Durbin: White House Nominates Chang to Fill Federal Judgeship in Northern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Edmond Chang for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois.  Chang is the third individual to be nominated to fill one of five pending vacancies in the Northern District.  Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the President’s first two nominations: Sharon Coleman and Gary Feinerman.  Those nominations will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate.

“Edmond Chang is an excellent candidate,” said Durbin.  “Throughout his career, Chang has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public service, and if confirmed will become the first Asian-American federal judge in Illinois.  I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama.  His extensive experience and distinguished record will be an asset to the Northern District of Illinois’ bench.”

Chang has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois since 1999, and he is currently the chief of appeals.  He previously worked as an associate at Sidley Austin in Chicago, and as a judicial law clerk to Judge Marvin Aspen in the Northern District of Illinois and Judge James Ryan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  He received a Star of Distinction award from the Chicago Crime Commission.  He has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University law school, where he graduated with honors and served on the law review.

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 screening committees met throughout the spring and early summer, reviewing applications and references, 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 last fall, in consultation with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, submitted the names of seven individuals to the President, who made the final decision on today’s nominee.

Once the President submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, it will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member and the nominee will ultimately receive a vote in the committee.  If approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nominee will then receive a vote by the full Senate.