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Judgeship for Cullen advances to Senate floor vote as soon as next month

Judgeship for Cullen advances to Senate floor vote as soon as next month


President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen to a federal judgeship awaits confirmation by the U.S. Senate after a key committee vote last week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the matter Thursday on a vote of 17 to 5. The confirmation vote looks likely to occur on the Senate floor in June or July, according to Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

Cullen picked up support last week from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from San Francisco and the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member. In announcing her intention to vote yes, Feinstein said Cullen’s “led the investigation and prosecution of white nationalists involved in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and he has recognized the severity of the threat we face from white nationalism.”

Cullen “seems headed for a very strong vote” when the matter reaches the full Senate given the influence of Feinstein and also of U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, who have previously endorsed Cullen receiving the lifetime judicial post, according to Tobias.

Cullen, of Roanoke, recently completed two years as the top federal prosecutor in the Western District. If confirmed, he would occupy the judgeship held by Glen Conrad, who has taken senior status.

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Jeff Sturgeon covers the city of Roanoke, including schools, banking and transportation. Phone: (540) 981-3251. Email: Mail: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, VA 24011.

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