Donnelly, Coats pleased nomination hearing set for Ong

Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats are applauding the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to consider the nomination of Hoosier Winfield D. Ong for the federal bench.

The Senate Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to take up five judicial nominations including Ong’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Both Donnelly, a Democrat, and Coats, a Republican, tapped Ong to fill the vacancy created when Judge Sarah Evans Barker assumed senior status.

In a pair of statements on the upcoming hearing, the two senators highlighted Ong’s career and ability as making him well-qualified to serve as a federal judge.

“I am pleased the Senate Judiciary Committee is giving Winfield Ong a hearing,” Donnelly said. “He has an impressive range of experience and has demonstrated the ability and temperament necessary to serve Hoosiers well on the federal bench in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senator Coats, to see Winfield Ong move through the confirmation process as quickly as possible.”

Coats agreed, saying, “I appreciate the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to hold a hearing on Winfield Ong’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency in Indiana’s Southern District, and Winfield Ong’s successful career in the U.S. Attorney’s Office makes him uniquely qualified to fill this important role. This is a significant step toward confirmation, and I am eager to see this process move forward.”

Also scheduled for a hearing Wednesday is Wisconsin attorney Donald Karl Schott, who has been nominated for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  A partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, Schott has been put forth to fill a Wisconsin seat on the Chicago court that has been vacant for five years.

So far the Judiciary Committee has not scheduled a hearing on the nomination of former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby to the 7th Circuit.

Donnelly nominated Selby, partner at Ice Miller LLP, to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Judge Joh Tinder. However, Coats is withholding his support, calling for the selection to be made by a nominating commission.

Wednesday’s hearings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and can be livestreamed here.

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