WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced two Ohio judicial nominees at their confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. In December, President Obama nominated U.S. Magistrate Judges Benita Pearson and Timothy Black to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, respectively. The President’s nomination follows the recommendation of Sen. Brown (D-OH) and Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH) designed bipartisan selection process.
“When one looks at the life of Judge Pearson, it becomes evident that she is someone who cares about both her profession and her community. Judge Pearson’s background as a prosecutor, private practice attorney, certified public accountant and federal magistrate make her uniquely qualified to serve on the U.S. district court,” Brown said.
“Judge Black’s service extends beyond the judges’ chamber and into neighborhoods and the community in which he lives and works,” Brown continued. “His wealth of experience and commitment to serving others has uniquely prepared him for this position and I am proud to urge that he be confirmed.”
“I am confident in the Commissions’ process and recommendations,” Sen. Voinovich said. “I believe both Judge Black and Pearson have the impartiality, legal expertise and judicial temperament to serve their Ohio Districts with integrity.”
Judge Pearson was selected as a magistrate by the Northern 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 U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and as an associate with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland. The Northern District has court locations in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves 5.9 million citizens in 40 Ohio counties.
Judge Black was selected as a magistrate by the Southern District Court in 2004. In that position, he has overseen a range of federal judicial proceedings, including jury trials, bail hearings, preliminary examinations, and search warrants. Prior to his selection as a magistrate, Judge Black spent ten years on the Hamilton County Municipal Court and served as a partner at Graydon, Head, and Ritchey in Cincinnati. The Southern District has court locations in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton and serves more than 5 million citizens in 48 Ohio counties.
Last year, Senators Brown and Voinovich formed two bipartisan judicial advisory commissions, which recommended candidates for the positions in the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio. After consulting with Sen. George Voinovich, Brown recommended Black and Pearson to President Obama to fill the vacancies on the U.S. District Courts. In December, President Obama nominated Pearson and Black. Their nominations must now be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then the full Senate.