Four months ago, Paul Matey was nominated for the Third Circuit’s open seat formerly held by Judge Fuentes. I can’t tell whether he’s still on the path to confirmation, but there are signs that he may not be.
First, Matey still hasn’t had his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yet, and I haven’t seen anything indicating he’s getting one soon. Meanwhile, tomorrow’s SJC hearing will include an Eighth Circuit nominee nominated two months after Matey. And SJC already has held hearings on
three four other circuit nominees submitted after Matey.
Second, he still hasn’t received a rating from the ABA. Here again, four circuit nominees and a slew of district nominees announced after him have gotten their ratings.
Third, Matey just switched jobs. He left his position as in-house counsel at a hospital to join the New Jersey law firm Lowenstein Sandler‘s white-collar group. Eric Strauss reports on ROI-NJ.com:
“Whether serving as a federal prosecutor, aiding Gov. Christie or leading the legal team at University Hospital, I’ve always known Lowenstein Sandler’s unmatched reputation for excellence,” Matey said in a statement. “Working alongside so many of my former colleagues, and a valued friend and exceptional attorney like Chris, made joining the firm an easy choice.”
Matey was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Donald Trump earlier this year, but the confirmation process has not yet begun.
“We are very fortunate to have Paul as our partner,” Porrino added in an emailed statement to ROI-NJ, “and look forward supporting him during his judicial confirmation process.”
Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of all this. I think it’s possible none of this means anything and Matey still will be confirmed without incident.
But I’m starting to wonder.
Update: there’s a bit more information in this August 20 story by Meghan Tribe for NJ Law Journal, noting that Matey was targeted for recruitment to the firm by a fellow alum of Governor Christie’s legal team.