Dec. 16, 2019 – The two U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, have announced four potential candidates to fill the judicial vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
In a joint letter to President Donald J. Trump, the Senators agreed on the following candidates to fill the vacancy that opened when Judge Rudolph Randa took senior status in February 2016 (Judge Randa passed away in September 2016):
· Joseph Aragorn Bugni
· Samuel Craig Hall Jr.
· Brett H. Ludwig
· Daniel J. Vaccaro
Bugni is with the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin Inc. in Madison. Hall Jr. is with Crivello Carlson S.C. in Milwaukee. Ludwig is currently a bankruptcy judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Vaccaro is with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee. All are members of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The candidates were selected through the Federal Nominating Commission, which recommends candidates for vacancies on the U.S. District Courts in Wisconsin, certain vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and U.S. attorneys in Wisconsin. The State Bar of Wisconsin provides administrative support.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission has been making recommendations to Wisconsin's U.S. senators since 1979.
According to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" federal judges. The president also appoints U.S. attorneys. By tradition, the president normally defers to the recommendations of the home state's U.S. senators for these positions.
In 1979, Wisconsin's two U.S. senators, William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson, established the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission.
Democratic and Republican senators have used the commission for almost every federal judicial and U.S. attorney vacancy in the past 30 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.