Winfield Ong received the support of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. On a voice vote, the committee unanimously approved Ong’s nomination.
Both Indiana senators applauded the committee’s favorable vote and emphasized Ong’s qualifications for the federal bench. Ong was nominated to fill the vacancy created when Judge Sarah Evans Barker took senior status in 2014.
“Given the ongoing judicial emergency in the Southern District of Indiana, this vacancy needs to be filled,” Republican Sen. Dan Coats said. “Winfield’s Ong’s qualifications and outstanding record of public service make him the right person for this important position.”
“He is an excellent nominee and has demonstrated he has the experience, ability and temperament necessary to serve Hoosiers well on the federal bench,” Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said. “I urge the Senate to hold a confirmation vote on Winfield Ong as soon as possible.”
The nomination will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration.
Ong, a native of Evansville, is currently chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana. He is a 1985 graduate of Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in Oregon and, early in his legal career, clerked for Judge Gene Brooks, then chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.