Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing for Judge Kathleen O’Malley

The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing for Federal Circuit nominee Kathleen O’Malley took place this afternoon. The link to the recording of the proceeding is available here: [Link to Webcast]. Judge O’Malley is introduced by Senator Brown at about 23:10 into the recording. The questioning begins at about 35:19 into the recording.

A large contingent of friends and family of Judge O’Malley attended the hearing, including seven of her former law clerks.

Judge O’Malley fielded questions from several members of the committee. In particular, Senator Sessions noted that as a US district court judge, Judge O’Malley had been reversed twice in regard to some death penalty cases. He inquired whether she would be willing to apply the death penalty if confirmed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit . . . .

Unless Congress significantly revises the penalty for false patent marking, I’m skeptical that Judge O’Malley or any judge sitting on the Federal Circuit will see any death penalty cases in the near future. To give Senator Sessions the benefit of the doubt, I suppose one might encounter such a case while sitting by designation as either a district court judge (as Judge Rader has done recently) or on a panel for another circuit (as Judge Lourie has done recently).

After Senator Sessions completed his questioning, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota questioned Judge O’Malley. His questioning focused on the issue of network neutrality.

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