The Senate voted Monday to approve Stephanie Marie Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, to the federal bench in the state’s southern district.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced her nomination to the federal bench in April. Before being elevated to the top position within the Des Moines-based U.S. Attorney’s office she was a prosecutor there for 12 years. She had worked as the office’s criminal division chief since 2003. The Senate approved Rose’s confirmation by a roll call vote of 89-1.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said on the Senate floor before the vote that Rose is a “superb attorney” who is “unfailingly fair and ethical.” He also noted she worked in the U.S. Attorney’s office under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Rose was appointed in 2010 by Attorney General Eric Holder to serve on his Advisory Committee, a coveted position among U.S. Attorneys across the country. Rose is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa College of Law.
The longtime prosecutor received a “unanimously well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. She became the first woman to lead the Northern Iowa U.S. Attorney’s office when she took the helm in 2009. Now confirmed, she is the first woman to serve as a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of Iowa.
The vote also served as a forum for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking member Charles Grassley to spar about judicial confirmations. Leahy lamented what he believes to be a purposeful feet-dragging by GOP senators in the judicial confirmation process. Leahy (D-Vt.) noted that there are currently 78 judicial vacancies, meaning nearly 1 in every 11 federal judgeships is empty. Grassley (R-Iowa) said, however, that President Barack Obama has been slow in the nominating process, tying the hands of the Senate.