Durbin: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves U.S. Attorney Nominee in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, unanimously approved James Lewis to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois.  His nomination will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate.

“James Lewis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of U.S. Attorney,” said Durbin.  “It was an honor to recommend his name to President Obama and I look forward to joining my Senate colleagues in voting for his nomination.”

Lewis has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois since 1983, and he has served as the Chief of the Civil Division in that office for over 20 years.  Previously, he worked as a trial attorney in the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, as a law professor, and as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi.  Mr. Lewis has been a board member of several organizations and has received several awards for his work.

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 are 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.

Springfield attorney James Potter serves as chairman of the Central District screening panel.  Members of this screening committee reviewed conducted interviews, and made recommendations for U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois.  Durbin reviewed the recommendations, conducted interviews of finalists and, in consultation with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, submitted the names of two individuals to the President, who made the final decision on today’s nomination.