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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Myra C. Selby

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

On January 12, 2016, President Obama nominated Justice Myra C. Selby of Indiana and Donald K. Schott of Wisconsin to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) blocked a hearing on Judge Selby's Circuit Court nomination by refusing to submit the blue slips that are required from each home-state Senator (Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) submitted his). The nomination was returned to the President on January 3, 2017.

Sens. Coats' 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

Sen. Donnelly on Winfield Ong, Myra Selby, and Merrick Garland judicial nominations 
(Democrat - Indiana) 12/28/16 
“I am disappointed that the Senate does not plan to hold any more votes this year,” Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said. “I strongly supported both Winfield Ong and Myra Selby and pushed the Senate majority to allow them to receive fair and timely consideration. Part of our job as senators is to consider judicial nominations, but ultimately the Republican leadership chose not to hold hearings and votes on many nominees for the lower courts in addition to refusing to consider the nomination of Judge Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

Sen. Coats Responds to President’s Nominations for Indiana Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Indiana) 01/12/16 
Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today announced that he will support the nomination of Winfield Denton Ong in order to address the pressing judicial emergency in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana....“The Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency in Indiana’s Southern District, and this important role needs to be filled quickly,” said Coats. “The role demands a sharp legal mind and a thoughtful, fair temperament. After carefully reviewing Winfield Ong’s record and background and meeting with him personally, I believe he is qualified for this position.” ... In addition to nominating Ong, the White House also announced the nomination of Myra Selby for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Coats reiterated his call for the establishment of an Indiana Federal Nominating Commission to make recommendations on this and other judicial vacancies affecting the Hoosier state. Senator Coats originally called for the creation of a judicial selection commission last May. “The citizens of Indiana will be best served by a nomination process that is taken completely out of politics,” said Coats. “We still have time to establish an equitable process for the remainder of this Congress. Myra Selby’s nomination should be considered by an Indiana Federal Nominating Commission.”

Sen. Donnelly Announces President’s Nomination of Myra Selby to Fill Vacancy on U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit
(Democrat - Indiana) 01/12/16 
Senator Joe Donnelly announced that President Obama has nominated Myra C. Selby to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. This seat was formerly held by Judge John Tinder, who retired last year. Donnelly said, “Myra Selby is an outstanding candidate to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She is an accomplished attorney who has distinguished herself in both the private and public sectors. Myra Selby has been a trailblazer, as the first woman and first African-American to serve on the Indiana Supreme Court and the first African-American partner in a major Indianapolis law firm. Throughout her career, she has sought to ensure fairness in our courts and among our legal services providers and related organizations. She would be a strong addition to the Seventh Circuit bench, and I urge the Senate to move quickly to consider her nomination.”

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