Durbin: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Federal Judicial Nominees in Northern & Central District District of Illinois
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, has unanimously approved Sara Ellis and Andrea Wood for federal judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Colin Bruce for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. Their nominations will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate.
“Both Sara Ellis and Andrea Wood will make exceptional judges in the Northern District while Colin Bruce will be an excellent addition to the federal bench in the Central District,” said Durbin. “I am impressed with the dedication to public service that each nominee has shown and with the wealth of experience they have gained throughout their careers. I look forward to voting to approve their nominations in the Senate very soon.”
Colin Bruce has been a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois since 1989, and he currently serves as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has handled over 600 cases in federal court, including 60 jury trials and 80 appeals, and he has prosecuted major federal cases involving firearms, drugs, fraud, money laundering, and cybercrime. He earned a BA and JD from the University of Illinois. Mr. Bruce lives in Savoy.
Sara Ellis has worked as a counsel at Schiff Hardin in Chicago since 2008. Previously she served for six years as a staff attorney for the Federal Defender Program in Chicago, for three years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law, and in private practice at Stetler & Duffy in Chicago. She graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she has taught as an adjunct professor. Ms. Ellis lives in Chicago.
Andrea Wood has served as a Senior Trial Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago since 2007. Previously she worked as an attorney in the SEC Division of Enforcement and in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis. She served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, where she served on the law review. Ms. Wood lives in Chicago.
In order to make recommendations for judicial vacancies in the Northern District, Durbin established a screening committee in August 2012 comprised of 13 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession including former judges, prominent litigators, bar association leaders, and former prosecutors and defenders. The committee was co-chaired by Dick Devine, former Cook County State’s Attorney and current partner at the law firm of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP, and Patricia Brown Holmes, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and a partner at the law firm of Schiff Hardin.
In order to make recommendations for judicial vacancies in the Central District, Durbin established a screening committee in April 2009 comprised of several distinguished Illinoisans also drawn from various aspects of the legal profession. Springfield attorney James Potter served as chairman of the screening panel.
After holding several meetings, reviewing the applications and conducting interviews, the screening committees recommended the names of several individuals for each vacancy. Durbin reviewed the screening committees’ 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 decisions on nominees.
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