Breaking a logjam that had hindered the confirmation of more than a dozen Department of Justice and judicial nominee, the Senate confirmed five U.S. Attorneys by unanimous consent Thursday.
“The Senate is beginning to make some process in clearing noncontroversial nominations,” Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement. “I am grateful that Senate Republicans have released the holds that have prevented the confirmation of these … law enforcement nominations. I thank Sen. [Jeff] Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, for helping to clear these nominations at this time.””
On Wednesday, the Senate also confirmed Christopher Schroeder, the president’s pick to head to the DOJ Office of Legal Policy, which helps vet judicial nominees.
The confirmed U.S. Attorneys are:
- Wifredo Ferrer (Southern District of Florida): The assistant Dade County, Fla., attorney and deputy chief of staff to then-Attorney General Janet Reno succeeds R. Alexander Acosta, as the Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney for the district. Acosta stepped down as U.S. Attorney last summer. He was replaced on a temporary basis by Jeffrey H. Sloman, who was acting U.S. Attorney and then appointed as U.S. Attorney in January by Attorney General Eric Holder. Ferrer was nominated on Feb. 24. Read more about the nominee here.
- William Nettles (South Carolina): The attorney at the Columbia, S.C., law firm of Sanders & Nettles succeeds W. Walter Wilkins III, who resigned as U.S. Attorney earlier this month. Since then, Kevin F. McDonald has been the acting U.S. Attorney. Nettles was tapped on Dec. 22. Read more about him here.
- David A. Capp (Northern District of Indiana): The Northern District of Indiana interim U.S. Attorney was tapped to be the leader of the Hammond, Ind.-based office on Dec. 23. He is the first Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney for the district since Joseph S. Van Bokkelen stepped down as U.S. Attorney in 2007. Read more about Capp here.
- Anne M. Tompkins (Western District of North Carolina): The Charlotte, N.C., lawyer was nominated on Dec. 23. She succeeds Gretchen Shappert as U.S. Attorney. Shappert resigned as U.S. Attorney in March 2009. Since then Ed Ryan has filled the job. Read more about Tompkins here.
- Loretta Lynch (Eastern District of New York): Lynch is a former U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of New York. She served from 1999 to 2001, after nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. She is a partner at Hogan & Hartson. Lynch was nominated on Jan. 20 to replace interim U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell. Read more about her here.
The Senate has now confirmed 41 U.S. Attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama. The Senate has yet to consider four U.S. Attorney nominees that were reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. The panel has yet to schedule votes for another 21 would-be U.S. Attorneys.
The Senate also confirmed five U.S. Marshals Thursday: Kelly M. Nesbit to be a U.S. Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina; Peter C. Munoz to be a U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Michigan; Noel C. March to be a U.S. Marshal for the District of Maine; George White to be a U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Mississippi; and Brian T. Underwood to be a U.S. Marshal for the District of Idaho.
Earlier Thursday, the Senate confirmed U.S. District Judge Denny Chin to a position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
This post has been updated from an earlier version.