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Bush backs five for bench in state |

Bush backs five for bench in state

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday withdrew a nomination to the federal appeals court after opposition from a Democratic senator. He named a new nominee and nominated four individuals to fill vacancies on the federal bench in the eastern Pennsylvania district.

U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter’s nomination to the position of U.S. Circuit judge for the Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia, had been opposed by Sen. Bob Casey.

Bush withdrew Pratter’s nomination and nominated another district judge from the Eastern District, Paul S. Diamond, to the position, which had been vacated by a retirement. The court hears appeals from the federal district courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.

Casey and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., each issued statements of approval of the five nominations. Larry Smar, a spokesman for Casey, would not say why the senator opposed Pratter’s nomination, only that the senator “takes a number of considerations into account for all judicial nominees.”

Casey’s opposition to Pratter’s advancement held up the nomination of Carolyn P. Short, who Bush nominated to fill the slot that would have been opened by Pratter’s advancement.

Bush withdrew her nomination to that slot and re-nominated her to fill the slot that would be opened by Diamond’s advancement. Short is an attorney in private practice who served as Specter’s general counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The others nominated to fill district judge openings were Mitchell S. Goldberg, a Bucks County Court of Commons Plea Judge; C. Darnell Jones II, a First Judicial District judge in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas; and Joel H. Slomsky, an attorney in private practice.

All four district judge slots had been opened because of retirements.

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