Seven confirmed judicial nominees receive commission for federal district courts

On December 31, 2019, seven confirmed nominees to federal judgeships received commission for seven United States District Courts.

  • Gary R. Brown was first nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by President Donald Trump (R) on May 15, 2018, to succeed Judge Sandra Feuerstein, who assumed senior status on January 21, 2015. Brown was confirmed by the United States Senate by voice vote on December 19, 2019.
  • Robert J. Colville was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Trump on March 5, 2019, to succeed Judge Arthur Schwab, who assumed senior status on January 1, 2018. Colville was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 19, 2019, by a vote of 66-27.
  • Stephanie Dawkins Davis was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Trump on March 11, 2019, to succeed Judge Gerald Rosen, who retired on January 31, 2017. Davis was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by voice vote on December 19, 2019.
  • John Gallagher was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President Trump on October 15, 2019, to succeed Judge Lawrence Stengel, who retired on August 31, 2018. Gallagher was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 19, 2019, by a vote of 83-9.
  • Bernard Jones was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma by President Trump on October 17, 2019, to succeed Judge Joe Heaton, who assumed senior status on July 1, 2019. Jones was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 19, 2019, by a vote of 91-3.
  • Matthew McFarland was first nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio by President Trump on November 13, 2018, to succeed Judge Thomas Rose, who assumed senior status on June 30, 2017. McFarland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2019, by a vote of 56-38.
  • Kea Riggs was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico by President Trump on May 13, 2019, to succeed Judge Christina Armijo, who assumed senior status on February 7, 2018. Riggs was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 19, 2019, by a vote of 94-0.

Following nomination by the president, a federal judge nominee completes a questionnaire that is reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee then holds a hearing to question the nominee regarding their judicial philosophy and their previous rulings. The committee also sends the nominee’s home state senators a blue slip, permitting them to show their approval or disapproval of the nominee.

After the hearing, the committee votes to approve or return the nominee. If approved, the full Senate votes on the nominee. If returned, the president may renominate the person. If the Senate confirms the nomination, the individual receives commission to serve as a federal judge for a life term. If the individual is not confirmed, they do not become a federal judge.

There are 94 United States District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.

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Additional reading:
United States District Court



About the author

Kate Carsella

Kate Carsella is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at kate.carsella@ballotpedia.org.

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