The Senate confirmed two federal judges earlier this week, bringing the total number of district court judicial confirmations to 10 since Congress returned on December 3.
By voice vote on December 17, the Senate confirmed Fernando Olguin to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and Thomas Durkin to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Any pending confirmations will expire at the end of the year, meaning the White House will have to resubmit those nominations. The Senate has noticeably picked up the pace in confirming judges this month as it approaches the end of the session.
Olguin has served as a federal magistrate judge in the Central District of California since 2001. As a district judge, he'll continue to serve in the Los Angeles courthouse. According to a release from the district court executive, the district has one remaining vacancy; a nominee is pending.
Before joining the court, Olguin was a partner at Traber, Voorhees & Olguin in Pasadena, Calif. He previously served as national director of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund's education program and as a trial attorney in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He was nominated in May.
Durkin is a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, where his practice focused on litigation and dispute resolution. Before joining the firm, Durkin was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.
"Tom is an exceptional litigator with all the attributes needed to be a truly great jurist, including keen intellect, sound judgment and unimpeachable character," Mayer Brown Chairman Paul Theiss said in a statement.
According to a release from the court, the Northern District of Illinois has three remaining judicial vacancies, for which there are no current nominees.
A representative of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office was not immediately available today to confirm whether any more votes on judicial nominees are scheduled before the end of the year.