The District of Columbia's solicitor general, a D.C. Superior Court judge and a law firm partner are a local commission's top picks to fill an open seat on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Eleven lawyers and judges applied to fill Judge Kathryn Oberly's position on the city's highest local court. Oberly retired this month.
The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission announced today that it was recommending Solicitor General Todd Kim, Judge Neal Kravitz and Paul Wolfson of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to the White House.
President Barack Obama will have 60 days to pick a nominee, who will face confirmation proceedings in the U.S. Senate.
Kim has served as the city government's top appellate lawyer since the position was created in 2006 as part of a restructuring of the Office of the Attorney General. Before joining the D.C. government, Kim was an appellate lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice's environmental and natural resources division. He clerked after law school for Judge Judith Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Kravitz was appointed to Superior Court in 1998. The commission's announcement noted that he had sat on the appeals court by designation in the past and authored opinions. He previously served as counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department and as a special counsel to several U.S. Senate committees. He worked as a public defender in Washington and executive director of the New Hampshire Public Defender.
Kravitz clerked for Judge Henry Politz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Wolfson is a partner in Wilmer's appellate and U.S. Supreme Court practice. Before joining the firm in 2002, he was an assistant to the solicitor general of the United States from 1994 to 2002. He previously worked as a staff attorney at a public interest law firm, Public Citizen Litigation Group.
Wolfson clerked for Judge Phyllis Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and for Supreme Court Associate Justice Byron White.
The seven-member nomination commission is led by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Other members are William Lucy, vice president of the AFL-CIO; Natalie Ludaway of Leftwich & Ludaway; Woody Peterson of Dickstein Shapiro; Venable's Karl Racine; the Rev. Morris Shearin Sr.; and Grace Speights of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.