By Casey Sullivan
Dec 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed
longtime Debevoise & Plimpton attorney Lorna Schofield and State
Supreme Court Justice Frank Geraci to be U.S. district judges in
Schofield, who has spent more than 20 years at Debevoise
handling white collar criminal defense work, will become a U.S.
district judge in the Southern District. Geraci, who has served
as Monroe County Court judge since 1999 and was appointed to the
Supreme Court in 2000, will fill a vacancy in the Western
Schofield, 56, was confirmed by a 91-0 vote and is the first
Filipina-American to serve on the federal bench. Geraci, 61, was
confirmed by a unanimous voice vote. He served on the Rochester
City Court from 1992 to 1998.
The pair will be sworn in as U.S. district judges in the
With Schofield's confirmation, the number of Asian American
federal judges has more than doubled since President Barack
Obama took office in 2008, according to Carl Tobias, a law
professor at Richmond School of Law. He said there were 11 at
the time, and that Obama had since appointed 12 more.
There are 78 federal judge vacancies nationwide and 39
pending judicial nominees for current and future vacancies,
according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Schofield fills one of six empty district judge seats in the
Southern District, replacing Judge Shira Ann Scheindlin, while
Geraci fills the sole empty district fudge seat in the Western
District, replacing Judge David Larimer.
Obama had nominated Schofield and Geraci for the judge
positions in April and May, respectively.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook