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Know a Nominee: Eric Murphy to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Do you support or oppose Murphy's nomination?

by Countable | 3.3.19

(Updated 3/7/19): The Senate confirmed Eric Murphy to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on a 52-46 party-line vote.


The Senate is expected to consider the nomination of Eric Murphy to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals soon. Here’s what you need to know about the nominee.

Who is he?

  • Eric E. Murphy, 39 (approximate), became the Solicitor General of Ohio under then-Attorney General Mike DeWine in 2013 and has served in the role since. While he’s been in the role, Ohio has joined states in lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
  • Murphy graduated with honors from the University Chicago Law School and served as a law clerk for both Judge Harvie Wilkinson III on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • He then joined the law firm of Jones Day and worked in its Issues and Appeals practice group, arguing cases in federal courts of appeal before becoming solicitor general

What’s the outlook for his confirmation?

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Murphy’s nomination on a party-line 12-10 vote on February 7, 2019, with Republicans voting in favor.
  • One of Murphy’s home state senators, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has refused to signal his support for the nomination by returning a “blue slip”, but the Senate no longer allows the lack of a returned blue slip to block a judicial nomination.
  • Democrats took issue with arguments Murphy made in same-sex marriage and voting access cases during his confirmation hearings, in addition to his membership in the Federalist Society.
  • Murphy received a rating of “qualified” from a substantial majority of the American Bar Association’s review board and a “well qualified” rating from a minority of the panel.

What does it mean for the Sixth Circuit?

  • Murphy’s confirmation would fill a position on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that will become vacant when Judge Alice Batchelder assumes senior status once her successor is confirmed. His duty station would be in Medina, Ohio.
  • The Sixth Circuit has 16 judges ― of whom one was appointed by George H.W. Bush (Batchelder), three by Bill Clinton, six by George W. Bush, two by Barack Obama, and four by Donald Trump.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock / imaginima)

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