WASHINGTON — Barring unexpected problems or delays, the U.S. Senate next week will confirm a new U.S. District Court judge for Maine.

The nomination of Nancy Torresen is scheduled for a floor vote Monday, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee in May approved Torresen’s nomination, with the assistant U.S. attorney winning the nod from all senators present, including the judiciary committee’s top Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, who said he also intended to vote for Torresen on the Senate floor.

Torresen was nominated by President Obama in early March to fill the seat being vacated by Judge D. Brock Hornby. Hornby, who was nominated in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, went on senior status last year but has continued to handle a full caseload.

Torresen’s nomination received strong support from both of Maine’s Republican senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

The pace of judicial nominees receiving floor votes is slow, and it is not unusual for a nominee to win approval from the committee but have to wait months for a vote before the full Senate.

A Judiciary Committee spokeswoman said after Torresen’s nomination was cleared by the committee in May that Torresen and the other four nominees approved that day joined 14 nominees already awaiting full Senate votes.

But with the unanimous Judiciary Committee approval and the nod from Grassley and support of both home state senators, Torresen’s nomination now is headed for a virtually certain confirmation on Monday once her nomination does reach the Senate floor, according to Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond Law School and an expert on federal judicial nominations.

Tobias said that Torresen’s nomination is so non-controversial that Senate Republicans are not even asking for a separate roll call vote on her nomination. Instead, she will be packaged with some other nominees and approved by a unanimous consent motion.

Meanwhile, Maine is awaiting a White House nomination for a pending U.S. Circuit Court opening, but that seat, too, has not been vacated in the interim.

U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud, D-2nd, and Chellie Pingree, D-1st, recommended in late May that President Obama nominate a Maine Supreme Judicial Court justice or a Portland lawyer to fill Maine’s sole seat on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Maine Democrats, who make judicial nomination recommendations to the Democratic Obama administration because both senators are Republicans, forwarded the names of Justice Jon Levy of Portland and William Kayatta Jr. of Cape Elizabeth, a partner with Pierce Atwood in Portland, as candidates to fill the seat being vacated by federal appeals Judge Kermit Lipez.

But the president has not yet nominated someone for the seat.

Lipez will assume senior status by Dec. 31, or when his replacement is confirmed.

MaineToday Media Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at: [email protected] Twitter: Twitter.com/MaineTodayDC.