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Biden White House withdraws nominations for two judges

 May 31, 2023

The White House formally recalled the nominations of two judicial candidates as well as  President Joe Biden's selection to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to an announcement on Tuesday.

The decision follows significant challenges to the Senate confirmation of each nominee, as reported by the Hill.

The first withdrawn nomination is Michael Delaney, proposed for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The retraction comes roughly two weeks after Delaney formally withdrew from consideration for the position.

Delaney's confirmation was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because of questions over his handling of a sensitive case, which created uncertainty among Democratic senators.

In a letter to Biden, Delaney said, "At this time, I believe it is appropriate for me to withdraw my name from consideration for this position to advance the important work of the federal judiciary," according to The Associated Press.

Delaney's Controversial Background

Delaney had drawn criticism for his representation of St. Paul's School, a prestigious private high school in New Hampshire.

He defended the institution against a lawsuit filed by a female student who was sexually assaulted on the premises when she was 15. This role in a high-profile sexual assault case left his nomination in limbo, affecting his chances of confirmation.

Delaney's nomination faced a lengthy delay as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), was absent, preventing Democrats from advancing any party-line nominees through the committee.

Even upon Feinstein's return, Delaney still lacked sufficient Democratic votes to move forward.

Jabari Wamble's Journey to Withdrawal

The second withdrawn judicial nomination is that of Jabari Wamble. He requested to be removed from consideration last week, citing an almost two-year delay in the confirmation process.

Wamble was first nominated to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit early in the Biden administration. Still, his nomination never reached a hearing stage and stagnated.

In an effort to jump-start his confirmation process, Biden renominated Wamble in February, this time proposing him for a district judge position in the District of Kansas.

However, this move didn't accelerate the procedure, as Wamble's nomination remained stalled, eventually leading to his request to withdraw from consideration.

Concerns Surrounding Ann Carlson

The third withdrawal came from the traffic administration sector, with the White House announcing on Tuesday that it was pulling back the nomination of Ann Carlson to serve as the NHTSA administrator.

This decision followed a letter signed by all 13 Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee in early May.

The committee's letter expressed significant concerns about Carlson's track record at the agency, indicating apprehension that Carlson, if confirmed, would follow the Environmental Protection Agency's lead and implement stringent fuel economy standards.

They feared that this could force American consumers into purchasing expensive electric vehicles.