Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By Jonathan Riskind firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Bureau Chief
(Continued from page 1)
Both "are fabulous choices," said Karen Frink Wolf, a Portland lawyer who is the Maine State Bar Association's federal practice section chair. "To have it bogged down is disappointing."
Caroline Fredrickson, executive director for the liberal American Constitution Society advocacy group in Washington, said her sources in the Obama administration say a nominee for the seat could be named by February. She hopes a nominee could be confirmed in the spring.
But in an election year, the judicial confirmation process generally begins to slow early on, then grinds to a halt by August. The average circuit court nominee has been taking about 10 months to get a Senate confirmation vote, Tobias said.
So even for a circuit court nominee who is named early next year, "it begins to get pretty dicey getting through the process" before November's election, Tobias said.
An Obama administration official would not say when the White House plans to name a nominee for Lipez's seat, and indicated one reason it hasn't happened is that there is no "judicial emergency" from an existing vacancy.
But Tobias called the White House's explanation weak, saying Lipez went out of his way to give advance notice so there wouldn't be a vacancy when he reduces his caseload.
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