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Biden’s Appellate Judge Pick, Memphis Lawyer Andre Mathis, Confirmed By U.S. Senate

Biden’s Appellate Judge Pick, Memphis Lawyer Andre Mathis, Confirmed By U.S. Senate

He was the longest-standing Circuit Court nominee ever!

President Joe Biden’s appellate judge pick, Memphis lawyer Andre Mathis, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Reuters reports.

Andre Mathis, 41, is an attorney with Butler Snow Law Firm; he works with the firm's Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment group, and his expertise is representing business and government agencies in issues of contract disputes; employment litigation; internal investigations; education law; transportation litigation; premises liability and financial services litigation. 

Andre Mathis Sixth Circuit

Last November, President Joe Biden nominated Mathis to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; the Tennessee lawyer was set to take the seat vacated by Judge Bernice Bouie Donald. However, during a January 12th appearance, Mathis received intense criticism and refused to secure the support of his fellow home-state senators. In February, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn, also of Tennessee, argued Mathis’ qualifications and argued that the White House didn’t “meaningfully consult” with her or fellow Tennessee Senator, Bill Hagerty, before choosing a candidate. Blackburn also brought up a series of traffic tickets as proof of Mathis’ under qualifications during the January 12th appearance: “He had a rap sheet with a laundry list of citations,” Blackburn claimed.

The Senator was slammed for the comments, and NAACP President Derrick Johnson called it “outrageous and offensive.” 

While Mathis eventually received a favorable nomination from the committee that same month in a 12-10 vote, he has been waiting for a full Senate confirmation ever since, reports Bloomberg Law 

Less than a week ago, the U.S. Senate confirmed Mathis to a seat on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, voting 48-47. After nearly 10 months of waiting, he officially became the longest-standing Circuit Court nominee ever. Mathis is also the first Black man from Tennessee appointed to the appellate court in 25 years. 

 Butler Snow Congratulates Andre Mathis

This is the second confirmation vote of the week after the Senate recess in August. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke about the committee's efforts to ramp up confirmations saying, “Moving forward, it will be one of our top priorities to confirm as many judges as possible,” in an effort to weed out former President Donald Trump's appointees who Schumer called “MAGA-type judges.” 

Mathis is also the first of Biden’s appellate court nominees to receive confirmation without the support of his home state senators. Before, those from the home state would have had to send in a “blue slip” for him to even be considered, a practice Trump discontinued during his administration. Now, Democrats are taking advantage of the new rule, allowing Mathis to be nominated without the backing of the Tennessee senators. During confirmation, Mathis received just one Republican vote: Louisiana Senator John Kennedy. Kennedy has been vocal about his views on the blue slip process, saying that to try to enact it again “would be perceived unfair to this administration.” 

According to the Alliance for Justice, Mathis has extensive experience in both criminal and civil matters. A South Memphis native, he earned his J.D. from the University of Memphis School of Law where he served on their law review. He got his start at Memphis firm Glankler Brown after graduation, working his way up to Associate and then Member in 2016. In 2020, he joined Butler Snow as a partner. His expertise is civil litigation, and he has worked in a number of arenas from civil rights violation cases to school district cases, and sexual harassment claims. 

Mathis has also participated in pro bono work, lending his expertise to the Tennessee Innocence Project. He has received several accolades for his work, including being selected for the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court for Western District of Tennessee; serving on the Disciplinary Hearing Committee of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility; being appointed as a member of the Shelby County Ethics Commission; serving as Vice President and President of the National Bar Association’s Ben F. Jones Chapter. 

Congratulations Judge Mathis! Because of you, we can!

President Biden’s appellate judge pick Andre Mathis confirmed by U.S. Senate. Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters