Delaney Dead: White House Poised To Pull Controversial Judicial Nomination

Biden circuit court nominee Michael Delaney / Senate Judiciary Committee
May 18, 2023

The White House is expected to pull Michael Delaney’s nomination to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, marking an end to one of the longest confirmation fights of President Joe Biden’s term.

The news, first reported by Politico, comes after Democrats did not vote on his nomination during Thursday’s Judiciary Committee meeting. The failure to vote on Delaney was notable because every Democrat was in attendance, including the long-absent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), which suggested lawmakers did not have the votes to advance his nomination.

Democrats on the committee, according to Politico, were concerned over Delaney’s conduct during a civil case that involved then-15-year-old sexual assault victim Chessy Prout. During that case, in which Delaney represented the prestigious St. Paul’s prep school, Delaney motioned to strip Prout of her anonymity. Prout and her parents, who have spoken out against Delaney’s nomination since January, were in attendance at the Thursday Judiciary Committee hearing.

Biden has only pulled one other judicial nominee since he took office. Delaney’s failure to secure enough Democratic votes is a significant setback for the White House’s goal of confirming more judges than Biden’s predecessor, former president Donald Trump.

Activist groups came out against Delaney’s nomination due to his conduct in the Prout case. In recent weeks, left-wing interest groups have called for the White House to withdraw his nomination because of his work with a free-market think tank.

Earlier this month, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Delaney’s decision to omit his role as attorney general during New Hampshire’s largest Ponzi scheme on a Senate questionnaire. A report issued by his office concluded that Delaney oversaw a systemic "failure to detect and protect against the fraud inflicted on its citizens."