Judiciary Committee Sets Vote on New Mexico U.S. Atty’s District Court Nomination
By Jennifer Koons | April 4, 2013 5:32 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote next week on the nomination of New Mexico U.S. AttorneyKenneth Gonzales to the federal bench.

Kenneth Gonzales

President Barack Obama nominated Gonzales, who became the U.S. Attorney in 2010, to serve on the U.S. District Court in the District of New Mexico. He was originally nominated in November 2012 but the Senate failed to take action. The president renominated him this January.

New Mexico’s Democratic senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, testified in support of Gonzales’ nomination during his Feb. 13 hearing before the committee.

The committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) questioned Gonzales about his views on the Second Amendment, among other hot-button issues that are sure to come before federal judges.

Gonzales spent 11 years with the New Mexico U.S. Attorney’s office prior to assuming the head position. He is also an officer of the U.S. Army Reserve and is a major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, Gonzales was a legislative assistant for then-Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and a clerk for Judge Joseph Baca the chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Gonzales is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico Law School.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled the vote for 10 a.m. on April 11 in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.


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The Senate Democratic leader describes the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee "historically unbelievable and historically unprecedented."

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