The Senate Judiciary Committee has started the long process of evaluating nominees for the 93 positions of United States attorney, beginning with a few familiar faces.
Nominees who would be top federal prosecutors in Alabama, New York, and Vermont won the backing of the committee today. Those states are each represented by an influential member of the committee: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
The three nominees were the first for U.S. attorney positions that the committee considered this year, and Leahy acknowledged that the prioritization might not have been entirely random.
“Who would have thought?” he asked rhetorically. “Just roll the dice, and there we are.”
Of course, the senators can thank President Barack Obama, who included the three nominees in his first batch of U.S. attorney choices last month. (It’s also worth noting that, because they serve on the Judiciary Committee and are lawyers themselves, the senators were well-positioned to identify nominees for top legal jobs in a short period of time.)
Preet Bharara would be U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He has worked for Schumer for four years, most recently as chief counsel, and previously was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District. He has also worked at Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman and at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Tristram Coffin would be U.S. attorney for the District of Vermont. He has worked as a counsel to Leahy and also as an assistant U.S. attorney in Vermont. He is of counsel to the Burlington, Vt., office of Paul Frank & Collins.
Joyce Vance would be U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. She is now chief of the Appellate Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office there, where she has worked since 1991.