On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the nomination of Judge Bernice Bouie Donald to fill the vacancy created on the Sixth Circuit when Judge Ronald Lee Gilman took senior status. Judge Donald currently sits as a district court judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, to which she was appointed in 1995 by President Clinton. More information on Judge Donald was reported previously here and here.
The hearing lasted a remarkably short 20 minutes, with Senator Chuck Schumer the only Senator to question Judge Donald. As reported in the Memphis Commercial Appeal (PDF), Judge Donald answered questions relating to her “experience on the bench, whether her race influences her decisions, and her ruling in a local schools case that was later overturned by the appeals court on which she soon may sit.” A webcast of Judge Donald’s complete confirmation hearing is available here.
The Committee usually votes on judicial nominations a few days or weeks after the nominee’s hearing at which point approved nominations will be sent to the full Senate for approval.