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The Policy Racket

Senate confirms candidate for federal judgeship in Nevada

Updated Monday, March 11, 2013 | 3:27 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Nevada’s judicial vacancy count just dropped by one, after the Senate voted Monday afternoon to confirm Andrew Gordon for a seat on the federal bench.

While there has been considerable political controversy surrounding the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees — including that of Elissa Cadish, who after a year of waiting to be ushered through the Senate’s consideration process, withdrew her nomination on Friday — there were no objections to Gordon’s nomination in Monday’s vote.

Gordon’s candidacy has been relatively uneventful throughout the Senate’s confirmation process.

The Senate Judiciary Committee easily green-lighted Gordon’s bid for a full Senate vote in mid-December, but that vote never came. Senate leaders failed to reach a compromise to shuttle several pending nominations through before the end of the term.

Gordon has had the support of Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller throughout his candidacy, and his name has been near the top of the list of federal judges awaiting confirmation since the start of the 113th Senate.

Gordon, a Harvard Law graduate who specialized in complex commercial disputes and is a partner with the Las Vegas firm of McDonald Carano Wilson, was nominated to replace Judge Kent Dawson in Las Vegas. After his confirmation, two of the seven seats on the Nevada federal bench still remain vacant.

Obama has already nominated Jennifer Dorsey, a partner with the Nevada law firm of Kemp, Jones & Coulthard, to replace Judge Larry Hicks in Reno. Hicks took senior status in mid-December. Obama has not yet named a nominee to replace Cadish, whom Obama nominated to replace Judge Phillip Pro in Las Vegas.

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