacant when Judge Frank Hull, after two decades on the federal appellate bench, decided to take senior status. The committee did not vote to send Branch’s nomination to the Senate floor for a vote before Congress adjourned for the year.
On Oct. 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a roll call vote that split along party lines, forwarded Ray’s nomination to the Senate floor to await a final confirmation vote that never took place.
Nearly 100 Trump nominations expired at the end of 2017. In addition to the Georgia judicial nominees, Trump’s nomination of Dentons partner Randy Evans as ambassador to Luxembourg also expired.