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Indianapolis judge's nomination vote set

May 15, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote next week on U.S. Judge David Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Court of Appeals.

An agenda posted late Thursday shows that senators will vote on the nomination of Judge Hamilton, chief judge of the Southern District of Indiana, at 10 a.m. May 21. The hearing is scheduled to be Web cast live.

President Barack Obama nominated Judge Hamilton for the appellate post March 17. Judge Hamilton then attended two nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.

If he gets approval from committee members, the judge would still need confirmation by the full Senate. If confirmed, he would replace Judge Kenneth Ripple who took senior status in September 2008.

Judge Hamilton was the new president's first judicial pick and is largely viewed as a test case for how the process will go for future nominees. Some are pointing to his nomination and confirmation process as guidance for how the president might choose the next U.S. Supreme Court justice - an appointment that's materialized since Judge Hamilton's nomination process began. Speculation is that the president could name a nominee by the end of May.

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