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4 recommended for Eastern District judicial vacancy

Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson have recommended four candidates to fill a judicial vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

The senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday putting forward the following four people to replace Judge William C. Griesbach, who is retiring:

  • Krista Ann Halla-Valdes, the first assistant federal defender who serves the Eastern District at the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin
  • Tammy Jo Hock, the Brown County Circuit Court’s presiding judge
  • William S. Pocan, the Milwaukee County Circuit Court’s deputy chief judge
  • Thomas J. Walsh, a Brown County Circuit Court judge

Griesbach, who works in Green Bay, was appointed to the federal court in 2002 by former President George W. Bush. He moved to senior status in 2019 with the intention of continuing to serve the district while making the appointment of a full-time active judge possible.

The president will nominate a candidate, and then the Senate will have to confirm the person. The bipartisan Wisconsin Federal Nominating Committee screened and suggested candidates to Baldwin and Johnson.

About Michaela Paukner,

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at

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