Sen. Brown Announces Confirmation of Federal Judge Benita Y. Pearson for U.S. Northern District of Ohio

Sens. Brown, Voinovich Recommended Judge Pearson to Fill Vacancy in July 2009 in First-of-Its-Kind Bipartisan Selection Committee Process; Becomes the First African American Woman to Hold a U.S. District Judgeship in Ohio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that the U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. Magistrate Judge Benita Y. Pearson to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

“The people of Ohio have yet another reason to be proud today. The confirmation of Judge Pearson to the U.S. District Court means that we can continue working toward a more just society,” Sen. Brown said. “Her background as a prosecutor, private practice attorney, certified public accountant, and magistrate makes Judge Pearson uniquely qualified to serve as a U.S. District Judge and I am looking forward to the Judge’s confirmation ceremony.”

Judge Pearson was selected as a magistrate by the U.S. District Court in 2008.  In that position, she has overseen a range of federal judicial proceedings, including jury trials, bail hearings, preliminary examinations, and search warrants.  Prior to her selection as a magistrate, Judge Pearson served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and as an associate with Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland.

U.S. District Court judges are nominated by the president of the United States and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. District Courts are general trials courts that hear both civil and criminal cases.

The nomination was based on the recommendation of a bipartisan 17-member judicial advisory commission assembled by Brown and Sen. George V. Voinovich. To prevent any potential conflicts of interest, commission members residing in the Southern District of Ohio screened applicants for the Northern District.

Judge Pearson’s confirmation fills the vacancy created in Youngstown when U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus took senior status.

The Northern District has court locations in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves 5.9 million citizens in 40 Ohio counties.

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