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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jan. 7, 201312:00 PM EST

Davis re-nominated to U.S. Middle District bench

by: Joe Wilhelm Jr.

Circuit Judge Brian Davis was re-nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Middle District bench Thursday, but still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate — an action that never happened when Davis was appointed last year.

Davis and fellow presidential appointee U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell need to be confirmed by the Senate before they can join the federal bench. Obama nominated Davis to the bench Feb. 29, but the appointment was never confirmed.

Middle District Chief Judge Anne Conway described how additional judges are needed in a busy federal district.

"In fiscal year 2012 there were 650 cases per active judgeship (in the U.S. Middle District of Florida). The recommended number is in the 400s," said Conway during a speech to the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Nov. 9.

Obama displayed his frustration with the pace of confirmation in a statement released Thursday.

"Several (appointees)have been awaiting a vote for more than six months, even though they all enjoy bipartisan support. I urge the Senate to consider and confirm these nominees without delay, so all Americans can have equal and timely access to justice," Obama said in the statement.

Davis and Chappell were among 33 appointments made Thursday by Obama. Davis recently won re-election as a circuit judge and currently presides in Nassau County.

U.S. District Judges Timothy Corrigan and Marcia Morales Howard, who serve the Jacksonville Division of the U.S. Middle District said they are looking forward to more judges joining the District bench.

"The Jacksonville Division of the Middle District of Florida has had a judicial vacancy since April 1, 2012, which sorely needs to be filled. Both the Court and the citizens of Northeast Florida will benefit from what we hope will be a speedy confirmation process," said both judges in a combined statement released Friday.

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