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Judges, attorney nominated to fill Eastern District spot

Two Milwaukee judges and one attorney have been recommended to the White House to fill a vacant seat in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, a Republican and Democrat, respectively, announced Friday that the bipartisan Federal Nominating Commission chose attorney Beth Kushner, Eastern District Bankruptcy Chief Judge Pamela Pepper and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge William Pocan as candidates to fill the seat. The commission is run by the Wisconsin State Bar.

The seat was left vacant by Eastern District Judge Charles Clevert, who took senior status in October 2012. The senators sent a letter of recommendation to President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Kushner is a partner at von Briesen & Roper SC, where she handles complex litigation, commercial and construction law.

Pepper was appointed to the bankruptcy court in July 2005. Prior to that, she worked as a federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

Pocan was appointed to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2006. He currently presides over the circuit’s felony division.

Once Obama chooses a nominee, it will go to the U.S. Senate’s judiciary committee for approval. If the committee passes it, the full Senate has to approve the nomination.

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