Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, August 4, 2003


Page 5


Senate Confirms Federal Judges For New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Florida


From Staff and Wire Service Reports


The U.S. Senate has confirmed the appointments of five new federal judges.

Late Thursday, senators approved the nominations of Frank Montalvo and Xavier Rodriguez to federal judgeships in Texas, and of James I. Cohn, James O. Browning, and H. Brent McKnight to seats in Florida, New Mexico, and North Carolina respectively.

Montalvo and Rodriguez were confirmed to judgeships for the Western District of Texas. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both R-Texas, recommended the two to President Bush.

Montalvo was nominated for a new seat in the Western District, and is expected to sit in El Paso. Rodriguez was nominated to fill the vacancy left when Judge Edward Prado was named to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and is likely to sit in San Antonio.

Montalvo was confirmed on a 95-0 vote and Rodriguez was approved on a voice vote.

“Frank Montalvo and Xavier Rodriguez will only add to the exceptional tradition of judicial excellence the Western District has long enjoyed,” Cornyn said Thursday night in a statement from Washington.

“Judge Montalvo possesses a wealth of judicial and legal experience. He represents some of the finest qualities we expect in our federal judges,” Hutchison said Thursday night, also in a statement from the nation’s capital.

“Judge Rodriguez brings the qualifications and integrity to the bench that Texas and our nation need now,” Hutchison said.

Montalvo has served on the 288th Judicial District Court in San Antonio since 1994. Before his appointment, he was in private practice.

Rodriguez, also a San Antonio native, was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Perry in 2000, but was unseated in a Republican primary. He practiced with the Fulbright & Jaworski law firm before his appointment.

Cohn was confirmed by a vote of 96-0 to a seat in the Southern District of Florida. He is currently a Circuit Court judge in Ft. Lauderdale.

Browning was approved by voice vote as a judge for the District of New Mexico. He has been a civil trial attorney in Albuquerque since 1988, having previously served as a state deputy attorney general.

McKnight, confirmed by voice vote as a judge for the Western District of North Carolina, is currently a magistrate judge, based in Charlotte. Before his appointment to his current post, in 1993, he was a state district judge and before that an assistant district attorney.


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