Cortez Masto, Rosen Announce Members of Judicial Commissions and Process to Apply to Be Federal Judge

LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) released the following statement announcing the members of their bipartisan Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada Judicial Commissions. The Senators have created two five-member commissions, one in southern Nevada and one in northern Nevada, which will review and recommend candidates for potential nomination to the federal bench. Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen invite all Nevadans interested in being considered for the current vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Courthouse in Reno, Nevada to complete an application that can be found on the Senators’ websites. The deadline to apply is November 8. Applicants should expect that the respective regional commission members would review their application shortly thereafter.

“Nevadans deserve federal judges that are experienced, qualified, independent, and selected through a nonpartisan process,” said the Senators. “We are grateful to the members of our judicial nominating commissions for representing Nevada’s legal community and giving our state a voice in nominating candidates for the federal bench.” 


The Southern Nevada Judicial Commission members are:
•    Barbara Buckley, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (Chair)
•    W. West Allen, Partner of Howard & Howard, President-Elect of the Federal Bar Association
•    John R. Bailey, Managing Partner of Bailey Kennedy
•    Daniel W. Hamilton, Dean of UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
•    Marisa Rodriguez, Member, Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial and President of Latino Bar Association of Las Vegas

The Northern Nevada Judicial Commission members are:
•    Frankie Sue Del Papa, former Nevada Attorney General (Chair)
•    Kevin Benson, Benson Law and former State of Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General
•    Zelalem Bogale, Deputy General Counsel of Nevada System of Higher Education and former Deputy District Attorney of Washoe County
•    A. William Maupin, Retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Nevada
•    Matthew L. Sharp, Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp

BACKGROUND: The bipartisan judicial nominating commissions, established by Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen, will be responsible for vetting qualified judicial nominees for federal appointments to the District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nevada. 

The judicial commissions will interview applicants and submit to the Senators the names of candidates deemed qualified for the federal bench. In the event of a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nevada, the two commissions will join to form a 10-member statewide commission to review applications and recommend qualified candidates to the Senators. Traditionally, U.S. Senators confer with the White House and propose candidates for the President to nominate to fill judicial vacancies in their home state. This commission is modeled after similar processes used in other states.