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Obama taps 2 for U.S. Dist. Court

President Barack Obama on Thursday named two nominees to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, selections that require Senate confirmation.

The nominees are James E. "Jeb" Boasberg, 47, who has been a judge since 2002 in D.C. Superior Court. Among cases he has overseen was a 2008 case in which he upheld the legality of the District's jury system after a challenge from the Public Defender Service contending that black jurors were less likely to be summoned to serve.

Before becoming a judge, he worked for six years as a assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Boasberg was in private practice from 1991 to 1996, first with the San Francisco firm of Keker & Van Nest and later with the D.C. firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans.

Following law school, Boasberg clerked for Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Boasberg received his law degree in 1990 from Yale Law School, his Master of Studies in 1986 from Oxford University, and his bachelor's degree in 1985 from Yale College.

Obama also nominated Amy Berman Jackson, 55, an attorney with Trout Cacheris in the District, where she specializes in complex criminal and civil trials and appeals. Jackson recently represented former Congressman William Jefferson (D-La.) in a bribery case that drew attention for the $90,000 in cash hidden in his freezer. (Jefferson's conviction is under appeal.)

Before joining Trout Cacheris in 2000, Jackson was a partner at Venable, Baetjer, Howard, and Civiletti. From 1980 to 1986, she, too, was a federal prosecutor as an Assistant U.S.Attorney for the District of Columbia and was recognized for work on high profile murder and sexual assault cases in 1985 and 1986.

After graduating from law school, Jackson served as a law clerk to Harrison L. Winter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Jackson received her law degree cum laude in 1979 from Harvard Law School after graduating cum laude in 1976 from Harvard College.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  June 18, 2010; 8:13 AM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Mary Pat Flaherty , The District  
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For those of you not familar with the District judicail system let me explain this. In every state and city of this country local judges are appointed by the local populace not the federal government. In the District of Columbia local judges and prosecutors are appointed by the federal government. Neither residents nor the city government has a say in the selection or appointment.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | June 18, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Let me clarify. This posting relates to the FEDERAL judiciary; the judges on the DC District Court are nominated in the very same way that judges on District Court's across the nation are nominated - by the President with advice and consent of the Senate.

For the local court, a LOCAL Judicial Nomination Commission, with representatives named by the Mayor and Council, i.e., local elected officials, sends 3 names to the President of the United States. The President then nominates one of those three and sends that nomination to the Senate. All nominees must live in DC, just as all DC judges must live in DC. A local Judicial Tenure and Disabilities Commission determines whether judges continue to serve.

Posted by: leah3227 | June 18, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but do they all have to be from Harvard or Yale?

Posted by: PepperDr | June 18, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, you would think Harvard and Yale are the only law schools in the country. How elitist!!

Posted by: aspe4 | June 18, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

with all due respect, those two schools are a tad "better" than any of the local law schools, and the credentials of the appointees seem fine and typical of Federal District judges across the country.

Posted by: axolotl | June 18, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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