Welcome to the Monday, September 20, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- There are 414 days until the 2022 November general election…
- Sonoma County District Attorney retains office after voters defeat recall effort
- U.S. Senate confirms two federal judicial nominees
There are 414 days until the 2022 November general election…
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Sonoma County District Attorney retains office after voters defeat recall effort
You likely already know about the California gubernatorial recall election from last Tuesday. But, here’s one you may not have read about. A recall election seeking to remove Jill Ravitch from her position as the district attorney of Sonoma County, California, failed in an election held on Sept. 14. A majority of voters—79.9%—cast ballots against the recall, defeating the effort and keeping Ravitch in office.
The recall effort began in October 2020. Recall supporters said Ravitch had ignored issues of inequality, injustice, and fire safety; failed to hold corporations accountable for environmental issues; prevented the release of police body camera recordings; disproportionately incarcerated minorities; and abused her powers to pursue personal vendettas.
In response to the recall effort, Ravitch defended her record and said, “I’m so proud of the work the District Attorney’s Office does, and it’s such an honor to lead a dedicated group of professionals who work hard every day to ensure justice. […] These allegations strike not just at me but the work my office does, and that’s unfortunate.” The Sonoma County Democratic Party published a statement on Mar. 9 saying it was opposed to the recall effort.
Ravitch took office as district attorney in 2011. Prior to the filing of the notice of intent to recall, Ravitch had announced that she would not seek re-election when her term ends in 2022.
To get the recall on the ballot, recall supporters had to submit 30,056 signatures in 160 days. The county verified 32,128 signatures, which was sufficient to schedule a recall election.
In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
U.S. Senate confirms two federal judicial nominees
The U.S. Senate confirmed two of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to Article III courts on Sept. 14. To date, 11 of Biden’s appointees have been confirmed.
- David Estudillo, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, by a vote of 54-41.
- Angel Kelley, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, by a 52-44 vote.
Estudillo was nominated to the Western District of Washington on Apr. 29 to replace Judge Ronald Leighton, who assumed senior status on Feb. 28, 2019. Kelley was nominated to the District of Massachusetts on May 12 to replace Judge Douglas Woodlock, who assumed senior status on June 1, 2015.
The confirmed nominees will join their respective courts upon receiving their judicial commissions and taking their judicial oaths.
The following map shows the percentage of federal district court vacancies in each state as of Sept. 1.