Biden appeals court nominee Delaney expected to be withdrawn

By Jacqueline Thomsen

(Reuters) – The nomination of former New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney to a U.S. federal appeals court is expected to be withdrawn amid opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

Delaney would be the first of U.S. President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees to fail due to lack of Democratic support.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Delaney’s nomination had been on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for a month, including for Thursday, but was never called to a vote due to inadequate support, the source said.

Some Democrats had raised concerns about a legal brief Delaney signed defending a New Hampshire law, since repealed, that required parents to be notified before their minor child has an abortion.

Delaney said in response to written questions from the committee that he had “extremely limited involvement” in the case, which was litigated while he was the state’s deputy attorney general.

Abortion has been a top priority for Democrats considering judicial nominees after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last June that overturned the national right to abortion and returned regulation of the issue to the states.

Delaney also faced questions over his representation of a New Hampshire boarding school that was sued in connection with a sexual assault between students.

Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn said at Thursday’s Senate committee meeting that she believes Delaney is “unfit for public service,” citing his work for the school.

Senator Lindsey Graham, the judiciary panel’s top Republican, also urged the Biden administration to withdraw Delaney’s nomination.

The vast majority of the White House’s court picks have seen unanimous Democratic support. Senator Joe Manchin on Wednesday became the first Democrat to vote against one of Biden’s judicial nominees, opposing the nomination of Nancy Abudu for the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

A confirmation vote for Abudu is expected to be held later Thursday.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen; Editing by David Bario and Marguerita Choy)

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