Yesterday, President Obama nominated Alison J. Nathan for one of the nine open DJ seats in SDNY. Schumer had recommended her back on March 18, but I seemed to have missed that news.* That's the quickest turnaround from recommendation to nomination I have seen. Maybe the White House is finally getting its act together.**
*I know why. I was out of the office on the 21st, a Monday, which would have been the day that it was reported in the Law Journal. I guess I forgot to catch up on the news from that day.
** Or maybe it's because, as mentioned below, this particular nominee had just been working in the White House, making the background check easier to accomplish.
You can look at the White House press release here. It's an impressive background -- Circuit Court and Supreme Court clerkships, white house counsel, big law firm, positions in academia. Her current position is as a special counsel to the New York State Solicitor General. I will say that the legal career is on the short side for a federal judicial nominee (she graduated from law school in 2000). But I don't feel that makes her unqualified in any way. I don't see any specific experience in criminal law in her background, but she could have seen some as a clerk and maybe there was some white-collar or pro bono work when she was at the big law firm. Tough to tell from that how she'll be in habeas cases (except she did clerk for Stevens and in the Ninth Circuit).
Here's the current chart. Note that for the nine open seats in SDNY, there are four pending nominations and one pending recommendee waiting to get nominated three pending recommendees waiting to get nominated.
[UPDATE: Thanks to the comment below, I learned that there are two other pending SDNY recommendees, Katherine B. Forrest and Edgardo Ramos. Offhand, I have no alibi for missing that news]:
- Vincent Briccetti (11/18/10)
- Paul Engelmayer (2/2/11)
- J. Paul Oetken (1/27/11)
- Alison J. Nathan (3/31/11)
- Katherine B. Forrest (recommended - 1/31/11)
- Edgardo Ramos (recommended - 1/31/11)
- MJ Andrew L. Carter (recommended - 2/15/11)
- Mike Green (1/27/11)
- No pending nominations