July 14th, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP

Looks Like Obama Reads Willamette Week: Finally Names Federal Judges

Obama Cover

This morning's print edition of WW contained a item in the "Murmurs" column questioning why it was taking years to fill two judicial vacancies on the U.S. District Court of Oregon.

And voila, this afternoon, President Obama (above from a 2008 WW cover illustration) named Washington County Court Judge Marco Hernandez and Portland lawyer Michael Simon to those plum positions on the federal bench.

Here's the message from the White House (minus the bios of the three non-Oregon judges):
President Obama Names Five to United States District Court

WASHINGTON- Today, President Obama nominated Judge Marco Hernandez, Beryl A. Howell, Judge Steve C. Jones, Judge Diana Saldaña and Michael H. Simon to seats on the United States District Court.

“These individuals have demonstrated a commitment to justice throughout their careers,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the United States District Court.”

Judge Marco A. Hernandez: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon

Judge Marco A. Hernandez is a Circuit Court judge in Washington County, Oregon, where he has served on the bench for 15 years. He was presiding judge of the Circuit Court from 2002 to 2005. Judge Hernandez began his legal career in 1986 with Oregon Legal Services, where he worked on federal civil cases on behalf of farm workers. From 1989 to 1994, he served as a Deputy District Attorney in Washington County. Judge Hernandez received his J.D. in 1986 from the University of Washington School of Law and his B.A. (honors) in 1983 from Western Oregon State College.

Michael H. Simon: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon

Michael H. Simon is a partner in the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP, where he specializes in business litigation in both state and federal court and is head of litigation for the firm's Portland office. Since becoming a partner in 1990, he has handled several high-profile First Amendment cases on a pro bono basis. Prior to joining Perkins Coie in 1986, Mr. Simon served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, in Washington, D.C., where he handled both civil and criminal antitrust matters. He received his J.D. cum laude in 1981 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude in 1978 from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Look for Murmurs in next week's paper on getting troops out of Afghanistan and capping BP's rogue oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

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