Talking Points Memo — For Office Visit with Senator’s Staff

Ryan T. Holte has been nominated for a judgeship on the Federal Court of Claims. This judgeship is a 15-year appointment to a special court that handles claims against the federal government, especially tax refund claims and breach of contract cases.

Trump’s nominations to this court have become a plum assignment for young, unqualified right-wing radicals. The starting salary is $208,000 per year, with generous federal benefits. The majority of Trump’s nominees for this court have been partisan, ideological and/or otherwise unqualified to be judges. Ryan T. Holte fits this profile.

  • Holte, age 34, is currently an associate law professor and counsel to an engineering firm, with less than 3 years of litigation experience done early in his career. The ABA minimum requirement is 12 years of experience for a federal judge.
  • Holte has never tried a case to completion. He was named lead counsel for one case and quit his job before the trial was completed.

This limited experience in litigation alone should disqualify Holte for this judgeship. Although Holte specializes in intellectual property law, and the Court of Claims occasionally hears claims of copyright or patent infringement by the government, Holte’s published work has focused on private sector disputes on patents, not government infringement cases that are done in the Court of Claims.

Holte’s main qualification seems to be his membership in the Federalist Society and the right- wing Teneo Network, whose connections include a hate group and the Koch brothers, well- known donors to ultra-conservative candidates and causes.

Ryan T. Holte should not become a judge as a reward for his partisan ideology. He is unqualified to be a judge on any federal court. We are asking the Senator to vote NO on Holte’s nomination to the Federal Court of Claims.


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