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U.S. Senate confirms new Colorado federal judge after five-year wait

Kabul

The U.S. Senate confirmed lawyer Regina Rodriguez for a federal judgeship Tuesday, five years after she was first nominated for the job.

The Senate voted 72-28 on Rodriguez’s nomination, with all Democrats and 22 Republicans voting in favor.

Rodriguez is a former prosecutor and a partner at Wilmer Hale, a powerful corporate law and lobbying firm that has a Denver office. She was nominated for a judgeship in the U.S. District Court of Colorado by former President Barack Obama in 2016 but wasn’t considered by the Republican-controlled Senate.

President Joe Biden nominated her to the same position March 30 at the urging of Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Bennet said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Regina Rodriguez is an exceptional nominee with a distinguished career and commitment to service. She has blazed trails in Colorado.”

Rodriguez has worked as a lawyer in private practice and for the government. She defended the Colorado Rockies in a lawsuit involving a fan who lost her left leg in an escalator accident at Coors Field and defended Denver from allegations of abuse by a former jail inmate.

Rodriguez has been criticized by Demand Justice, a liberal group, for being a corporate lawyer and former prosecutor. That group has urged Biden to instead appoint more civil rights attorneys and public defenders to the federal bench.

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