05.19.14

President Announces Intention To Nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford For Vermont’s Upcoming U.S. District Court Vacancy

. . . As Recommended By Leahy, After Screening By Vermont Merit Panel

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday said that President Obama will nominate Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to be the next judge on Vermont’s U.S. District Court.

Leahy had recommended Justice Crawford in March to the White House, after screening by a nine-member nonpartisan Vermont Judicial Nominating Commission.  Justice Crawford had been one of the panel’s two finalists, who then were interviewed by Leahy.

Leahy said, “The President sees in Justice Crawford what I, the members of the merit commission, and all Vermonters have come to know about him.  He is a fine jurist in the finest Vermont tradition, and he is committed to the highest standards of public service.  I look forward soon to bringing Justice Crawford before the Judiciary Committee for a confirmation hearing.”

Leahy noted that Justice Crawford has experience both as a private attorney and as a judge, and he has earned a reputation for his skill in working with juries and handling a wide variety of litigation. In the screening process, Leahy said, members of the merit commissioners learned that attorneys who have appeared before Justice Crawford found him to be an engaged and careful jurist who treats everyone in the courtroom with respect.

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 consisted of three commissioners named by Leahy, three by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and three by the Vermont Bar Association. The merit commission continued 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 a 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.

Justice Crawford, of Burlington, was born in 1954. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1980. From 1980 to 1981 he served as a law clerk to Hon. Albert W. Coffrin for the U.S. District Court, for the District of Vermont. From 1981 to 1984 he was an associate at Burlingham, Underwood & Lord in New York City. From 1984 to 1987 he was an associate at Manchester & O'Neill. In 1987 he and Jerome F. O'Neill formed the firm of O'Neill, Crawford & Green, where he practiced until 2002. In November 2002 he was appointed as a Vermont Superior Court judge by Governor Howard Dean. In October 2013 he was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court by Governor Peter Shumlin. He and his wife have raised five children.

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[WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT, BELOW]

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2014

President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Justice Geoffrey W. Crawford to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Vermont

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Justice Geoffrey W. Crawford to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Vermont.

“I am proud to nominate Justice Crawford to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “Justice Crawford has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident he will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”

Justice Geoffrey W. Crawford:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Vermont

Justice Geoffrey W. Crawford has served as an Associate Justice on the Vermont Supreme Court since 2013.  Previously, he served as a judge on the Vermont Superior Court from 2002 to 2013.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Crawford was a partner at the law firm of O’Neill, Crawford & Green from 1987 to 2002.  He worked at the law firm of Manchester & O’Neill from 1984 to 1987, and at Burlingham, Underwood & Lord from 1981 to 1984.  Justice Crawford began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Albert W. Coffrin of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont from 1980 to 1981.  He received his J.D. cum laude in 1980 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. cum laude in 1977 from Yale University.

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