Update: On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send Oldham’s nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. Republicans on the committee also voted to advance two other district court nominees, Michael Truncale and Wendy Vitter. Democrats on the committee opposed all three nominations. After the vote, far left groups criticized Oldham’s nomination, noting his leadership on the repeal of DACA and opposition to gun control, amongst other issues.

Original: On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to consider President Trump’s nomination of Andy Oldham to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Grassroots groups praised Oldham’s nomination when it was announced earlier this year.

Oldham currently serves as general counsel to Gov. Greg Abbott, where he replaced Jimmy Blacklock in January after Abbott appointed Blacklock to the Texas Supreme Court. Prior to his service in the governor’s office, Oldham worked as Texas’ Deputy Solicitor General, where he represented the Lone Star State in federal courts across the nation, including the US Supreme Court.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Oldham clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito before entering private practice and public service.

Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have both praised President Trump’s decision to nominate Oldham.

“I was very pleased to recommend to the President that he nominate Andy Oldham to this vacancy on the Fifth Circuit,” Cruz said. “Andy is a dedicated public servant who has spent a career defending Texas and the Constitution. His expertise and commitment to the rule of law will make him a strong addition to the bench, and I look forward to his speedy confirmation in the Senate.”

“Andy’s distinguished record of public service at the state and federal level makes him eminently qualified to serve on the 5th Circuit,” said Cornyn. “I look forward to working with Senator Cruz and the rest of my colleagues to swiftly confirm him.”

Senate Democrats, on the other hand, have strongly opposed Oldham’s nomination.

Once confirmed, Oldham will join former Texas Solicitor General James Ho and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, who were appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate earlier this year.

The Fifth Circuit meets in New Orleans, is composed of 17 active judges and 10 senior judges. It hears appeals from federal district courts in the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.