Durbin: White House Nominates Lewis to be U.S. Attorney in Illinois' Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated James Lewis to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois.

“James Lewis has served in the Central District of Illinois for over twenty-five years,” said Durbin.  “I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama, and am confident that he will bring a strong work ethic and great depth of knowledge to the position of U.S. Attorney.”

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 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 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.  Prominent Springfield attorney James Potter serves as chairman of the Central 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 in consultation with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, submitted the finalists’ names to the President, who makes the final decisions on nominations.

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.