Trump Nominates Judge Prado as Ambassador, Opening Court Seat

By George Khoury, Esq. on January 26, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Judge Edward Prado of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was recently nominated by President Trump to serve as the ambassador to Argentina. And while the official ambassador position has been vacant for nearly a year, if Prado is confirmed (which is highly anticipated), it will create a new vacancy on the Fifth Circuit.

Recently, Trump was able to fill two open seats on that bench with the appointments of Justices James Ho and Don Willett. And by making an appointment from that bench, he might just get the chance to put another jurist there.

Diplomat Way Down South

Unlike some of the president's recent court appointments, there is little doubt that Prado is qualified for the position of ambassador. In addition to three decades on the federal appellate bench in Texas as a Reagan appointee, he also served as state court judge, a U.S. Attorney, a federal public defender, an assistant district attorney, and even served 15 years in the Army Reserves. All that experience is sure to have taught the soon to be diplomat some diplomacy. And if that all wasn't enough, the jurist also speaks Spanish which is Argentina's national language.

Interestingly, Prado was able to garner bipartisan support when George W. Bush was making nominations to SCOTUS, but he was never named. According to one pundit, given some of the recent nominations for federal judgeships, the fact that Prado is considered a moderate (albeit snarky) conservative, may have been the real motivation for his ambassadorial appointment.

Though some might lament losing a more moderate (by today's standards) conservative voice in the circuit, rumors had been floating as to him potentially retiring and transitioning into Senior Status anyway.

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