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5 Tapped For Federal Bench

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U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall sent five names to the White House as their picks to fill a vacancy on the federal bench in New Mexico.

Whoever is selected will replace retiring U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bruce D. Black, and it’s customary for senators to identify candidates in their state. According to a news release from both senators, the president has the final say in choosing the nominee, and the candidate will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee and then for a vote by the full Senate.

The five people selected as candidates for the post have experience as U.S. attorneys, heading federal agencies, teaching law classes and as U.S. Supreme Court clerks.

The candidates:

♦ Norman Bay, the director of the Enforcement Office at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is a former U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico and law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

♦ Carmen Garza, a U.S. magistrate in Las Cruces, has served as an assistant public defender for the state of New Mexico and as a private criminal attorney.

♦ Ken Gonzales is the current U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico.

♦ Andy Schultz is a director of the Rodey Law Firm, and he is the only University of New Mexico law school graduate to have served as a clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court.

♦ Linda Vanzi, who sits on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, was a state judge in the Second Judicial District and law at UNM.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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