Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission’s Completion Of Candidate Screening For Vermont’s Upcoming Federal Judicial Vacancy

[(WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014) -- The U.S. District Court in Vermont is at full strength with two active judges currently serving, but Judge William Sessions’ decision to take senior status will soon create a vacancy.  The nine-member, nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission consists of three commissioners named by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), three by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and three by the Vermont Bar Association.  The merit commission continues a tradition that the late Sen. Robert Stafford (R-Vt.) and Leahy developed and used, and that has been used since then.  By longstanding practice, the senior senator of the President’s party then recommends the final candidate for each judicial vacancy to the President.  Leahy is Vermont’s senior senator as well as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which first considers judicial nominations in the Senate.  Following is Leahy’s comment on Wednesday:]

“I’m grateful for the diligent, thorough and timely way the commissioners have handled this important work and for the leadership of Peter Van Oot, who chaired the Commission.  They have donated their time, their insight and their patience in doing this job and doing it well.  I know I speak for all Vermonters in expressing our thanks.  I look forward to interviewing the finalists next week in Vermont.”

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