Indy DC Download: UNLV Professor, Federal Judicial Confirmed State Court Judge

ByLance T. Lee

Mar 26, 2022

Hello and welcome to the Indy DC Download newsletter, a weekly overview of what’s happening in the nation’s capital as it relates to Nevada.

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The Senate confirmed Clark County District Court Judge Cristina Silva and UNLV law professor Anne Traum to join the U.S. District Court in Nevada.

The judiciary loomed large in the Senate this week as the vote on Nevada justices came as the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to join the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first black woman to serve in the field. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) plan to meet with Jackson in the coming weeks.

The Senate also held procedural votes on legislation that would boost domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, the computer chips used in everything from smartphones to cars that have been in short supply. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to complete work on the legislation next week, which will lead the House to request a conference committee. This panel will be made up of members of the House and Senate and will reconcile the differences between the respective House and Senate versions of the bill.

The Senate initially passed its version in June. The US Competition and Innovation Act (USICA) would provide about $200 billion over five years for technology research to better position the nation against China. The House approved his version last month. The America COMPETES Act includes $52 billion to encourage domestic semiconductor manufacturing and $45 billion to improve the country’s supply chains.

The House was not in session this week.

Silva and Traum

The Senate on Thursday voted 50 to 46 to confirm Silva and 49 to 47 to confirm Traum. With all Democrats in attendance, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also voted for both nominations. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) voted for Silva.

A day before the vote, Cortez Masto spoke on the Senate floor in favor of their confirmation.

“Both of these candidates have received support from many members of Nevada’s legal community, including former Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, himself a former federal judge,” Cortez Masto said. “They have demonstrated their commitment to justice, the law and their community. They represent the best of Nevada.

Governor Steve Sisolak tapped Silva in March 2019 to serve on Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, where she heard criminal and civil cases. Between 2011 and 2019, she worked for the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada, where she helped prosecute a wide range of violent, drug and financial crime cases.

Silva received his law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2007 and his Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College in 2001.

Traum has taught at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law since 2008. Prior to that, she was a federal public defense assistant in Nevada, and she also spent two years, from 2000 to 2002, with the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada.

She also previously worked for the Department of Justice (DOJ), as an attorney in the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Professor UNLV received her law degree from University of California Hastings College of Law in 1996 and her AB from Brown University in 1991.

Traum will fill the seat in Reno vacated by Judge Robert C. Jones, who took senior status, a form of semi-retirement for judges, in 2016. Silva takes the place of Judge James C. Mahan in the court. following his move to senior status in 2018. Silva will be based in Las Vegas.

Following their confirmation, Rosen said in a statement that their appointment would help ease the pressure on shorthanded courts.

“These two seats have been open for years, which has caused enormous pressure on the federal district court in Nevada,” Rosen said. “Having these judges in place will benefit Nevadans pursuing their claims in court.”


Cortez Masto and Rosen monitored hearings this week on Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination, according to statements provided by their offices.

Cortez Masto, who served as the state attorney general before joining the Senate, will meet with Jackson next week.

“I was impressed with Judge Jackson during her confirmation hearing,” Cortez Masto said. “I will continue to review Judge Jackson’s case in detail prior to our meeting next week.”

Rosen said she also plans to meet Jackson.

“I have been able to watch portions of Judge Jackson’s historic nomination hearings and have always been impressed by her thoughtful responses demonstrating her vast legal knowledge, impartial judicial character and sound judgment,” Rosen said. “She is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and I look forward to meeting her in my office in the coming weeks.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Jackson’s nomination on April 4. Jackson will be on the panel’s agenda Monday when it meets, but, under committee rules, any senator can request that a nominating vote be delayed for a week for further deliberation. There has always been such demand with former Supreme Court nominees.

Jackson will likely need all 50 Democrats to ensure she is confirmed. We don’t know if any Republicans will support her. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Thursday that he would oppose Jackson. McConnell raised concerns that she might be an activist judge and was upset that she did not answer questions about the ‘trouble of the court’, which involves adding more seats to the High Court, what militant groups stood for.

She took an elevator on Friday when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would vote for her. Manchin, a moderate, has not always agreed with the White House on legislation and appointments. More recently, he derailed the appointment of Sarah Bloom Raskin to join the Federal Reserve, fearing it could harm the energy sector through overzealous banking regulation.


Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) signed a letter On Thursday, other members of the delegation were sent to President Joe Biden asking him to use the authority under the Defense Production Act to help expedite the production of microelectronics in the interests of security. national.

According to the letter, there is a shortage of microelectronics – including transistors, capacitors, inductors and resistors, typically used in semiconductors – available to manufacturers, including defense manufacturers, who use fabrication. to “computer numerical control (CNC)”. CNC is a means of automating the control of machine tools using software embedded in a microcomputer attached to the tool.

“While the impact of the chip shortage on the U.S. automotive and consumer electronics markets has been well documented and addressed by your administration, more attention should be paid to the impact on people and manufacturers who manufacture end-use products, such as weapon systems, required by our military services,” the letter states. “This workforce is heavily represented in our states and congressional districts, in all the countries.”

Rosen, Cortez Masto, Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) all signed the letter.

“(We) urge your administration to take a much more urgent and aggressive approach to resolving the CNC industry crisis caused by the lack of microelectronics supplied to US manufacturers,” the letter continues. “One such critical manufacturer is Haas Automation, which employs 1,600 people at its plant in Oxnard, California, and is currently building an even larger, 2.5 million square foot state-of-the-art facility in Henderson, Nevada. “

For a full look at the measures delegates supported or opposed this week, see The Nevada IndependentCongressional vote tracking and other information below.

SEN. Catherine Cortez Masto

Legislation sponsored:

S.3901 – Transportation Reduction in Person Trafficking Act


S.3898 – A bill to impose sanctions regarding the use of cryptocurrency to facilitate transactions by Russian persons subject to sanctions, and for other purposes.

SEN. Jacky Rosen

Legislation sponsored:

S.3904 – A bill to strengthen cybersecurity in the health and public health sector.


Co-sponsored legislation:

HR 7211 – To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, revise a Federal Emergency Management Agency Final Rule, and for other purposes.

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