President Obama has begun filling the 93 U.S. Attorney positions with six nominees. The move touched off a closely guarded process freighted with symbolism after the Bush administration firings scandal, says the National Law Journal. President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton made their first nominations just before Congress’ summer recess in August. Some Republicans have signaled their intention to block candidates if they’re left out of the process.
Obama said he intended to nominate Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York, Tristram Coffin for Vermont, Jenny Durkan for the Western District of Washington, Paul Fishman for New Jersey, John Kacavas for New Hampshire and Joyce Vance for the Northern District of Alabama. All six have given campaign contributions to Obama or other Democrats. Also, the Boston Globe reported that Carmen Ortiz, who grew up poor in New York City’s Spanish Harlem neighborhood and became a state and then a federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, is poised to become the first woman and the first Hispanic U.S. attorney in the state. She was recommended by Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry.