Vermont Supreme Court judge is on fast track to confirmation


BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermont Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Crawford is on a fast track to confirmation to Vermont’s federal court.

Crawford was nominated by President Barack Obama May 19 and was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee June 12.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says the full Senate could confirm Crawford as early as Tuesday.

The Burlington Free Press quotes Richmond Law School Professor Carl Tobias as saying Crawford’s nomination is proceeding at "warp speed."

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

If Crawford is confirmed Tuesday, he will have gone from nomination to confirmation in just 35 days.

"The only other judge that moved that fast in the last 10 years was Christina Reiss," Leahy told the Free Press, referring to Vermont’s other U.S. District Court judge.

Leahy said Reiss went from nomination to confirmation in 39 days.

Crawford would succeed federal judge William Sessions, who took senior status this month and will work part-time.

Leahy said he has made it clear to his Senate colleagues that Sessions’ retirement will create a "judicial emergency" in Vermont.

Tobias told the Free Press that the pace of Crawford’s confirmation process exceeds any of Obama’s 310 nominees.

He said most judicial appointments have taken 180-220 days to clear the Senate.

Tobias noted that Leahy’s clout as chair of the Judiciary Committee certainly helps.

Crawford, who lives in Burlington, has an undergraduate degree from Yale and graduated from Harvard Law School.


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