Leahy Urges Confirmation of Google Books Judge
By Aruna Viswanatha | March 2, 2022 3:38 pm

Although Sen. Patrick Leahy urged his colleagues Tuesday to vote on 13 pending judicial nominations, including that of 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Denny Chin, not everyone is as eager to see New York judge move to the appellate court right away.

Chin, who was nominated last October and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in December, is overseeing Google’s proposed settlement to digitize millions of books. Google entered into a class-action settlement with a number of authors and publishers in 2008.

After a marathon hearing on the settlement last month during which competitors, public interest groups, other authors and the Justice Department aired their grievances, Chin is faced with the task of issuing a ruling in the long-running case.

The settlement stems from a pair of 2005 lawsuits against the Internet search giant. About 500 objections to the settlement have been filed — largely from critics who argue it violates copyright law and gives Google an unfair advantage in the e-book market.

Observers expect Chin to suggest changes the parties might make in order to get the settlement approved, as courts do not often reject negotiated settlements between private parties outright.

But if such a ruling further prolongs the process, and Chin is confirmed to the 2nd Circuit, it’s unclear if the matter might be moved to a different judge.

Chin was included in Sen. Leahy’s list of 14 nominations that were still waiting for a floor vote. Eight of them, including Chin, are not considered controversial.

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