Durbin: Senate Confirms Coleman for Federal Judgeship in Northern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate has unanimously confirmed Justice Sharon Coleman to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois.

“Sharon Coleman has devoted her entire legal career to public service,” said Durbin.  “Her extensive experience and reputation for fairness and impartiality will be an asset to the Northern District of Illinois.  It was an honor recommending her name to President Obama and voting on her nomination today.”

Justice Coleman serves on the Illinois Appellate Court, following her election in 2008.  She served as a judge on the Circuit Court of Cook County from 1996-2008.  Before that, she was a supervisor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.  She has served on the boards of numerous bar associations and public interest organizations, she has received a Woman of Excellence award from the Chicago Defender, and she has served as a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow.  She received her J.D. from Washington University law school and her B.A. from Northern Illinois University.

In April of last year, Durbin established three bipartisan screening committees to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals for Illinois. The screening committees were comprised of 22 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession and include former judges, prominent litigators, law professors, bar association leaders, former prosecutors and defenders.  Former federal judge and Illinois Congressman Abner Mikva chaired the Northern District Screening Panel.
Members of the Northern District screening committee met throughout the spring and early summer, reviewing applications and references, and conducting interviews. The screening committee recommended the names of several individuals for each vacancy.  Durbin reviewed the screening committee’s recommendations, conducted interviews of finalists, and in consultation with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, submitted the names of seven individuals to the President, who made the final decision on the nominees.