20 October 2009

Byrd, Rockefeller Tout Casey for Federal Bench

The head of West Virginia's Democratic Party has been recommended for a federal judgeship by the state's U.S. senators, The Associated Press reports.

Nick Casey "has distinguished himself as an attorney, as well as a tireless advocate for many social and civic causes," Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., said in a letter to President Obama quoted in a Tuesday release.

The senators want Obama to nominate Casey for a seat in the state's northern federal court district left vacant by the 2006 death of Judge Craig Broadwater.

Long a lawyer in the southern district, Casey helps head a Charleston law firm and has been Democratic chairman since June 2004, after Gov. Joe Manchin won the party's nomination for his current office. Casey had been the governor's personal attorney and campaign treasurer, the AP article said.

Byrd and Rockefeller had earlier recommended another Charleston lawyer and Democratic stalwart, Ned Rose, for the judgeship in January. But Rose withdrew from consideration without explanation in July.

Obama nominated the senators' other pick, Kanawha Circuit Judge Irene Berger. She appeared last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has since endorsed her nomination for a southern district seat.

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