Durbin: White House Nominates Rosenstengel to Fill Federal Judicial Vacancy in Southern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Nancy J. Rosenstengel to fill an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois. 


“Nancy Rosenstengel is an excellent candidate for a federal judgeship in Illinois,” said Durbin.  “Throughout her legal career, she has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge which, once approved, will serve her well as the first female district court judge to serve in the Southern District of Illinois.  I will work with my colleagues and Senator Kirk to see that her nomination is swiftly confirmed by the Senate.” 


Ms. Rosenstengel currently serves as the Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, a position she has held since 2009.  She previously served as a law clerk to Judge Patrick Murphy of the Southern District of Illinois for 11 years.  She has also worked for five years in private practice at Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard in St. Louis.  She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University School of Law.  Ms. Rosenstengel lives in Belleville. 


Durbin, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, is the senior senator from Illinois.  The senior senator from the President’s political party has traditionally had the lead role in making recommendations to the President for the positions of Federal District Court Judge, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal in the senator’s home state. It has been announced that a judicial vacancy will open up in the Southern District in December.


During the Clinton Presidency, Durbin worked closely with Senator Peter Fitzgerald to ensure that highly qualified candidates for federal judgeships were nominated by the President with bipartisan support in order to secure their confirmation.  Before making recommendations to President Obama, Durbin consulted with the office of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL).


In order to make recommendations for judicial vacancies in the Southern District, Durbin established a screening committee in April 2013 comprised of 6 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession.  The committee was co-chaired by Lois Wood, Executive Director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Honorable George W. Timberlake (ret.), former chief judge of the Illinois Second Judicial Circuit.


The screening committees reviewed applications, interviewed applicants and references, and recommended the names of several individuals to Durbin.   Durbin reviewed the screening committees’ recommendations, conducted interviews of the finalists, and submitted his recommendations to the President, who makes the final decisions on nominees.


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