Biden's nominee for Kansas federal judge post asks to withdraw
By Jacqueline Thomsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Jabari Wamble, U.S. President Joe Biden's pick for a federal judgeship in Kansas, asked on Tuesday to have his nomination withdrawn from consideration in the Senate, a letter obtained by Reuters showed.
He became the second Biden judicial nominee to drop out in as many weeks. Michael Delaney, a former New Hampshire attorney general selected by Biden for a spot on the Boston-based 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, last week asked to withdraw amid bipartisan criticism in the Senate.
Wamble, the son-in-law of Democratic U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, wrote in his letter to Biden that he feels that "it is best" to remain in his current position as a federal prosecutor in Kansas. Wamble did not give detailed reasons for his withdrawal.
A source familiar with the withdrawal, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were concerns within the White House that Wamble would receive a "not qualified" rating from the American Bar Association, the lawyers' group that assesses the qualifications of judicial nominees. No Biden nominee has yet received such a rating.
Wamble initially was tapped by the Democratic president last year for a seat on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the nomination expired in the Senate. Biden in February then nominated Wamble instead to serve as a district court judge in Kansas.
The U.S. Constitution gives the Senate the authority to confirm presidential judicial nominations.
Following his withdrawal, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Biden is proud to have nominated Wamble, "who has dedicated his life to serving the people of Kansas."
Politico was the first to report Wamble's withdrawal.
(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen; Editing by Will Dunham and David Bario)