Durbin: White House Nominates Myerscough, Shadid and Darrow to Fill Federal Judgeships in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Appellate Court Justice Sue Myerscough, Judge James Shadid and Sara Darrow to fill three vacancies on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. All three were nominated by President Obama last year, but did not complete the Senate confirmation process before the end of the 111th Congress.


“All three of the President’s nominees are excellent candidates for federal judgeships in the Central District,” said Durbin. “Throughout their careers, they have each gained a wealth of experience and demonstrated a unique dedication to public service. Because we face a judicial emergency in the Central District with three out of four judgeships currently vacant, I will work with my Senate colleagues to see that all three judicial nominees are swiftly confirmed.”


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. Springfield attorney James Potter serves as chair of the Central District of Illinois screening committee.


Members of the screening committees held meetings, reviewed applications and references, and conducted interviews. The screening committees recommended the names of several individuals for each vacancy. Durbin reviewed the screening committees’ recommendations, conducted interviews of finalists, and submitted his recommendations to the President, who makes the final decisions on nominees.


Once the President submits a judicial 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 receive a hearing and vote in the committee. If approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nominee will then receive a vote by the full Senate. Last year, both Myerscough and Shadid’s nominations received a vote in the Judiciary Committee and were unanimously approved.


Biographical descriptions of those nominated by the President today follow:


Sue Myerscough


Justice Myerscough has served as a state appellate court judge on the Fourth District Appellate Court in Springfield since 1998. From 1987-1998, she was a state trial court judge on the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Springfield. She worked in private practice from 1981-1987, after serving as a judicial law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baker in the Central District of Illinois. She earned a BA and JD from Southern Illinois University, and she has been an adjunct professor at the SIU School of Medicine and a member of the SIU Law School board of visitors.


James Shadid


Judge Shadid has served as a state trial court judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit in Peoria since 2001. He was a lawyer in private practice from 1983-2001, including part-time work as a Peoria County public defender and as a commissioner of the court of claims. He has been active in the community and served as president of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Peoria. Judge Shadid earned a BS from Bradley University, where he now serves as an adjunct professor, and a JD from John Marshall Law School.


Sara Darrow


Ms. Darrow has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois since 2003 and has prosecuted major federal crimes involving firearms, drugs, gangs, fraud, money laundering, bank robberies, and cybercrime. From 1999-2003, she worked in the Henry County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney and then as the First Assistant State’s Attorney. From 1997-1998, she worked in the Law Offices of Clarence Darrow in Rock Island. She is a graduate of Saint Louis University law school and Marquette University.