Most aspiring judges are lucky to get nominated just once for a spot on the bench. But in an odd turn of events this week, D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Milton Lee Jr. got the nod twice – for the same exact spot.
Why the overlap? Well, it appears the White House missed an important deadline.
This morning, the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission announced that it had nominated Lee to fill the vacancy on the D.C. Superior Court left by the retirement of Judge Jerry Byrd. The commission noted that it was forwarding Lee’s name to the Senate because the White House had failed to meet the statutory 60-day deadline for picking a nominee after being given a slate of three candidates in October.
As it turned out, however, Lee’s nomination had already made it to Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, the White House announced its own nomination of Lee to fill the Superior Court vacancy.
A White House spokesman said that the administration knew the JNC was choosing its own nominee, but that the two decisions to name Lee were made independently of one another. The spokesman declined to comment on why the White House missed the 60-day deadline, or on why it decided to send its own candidate once the JNC had already begun its nomination process.
JNC chair Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
Lee joined the Superior Court as a magistrate in 1997, and currently serves on the Family Court.