President Barack Obama recently nominated Myra Selby for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The nominee is a highly accomplished lawyer who has compiled a distinguished record in both the public and private sectors. For example, Selby was the first African American to earn partnership in a substantial Indianapolis law firm, and both the first African American and the first female Justice to serve on the Indiana Supreme Court. Therefore, concerted White House attempts to confirm her were unsurprising. Nonetheless, with 2016 being a presidential election year, delays have inevitably infused appointments, which have only been exacerbated by the conundrum of replacing Justice Antonin Scalia. Because Myra Selby is an excellent consensus nominee and the Seventh Circuit must have its entire judicial complement to promptly, inexpensively, and equitably address a substantial and complex docket, her appointment process merits scrutiny—which this piece undertakes. This Article canvasses Selby’s dynamic professional record, the federal judicial selection process under President Obama, and the Seventh Circuit. It ascertains that Selby is an exceptionally competent, mainstream prospect and that the appellate court requires all of its members to deliver justice. However, Republican senators did not collaborate, particularly after they had captured a Senate majority—a circumstance that this presidential election year aggravates. The last section, therefore, proffers recommendations for Selby’s prompt Senate consideration and confirmation.
Carl Tobias, Confirm Myra Selby for the Seventh Circuit, 92 Ind. L.J. Supp. 27 (2016).