January 24, 2012

Maine lawyer named to appeals court

William Kayatta Jr., a prominent trial attorney, awaits confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

By Jonathan Riskind jriskind@mainetoday.com
Washington Bureau Chief

(Continued from page 1)

William Kayatta Jr.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

Kayatta declined comment Monday.

Collins said Kayatta is "eminently qualified to serve on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals" and called on Republicans and Democrats to support his nomination.

She said that she hopes election-year politics won't get in the way of Kayatta's confirmation, and that she is trying to pave the way for Kayatta in the Senate.

"I have already begun discussing Bill with my colleagues and I am optimistic that his extraordinary qualifications will trump partisan gridlock," Collins said via email Monday evening.

Snowe said in a statement that Kayatta is "an extremely well-regarded litigator, with a sterling reputation among his peers in our state. I look forward to strongly supporting his nomination, and urge the Senate give his nomination prompt consideration."

U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, and Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, recommended in May that Obama nominate either Kayatta or Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Jon Levy to the 1st Circuit seat.

The Senate confirms judicial nominees, but since both of Maine's senators are Republicans and Obama is a Democrat, it is up to Pingree and Michaud to recommend federal judicial nominations to Obama.

The Senate confirmed another Mainer to a federal court seat last year. Nancy Torresen, a former assistant U.S. attorney from Bangor, won confirmation Oct. 3 to the U.S. District Court for Maine.

There are 36 judicial nominees pending in the Senate, 18 of them awaiting Senate votes and 18 still pending in committee, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

MaineToday Media Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at: jriskind@mainetoday.com

Twitter: Twitter.com/MaineTodayDC

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