Friday, February 08, 2002

Senate panel OKs Bunning for bench

Final step: Senate vote

By Derrick DePledge
Enquirer Washington Bureau

        WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve the nomination of David Bunning to serve as a federal judge for the eastern district of Kentucky.

        The nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation. Senators on the committee raised no objections to Mr. Bunning and voted to send his and five other district court nominations to the Senate without comment.

        Mr. Bunning is an assistant U.S. attorney in Covington and the son of Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.

        At a confirmation hearing in December, three district court judges from Kentucky and a former U.S. attorney endorsed President Bush's nomination of Mr. Bunning for the lifetime position. However, the American Bar Association said Mr. Bunning, 35, was not qualified for the federal bench because of a lack of experience.

        Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who serves on the judiciary committee, said he believed the testimony from the Kentucky judges and the former U.S. attorney provided a strong argument for the nominee.

        “I thought the hearing was extraordinarily convincing,” he said.

        The elder Mr. Bunning said he was gratified by the committee's vote.

        “He is well qualified and will make a fine federal judge for Kentucky,” Mr. Bunning said of his son.


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