WisBar News: President nominates John Vaudreuil as U.S. Attorney for Western District of Wisconsin:

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  • President nominates John Vaudreuil as U.S. Attorney for Western District of Wisconsin

    Adam Korbitz

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    June 1, 2010 – President Barack Obama has nominated John W. Vaudreuil as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. Vaudreuil currently serves in the Western District as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

    In September 2009, U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold proposed Vaudreuil and one other individual for the President’s consideration from among four candidates recommended in July 2009 by Wisconsin’s Federal Nominating Commission.

    According to the White House, Vaudreuil, 55, has served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District since 1980.  Vaudreuil also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1987 and from 1990 to 2002. Vaudreuil graduated from the UW-Madison in 1976 and from the UW Law School in 1979.

    The U.S. Senate still must confirm Vaudreuil’s nomination.

    Federal Nominating Commission membership and activities in 2009

    In April 2009, Kohl and Feingold activated the Federal Nominating Commission to replace Western District U.S. Attorney Erik Peterson, who had been appointed by President George W. Bush and had announced his resignation. The commission issued a call for applications on April 29, 2009, and seven individuals applied. In July 2009, after conducting interviews, the commission announced its list of four recommended candidates to replace Peterson.

    University of Wisconsin Law School Dean Kenneth Davis chaired the commission in 2009 for openings in the Western District of Wisconsin and on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Pursuant to the commission’s charter, Kohl appointed four attorneys to the commission: Stephen Glynn and Nathan Fishbach, both of Milwaukee, Christine Bremer Muggli, of Wausau, and Michelle Behnke, of Madison. Feingold also appointed four attorneys: Ken Calewarts of Green Bay, Chuck Curtis of Madison, Peg Lautenschlager of Fond du Lac, and Harvey Temkin of Madison.

    The commission was rounded out by attorneys Susan Hansen of Milwaukee and Thomas Sleik of La Crosse, both appointed by Diane Diel, who at the time was president of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    The State Bar’s government relations team provided staff support for the commission.

    In addition to the Western District U.S. Attorney position, the commission recommended candidates in 2009 for four other vacant federal positions subject to presidential appointment, including a vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, two judicial openings in the Western District of Wisconsin and the U.S. attorney position for the Eastern District.

    Commission history

    The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission has been making recommendations to Wisconsin’s United States senators since 1979.

    According to Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" federal judges. The president also appoints United States attorneys. By tradition, the president defers to the recommendations of the home state’s U.S. senators for these positions.

    In 1979, Wisconsin’s two United States senators, William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson, established the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, a tradition that has continued to the present day under Kohl and Feingold. Democratic and Republican senators have used the commission for every federal judicial and U.S. attorney vacancy in the past 30 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

    By Adam Korbitz, Government Relations Coordinator, State Bar of Wisconsin

    Related articles:

    Federal Nominating Commission concludes busy year - November 16, 2009
    Commission makes recommendations for United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin – July 15, 2009
    Nominating commission receives 6 applications for United States Attorney vacancy in Western District – May 19, 2009
    Federal Nominating Commission Seeks Applicants for United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin – April 29, 2009


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