Mike Liburdi will have his hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning. Liburdi was nominated last month by Presdient Donald Trump to fill one of the two judicial vacancies on Arizona’s U.S. District Court bench.
Liburdi was Governor Doug Ducey’s General Counsel between 2015-2018. He applied for the lifetime appointment in August of last year by going directly to the Department of Justice. In 2016-17, he had not been considered by a judicial selection committee that had been set up by Arizona’s two Senators.
Typically, the Senators recommend individuals to the Administration for such nominations in their home states – particularly when the Senators and the President are of the same party. For example, the other pending judicial nomination from Arizona was vetted and recommended by McCain and Flake in early 2017.
Hon. Bridget Bade’s nomination for a position on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on a remarkably bipartisan vote of 17-5. Her nomination is now ready to be voted on by the entire Senate.
The differing pathways for the Bade and Liburdi nominations was set forth in their written submissions to the Committee, and lays bare some of the tension that existed between Trump, McCain and Flake.
Bade is an uncontroversial pick both because of her judicial experience as a U.S. Magistrate Judge and her lack of political involvement. Liburdi will be more controversial because of his political experience, including his role as the Chairman of Arizona’s Right To Life PAC.
His hearing is scheduled to begin at 8am, Arizona Time, and he is on the second panel of nominees. The proceedings can be viewed here.