It's looking like Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will once again have a major role in appointing judges to the District's federal bench.
Norton says she has once once again assembled a commission to review potential candidates for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as well as U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal and “similar federal offices.”
Norton spearheaded a similar commission under President Bill Clinton, virtually handpicking all nine of that administration’s appointees to the D.C. District Court. The 17-member panel will once again be led by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner Pauline Schneider, and includes a host of local political and community leaders, as well as six private practitioners from various sized firms.
Under Clinton, the commission picked three potential nominees for each opening, whose names were forwarded to Norton. The delegate then picked one of those candidates to recommend to the president. It is unclear if the process will work the same this time around. Two weeks ago Legal Times reported that Norton was in talks with the White House over whether she would have to forward a slate of names to the president, rather than a single choice.
A spokesman for the delegate said she could not offer more details on the commission, and could not say whether it had already started collecting names of potential candidates or how many candidates would be recommended for each position.
A White House spokesman says that it had no hand in selecting members of the commission.
"We had no say in the composition of the Commission and did not seek such input. We have every confidence in Rep. Holmes Norton's judgment on who is best to serve," he says.
The commission includes:
- Pauline Schneider, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner
- Jon Bouker, Arent Fox partner
- Katherine Broderick, dean, David Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia
- Francis Carter, Zuckerman Spaeder partner
- Emilio Cividanes, Venable partner
- Thomas Donahue, president emeritus, AFL-CIO
- Terence Golden, chair, Bailey Capital Corporation
- Dr. Charles Hudson, Jr., bishop, Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
- Emma Coleman Jordan, professor, Georgetown University Law Center
- Janet Murguia, president, National Council of LaRaza
- Johnnie Rice, co-chair and founder, National Congress of Black Women, Metropolitan Chapter
- Daniel Solomon, president, Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, a founder and trustee, DC Vote
- Robert Spagnoletti, partner, Schertler & Onorato, former Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and president, D.C. Bar
- Thomas Williamson, partner, Covington & Burling
- Beverly Perry, senior vice president, PEPCO
- Carrie L. Thornhill, member, DC Schools-to Careers/Youth Investment Council
- Judith Winston, former general counsel, U.S. Department of Education.