The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission last month recommended three candidates to fill a vacancy on the D.C. Superior Court. President Barack Obama announced the nomination yesterday—and his pick was not on the list.
Obama went with Stuart Nash, first nominated under President George W. Bush to replace Judge Rufus King III, who is taking senior status. Earlier this year, Nash withdrew his nomination for that vacancy, according to the White House. Obama chose a D.C. magistrate judge, Marisa Demeo, for King’s seat.
Nash, associate deputy attorney general and director of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces, was tapped to replace retiring Judge
Rafael Diaz, who has served on the bench since 1994. Twenty-two lawyers, including eight magistrate judges, applied for the seat. Nash was not identified as an applicant.
In May, the JNC, a public commission that reviews and recommends candidates for Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals, recommended three names to the White House to fill Diaz’s seat.
The JNC recommended Jeffrey Gutman, a professor at George Washington University Law School; Sharon Larkin, deputy assistant general counsel at the Government Accountability Office in the Procurement Law Division; and Elizabeth Shapiro, deputy director of the Justice Department’s Federal Programs Branch. Here's a little more background.
JNC members have previously noted that the president has no obligation to pick from the list of recommended candidates. Nash, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., could not be reached for comment.