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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Lisabeth Hughes

Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Returned to President January 3, 2017

President Obama nominated Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Tabor Hughes to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on March 17, 2016.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked a hearing on Justice Hughes' Circuit Court nomination by refusing to submit the blue slips that are required from each home-state Senator, and the nomination was returned to the President.

Sen. McConnell: No Supreme Court Justice or [6th Circuit] appeals judge
(Republican - Kentucky) 03/22/16 
McConnell also said that he would not allow Obama’s nomination of Lisabeth Tabor Hughes to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to move forward. “I’ve had a back and forth with the administration for a year and a half or two over that particular seat on the 6th Circuit and I’m not going to support the person they’ve sent up,” he said. “I offered some other suggestions that they rejected so I think we’re at a stalemate there.” “Normally there is a consulting process, because you know, under the Constitution he nominates and we confirm and so the senate has a role in judicial appointments,” McConnell said.

KY Sens. no comment on Kentucky Supreme Court justice in line for Court of Appeals job
(Republican - Kentucky) 03/10/14 
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson of Louisville is being vetted by the FBI for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals’ 6th Circuit. Abramson, who has been on state high court since 2007, would be “a terrific appointment,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, said Monday. ... U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both had no comment, their spokesmen said. Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise Clayton said she knew about the potential appointment but couldn’t elaborate. She said she wasn’t surprised because Abramson is “incredibly capable.”

Sens. McConnell and Paul's position was in stark contrast to many fellow Republican Senators who worked with the Obama White House and filled all court vacancies in their states and those who continued to do so throughout 2016:

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (Sept. 13, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 09/13/16 
Including all 16 Republican senators with nominees on the Senate Floor. Excerpts and links to Senator statements by state

These Republican Senators Want Their Judicial Nominees Confirmed. Majority Leader McConnell Isn’t Listening. (Medium, 08/04/16)
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

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