Senate gives nod to Toledo lawyer

Helmick succeeds Judge James Carr in U.S. District Court

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to approve Toledo defense lawyer Jeffrey Helmick as a U.S. District Court judge, more than a year after he was nominated by President Obama.

He succeeds Judge James Carr, who was district judge from 1994 until 2010, when he went on senior judge status.

The 62-36 vote came after a debate in which a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized Mr. Helmick over an ethics case that went to the Ohio Supreme Court and for his representation of accused terrorist Wassim Mazloum in 2009.

Those criticisms were rebutted by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) as "shallow and vacuous."

"He's only controversial in the Senate Judiciary Committee and among some of my colleagues. He's not controversial in Ohio, where they know Jeffrey Helmick the best. He's not controversial in the Toledo Bar Association. He's not controversial among federal judges in Toledo," Senator Brown said, lauding Mr. Helmick's community service and legal career.

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