Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who leads the Texas House Democrats, recommended that President Barack Obama nominate a U.S. magistrate judge to be the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.
Jeff Kaplan, who is a Dallas-based U.S. magistrate judge, received the unanimous support of the Texas House Democrats. But the White House has not contacted Republican Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison about the nomination, according to the newspaper.
Earlier this month, Cornyn expressed frustration with Democrats for opposing his candidate to lead the Northern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office: Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana.
The Republican senator said he is “willing to go to the mat” for Saldana, which could keep Kaplan stalled in the Senate if he is nominated.
The Senate Judiciary Committee traditionally waits for home state senators to return “blue slips” — a piece of paper that senators use to signal their approval or disapproval of nominees — before it proceeds on presidential nominations. Cornyn, who also sits on the panel, could withhold his blue slip, delaying action on Kaplan.
Kaplan has served a U.S. magistrate judge since 1994. He received his bachelor’s from the Vanderbilt University in 1978. Southern Methodist University awarded him a law degree in 1981.
Before he became a magistrate judge, Kaplan was a member of the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas, a state appellate court. He also spent time as a lawyer in private practice, working on civil and appellate cases. His wife, Barbara A. Kennedy, is a partner in the Dallas office of Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller LLP.
Read more about Kaplan here.