The Senate Judiciary Committee queued up four more judicial confirmations Thursday, sending an appeals court nominee and three trial court nominees to the full Senate for final approval.
Three of the four nominees attracted bipartisan support.
The panel voted 15-6 to approve Judge Kurt Engelhard’s nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Engelhard is currently a judge on the federal trial court in New Orleans, La. The 5th Circuit is the federal appeals court based in New Orleans, that covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The president has made several other appointments to the court, widely regarded as one of the most conservative in the country. Judges Don Willett and James Ho were confirmed in Dec. 2017, while Kyle Duncan’s confirmation to the 5th Circuit is expected in the coming weeks.
The committee also advanced two trial court nominees. James Sweeney, tapped for the federal trial court in southern Indiana, was unanimously approved, while Barry Ashe, a nominee for a Louisiana trial court, drew just one dissenting vote from Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.