LAW WEEK COLORADO
As the U.S. Senate began a new session, it also hit the reset button on the federal judge nominations for more than 100 judge seats around the country. The District of Colorado is among those that has an open seat and is thus renewing its search for a qualified attorney to fill it.
Sen. Cory Gardner announced Jan. 23 that he reopened the committee to fill the judicial vacancy, providing a new opportunity for attorneys to apply for the seat. Last year, Colorado’s senators made a bipartisan recommendation for the seat, and President Barack Obama made a nomination, but with a Senate Judiciary Committee slowing the approval process and a Senate rule that sent all pending nominations back, the seat is open once again.
The court’s vacancy was created in April 2016 when Judge Robert Blackburn moved to senior status. Both Gardner and Sen. Michael Bennet created their own committees to find a replacement — an unusual move as the senior senator, in this case Bennet, typically leads the search for a federal judge.
In February, the two senators each recommended four nominees to Obama. Their separate lists did include three recommendations in common: Hogan Lovells partner Regina Rodriguez, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristin Mix and Molson Coors global chief people and legal officer Sam Walker. In late April, Obama nominated Rodriguez to fill the seat.