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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    April 17, 2013

    Senators Baldwin and Johnson Announce Agreement on Moving Federal Nominations Forward

    gavel and American flagApril 17, 2013 – U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin announced Wednesday that they have agreed to establish a Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission to move federal nominations forw​ard, including vacant federal judge positions in Wisconsin.

    In a joint news release this afternoon, the senators announced that the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission will advise them on the nomination of individuals to fill the following vacancies:

    • The United States District Court for the Eastern District and the Western District of Wisconsin, or such other districts as may be established in Wisconsin;

    • The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which are appropriately considered Wisconsin seats;

    • United States Attorneys for the Eastern and Western District of Wisconsin, or such other districts as may be established in Wisconsin.

    The Commission will be made up of six Wisconsin residents who are members of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Three members will be appointed by each senator, who will each have a co-chair on the Commission.

    Sen. Johnson appointed the following State Bar members as commissioners:

    • Attorney William Curran of Curran of Hollenbeck & Orton S.C., Mauston and Wisconsin Dells;

    • Attorney Richard Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty;

    • Attorney Paul Swanson of Steinhilber, Swanson, Mares, Marone & McDermott, Oshkosh;

    Sen. Baldwin appointed the following State Bar members as commissioners:

    • Attorney Michelle Behnke of Michelle Behnke & Associates, Madison;

    • Hon. Frederic Fleishauer, retired;

    • Attorney Barbara Zack Quindel of Hawks Quindel S.C., Milwaukee. 

    “I’m very pleased to have been able to work with Senator Baldwin on a balanced, bipartisan commission to recommend qualified candidates for judicial nominations,” Sen. Johnson said. “Wisconsin is a diverse state, and voters have chosen a diverse set of representatives. I have always said that a balanced commission – one that ensures candidates have support from both sides of the aisle – is the fairest way to proceed. I’m glad that Senator Baldwin and I have been able to agree on this bipartisan charter. I look forward to working with her and the President to fill these important judicial vacancies.”

    Andrea GageAndrea Gage is a public relations coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at, or by phone at (608) 250-6025.

    “The filling of judicial vacancies has been a top priority for me since I was sworn in to the U.S. Senate in January. Senator Johnson and I were able to find common ground on an important issue for Wisconsin,” Sen. Baldwin said. “I am proud to have worked together with Senator Johnson to put in place a commission and process for moving judicial nominations forward. The people of Wisconsin deserve to have these vacancies filled with qualified public servants working for them and our fair and impartial judicial system.”


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