Updated at 4:58 p.m.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs heard testimony Tuesday afternoon from five nominees to the District of Columbia's court system - three for judgeships, one for U.S. Marshal and one for director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), who ran the hearing alone, said that the committee is scheduled to vote on the nominees tomorrow.
The White House in July nominated Danya Dayson, Peter Krauthamer, and D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge John McCabe Jr. to fill Superior Court vacancies.
Dayson, an associate at Washington’s O’Toole, Rothwell, Nassau & Steinbach, said that she had “sought to be of use to others and to assist them in times of genuine crisis in their lives.” As a general practitioner, Dayson told Akaka that she would bring the range of experience needed to take on any assignment.
Krauthamer, deputy director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, said that he had “dedicated my career to working to promote fairness in our justice system.”
The shift from advocate to objective judge would be his greatest challenge, Krauthamer told Akaka. A former law professor, Krauthamer said he thought he brought the combination of trial experience and legal technical knowledge to do the job.
McCabe joined the bench as a magistrate judge in 2002, and he told Akaka that he felt ready to take on a wider array of cases. McCabe said that while he started his career in private practice, he felt the “pull to public service” and went on to work as a prosecutor, a civil legal services attorney and a lawyer for the city attorney general’s office before joining the bench.
Akaka also heard testimony from Nancy Ware, the White House nominee to take over the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, and Michael Hughes, the nominee for U.S. Marshal of District of Columbia Superior Court. Both positions have been vacant since 2008.
Ware is a management analyst for the agency, a federal body that oversees probation, parole and supervised release in Washington. She was nominated on Aug. 2, and previously served as director of the city’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She said one of her priorities would be to make sure staff at every level were included in decision-making.
“I have been fortunate to work for both District and federal agencies whose missions put me in direct contact with persons who have been wards of the city, have been incarcerated, and or directly impacted by the criminal justice system,” she said.
Hughes, who has served with the U.S. Marshals Service for 18 years, was nominated to lead the service’s Superior Court division on Sept. 23. He said that given his experience working in different divisions of the U.S. Marshals Service, including multi-agency task force assignments, “that culmination of all my knowledge and experience…has fully prepared me.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who heads the city’s Judicial Nomination Commission, attended the hearing, along with Superior Court Chief Judge Lee Satterfield. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced the nominees and threw her support behind their confirmation.
National Law Journal photos by Diego M. Radzinschi.