WASHINGTON — A U.S. Senate committee on Thursday endorsed Maine Supreme Judicial Court Judge Jon David Levy to serve on the federal bench.
Levy, of Portland, was nominated last year by President Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court in Maine. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15-2 to recommend Levy to the District Court seat as part of a batch of 29 judicial nominees endorsed Thursday morning.
There was no discussion of Levy’s nomination before the vote. The nominations now go to the full Senate, where Republicans have used procedural tactics to slow votes on some judicial nominees in recent months.
Levy has served on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court since 2002 and previously served on the Maine District Court. He had the strong backing of Maine’s two senators, Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King. A former two-term governor, King nominated Levy for Maine’s District and Supreme courts.
“Jon’s strong legal credentials, his outstanding judicial temperament and his dazzling intellectual abilities make him a supremely well-qualified candidate for Maine’s federal bench, and I urge my colleagues to fully support his nomination,” King said in December.
Levy fielded some probing questions from the top-ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, during his December nomination hearing. Grassley voted for Levy on Thursday. The two dissenting votes were cast by conservative Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Levy would replace Judge George Z. Singal on the U.S. District Court bench and would join two other full-time U.S. District Court judges in Maine, John A. Woodcock and Nancy Torresen. Singal assumed semi-retired status effective July 31 but he continues to hear cases, as does Judge D. Brock Hornby.