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Michelle T. Friedland

Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Confirmed April 28, 2014


By an April 28, 2014, 51-40 vote, the Senate belatedly confirmed Michelle T. Frideland to fill the final vacancy on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, after an April 10, 2014 cloture vote of 56-41 ended a filibuster.

On August 3, 2013, President Obama nominated Michelle T. Friedland and John B. Owens to Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seats.

The Senate Judiciary sent her nomination to the Floor with bi-partisan support on a January 16, 2014 vote (14 Yes, 3 No and 1 Not Voting or Pass).

In November 2010, Ninth Circuit Judges wrote the Senate that “we would be greatly assisted if our judicial vacancies--some of which have been open for several years and declared “judicial emergencies”--were to be filled promptly.” Friedland and Owens would fill two of the dozens of vacancies nationwide that the U.S. Courts have officially declared “judicial emergencies.”

A broad range of corporate lawyers, law firm partners, legal scholars and other individuals wrote to the Senate supporting Friedland’s nomination. To cite just a few examples:

  • Leading conservative scholar Eugene Volokh letter in “strong support” calls her “a brilliant and extremely accomplished lawyer who will make a superb judge.”
  • The general counsels of major businesses in a variety of industries wrote that: “All parties appearing before her, from individual litigants to small businesses to the nation’s largest corporations, would be confident that she will adjudge their cases fairly and in accordance with the law.”
  • A  letter of strong support was signed by 27 of her former Supreme Court co-clerks, including many for Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy.
  • Politically conservative partners at her law firm – all self-described Republicans and  members or supporters of the Federalist Society – wrote that “all of us believe that Michelle would be an impartial and fair-minded Judge, who would approach cases with an open mind and who would faithfully apply binding precedent.  Michelle is a nominee of President Obama’s that we, as Republicans, would be happy to see confirmed to the federal judiciary.”

In a unique expression of support, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor attended the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the nomination of Friedland, her former clerk.

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