Senate confirmation votes give 7th Circuit full bench

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has a full bench after Monday’s confirmation of the final two judicial nominees, Judge Amy St. Eve and Michael Scudder. Members of the U.S. Senate approved St. Eve and Scudder in rare bipartisan votes of 91-0 and 90-0, respectively.

St. Eve, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, will fill the seat formerly held by Judge Ann Claire Williams, and Michael Scudder, partner at Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Chicago, will take the former seat of Judge Richard Posner.

Votes on their nominations came just a few days after the contentious debate and narrow 49-46 vote confirming Michael Brennan to the Wisconsin seat on the Chicago appellate court. Democratic senators opposed Brennan’s confirmation because the Republican majority moved forward with a hearing and vote despite Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin withholding her blue slip.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin spoke in support of both St. Eve and Scudder from the floor Monday, crediting their smooth confirmation to bipartisan cooperation.

“As Senators, we have a fundamental responsibility to the people we represent when it comes to the selection of federal judges,” Durbin said. “Long after many of us are gone, these judges will still be serving in the federal judiciary. … It should concern all of us if any senator is dealt out of the judicial selection process in their state. None of us want that to happen to us as individuals, to the constituents we represent.”

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