Wednesday March 02, 2011 | 06:45 PM

Nancy Torresen has been nominated for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the White House announced this evening.

Torresen is currently assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine. She was one of three people – the others are from Louisiana and the Virgin Islands - named as federal District Court nominees today by the White House.
President Obama said in a statement that Torresen and the other nominees “all have long and distinguished records of service, and I am confident they will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”  
The federal district court in Maine has three judges. Judge Brock Hornby, who was nominated in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, went on senior, semi-retired, status last year, and Torresen is being nominated to his seat on the bench.
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia and an expert on the federal judicial selection process, said that he does not expect Torresen’s nomination to attract much opposition in the Senate, given her status as an assistant U.S. Attorney.
“That is a fairly standard track, and usually a non-controversial track, to the bench,” Tobias said. “I think it will go pretty easily. She has the experience of being an assistant U.S. attorney, and she understands the criminal and the civil side as to what she would do as a federal judge.”
Tobias said he expects Torresen to receive a Senate confirmation hearing within several months, followed by a Senate Judiciary Committee vote and a confirmation vote by the full Senate.
The White House said that Torresen first joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1990, where she handled civil matters. In 1994, she went to the Appellate Section of the Criminal Division of the Maine Department of the Attorney General. In 2001, according to the White House statement about her nomination, she returned to the U.S. Attorney’s office, where she has since investigated and prosecuted federal crimes in the northern half of the District of Maine.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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