Pennsylvania court nominations begin

By Sara Gilmour

BBC News

Biden’s nominations can be seen as a first down payment on his vow to reform the judiciary

With the administration of his successor still uncertain, Vice President Joe Biden has named two finalists for two new positions on the federal court in Pennsylvania.

Mr Biden’s nomination of Lori Bailey and Grant Gifford to the Superior Court means his commissioning of judicial vacancies has begun in earnest.

His commissioning of federal judicial vacancies has been a signature achievement of President Barack Obama’s administration, and a promise to his 2008 campaign.

US President Barack Obama nominated five federal judges for confirmation last year, but is yet to succeed on all of them.

In Pennsylvania, the executive director of the state bar association says the nominations of Lori Bailey and Grant Gifford could mark the beginning of a clean sweep for the President, like that he made a similar move in Arkansas last year, when he nominated two judges and a federal prosecutor to the district court.

Both cases are far from final, but are seen as historic first down payments on that pledge.

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