Urges Senate to Act Quickly to Fill CO's 2nd Emergency Vacancy, Suggests Changes to Prevent Unnecessary Delays of Judicial Confirmations
Today, Mark Udall applauded President Obama's decision to re-nominate Judge R. Brooke Jackson to serve as U.S. District Court Judge in Colorado. Jackson would fill the second of two vacancies on Colorado's U.S. District Court, which have been open so long, they're rated as judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Last month, Denver attorney Bill Martinez was confirmed to fill the first vacancy.
Udall urged the Senate to act quickly to confirm Jackson's nomination. He added that he has suggested changes to the Senate's rules designed to make the Senate fairer and to improve bipartisan cooperation. One suggested change would also help speed up the confirmation of judges and prevent unnecessary delays.
"Brooke Jackson is a thoughtful and capable state court judge. We badly need him on the federal bench where he would fill one of two vacancies that have been open for too long," Udall said. "It's been over three years since Colorado's federal court had a full roster of judges. I urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to act swiftly on his nomination so he can be seated as soon as possible, and I hope we can make some common-sense changes in the way the Senate does business to ensure judges can be confirmed and seated more quickly."
Udall and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet recommended Jackson for the position after a lengthy and detailed selection process. Obama nominated Jackson for the first time in the fall of 2010, but for scheduling reasons, the Senate Judiciary Committee wasn't able to consider his nomination before the end of the 111th Congress. Obama re-nominated him last Wednesday, on the first day of the 112th Congress. His nomination is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next couple of months.
Jackson now serves as the chief judge of the 1st Judicial District in Colorado, which covers Jefferson and Gilpin Counties in the Denver area. He was appointed to the bench in 1998, and named chief judge in 2003. Jackson received his J.D. in 1972 from Harvard Law School and his A.B. in 1969 from Dartmouth College.
Jackson was one of six potential nominees sent jointly by Udall and Bennet to the Obama Administration to fill two judicial vacancies. The Senators relied on advice of a diverse, bipartisan advisory panel made up primarily of lawyers with federal court experience and co-chaired by former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Kourlis, and Hal Haddon, a prominent Colorado lawyer. Other panel members were Joseph Garcia, Dale Harris, Diane King, Michelle Lucero, Raymond Moore, Lori Potter, Dan Reilly, and Ken Spann. The panel reviewed 37 applications and interviewed the top 20. The selection system was based on a model endorsed by the American Bar Association and embraced increasingly by Senators from other states around the country. As requested by Obama, the Senators submitted three names for each vacancy.