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Senators Udall and Bennet Announce Bipartisan Judicial Selection Advisory Panel to Fill Federal Court Vacancies

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced the formation of a bipartisan ten-member advisory panel that will implement an open process to recommend highly qualified applicants to fill two vacancies on the United States District Court in Colorado. There is an urgent need to fill the vacancies because as long as they remain open, access to efficient, timely justice is impaired, and sitting Judges are forced to deal with overwhelming dockets.

The formation of this advisory panel reflects Senators Udall and Bennet's interest in a non-partisan, merit selection system endorsed by the American Bar Association and increasingly embraced by Senators from other states around the country.

Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Kourlis will co-chair the advisory committee with Hal Haddon, a prominent Denver lawyer.

The Senators urge qualified individuals to fill out applications and return them to either Senate office by April 14th. Application forms can be found on both Senators' websites at and If an applicant applied to Senator Salazar's committee in 2008 and wishes to resubmit a copy of the same application, with the same letters of recommendation and other attachments that is acceptable. The applicant should review the application to determine that nothing has changed, and should then sign and date the copy for submittal.

"Making recommendations to the White House and confirming judicial nominees is one of the most important jobs I have as a U.S. Senator, and I am particularly pleased that these nine outstanding Coloradans have agreed to advise me and Senator Bennet on the two vacancies we have in Colorado," Udall said.

"Our federal judges ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice for our citizens, and they serve for a lifetime. I am pleased that Senator Udall and I will have the expert assistance of this bipartisan advisory panel in evaluating potential nominees for these vital appointments, and I am confident that together we will identify outstanding candidates to submit to the President for consideration," Bennet said.

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