MONTPELIER (AP) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved the nomination of Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford to become the state's next federal court judge by a vote of 95 to 0.

The approval of Crawford to take a spot on the U.S. District Court of Vermont came 35 days after he was nominated. In some cases it can take months or longer for a nominee to be approved.

"Justice Crawford came highly recommended, well qualified, and broadly experienced," said U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who recommended Crawford to President Barack Obama who made the nomination. "He's a well-grounded Vermonter and a good fit for Vermont and our federal court."

Vermont's other U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders, said Crawford is well-liked and admired by other judges and the lawyers who practiced before him in state court.

"I am confident that he will be a fair and impartial federal judge and that everyone in his courtroom will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve," Sanders said.

Crawford was nominated by Obama on May 19. His nomination was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 12.

Crawford, 59, served more than a decade as a superior court judge before being nominated last year to the state Supreme Court.

He will replace Judge William Sessions III, who has taken senior status, a kind of semi-retirement.

It's unclear how long it will be before Crawford takes up the gavel in his new job.


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