Three attorneys working in the public sector are being recommended as candidates to fill retired District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon's seat.
The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission announced (PDF) this afternoon that it is recommending attorneys Maria-Claudia Amato, Rainey Brandt and Jason Tulley for President Barack Obama's consideration.
Zeldon, who has requested senior status, retired in December. Twenty attorneys applied to fill the vacancy. The White House will have 60 days to select a nominee to fill Zeldon’s seat, who will then go before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for confirmation proceedings.
Amato, according to the commission’s notice, has been general counsel for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections since 2006. From 1992 to 2006, she worked in the city’s Office of the Attorney General, serving as an assistant attorney general, a section chief for the civil rights division and senior litigator in the equity division.
“I’m honored and excited,” Amato said in a phone interview this afternoon. “It would be a continuation of a long career in public service and I think that it’s an area in which I could do a lot of good.”
Brandt is special counsel to Superior Court Chief Judge Lee Satterfield, a position she’s held for the previous two chief judges as well. Before joining the court, Brandt taught at American University, where she continues to teach courses on the prison system and capital punishment part-time. Earlier in her career, Brandt also clerked for Superior Court Judges Michael Rankin and Stephanie Duncan-Peters. She declined to comment.
Tulley is special counsel to the director of the D.C. Public Defender Service and leads the agency’s Forensic Practice Group. He joined the Public Defender Service in 2003 and was promoted to supervisor in 2007. Before coming to Washington, he worked for the Capital Defender Office in New York City and also in private practice at Baltimore’s Bennett & Nathans. Tulley could not immediately be reached for comment.