Federal Judge Patti Saris of Massachusetts will become chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission now that she has been confirmed by the Senate. Saris succeeds Judge William K. Sessions. Dabney Friedrich of Maryland, a former counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut) was confirmed for a second term as a commissioner. Both were nominated by President Obama this year; Friedrich earlier had been nominated by President George W. Bush. The commission recommends sentencing policies for the federal courts. Its guidelines no longer are binding, under decisions of the Supreme Court.
Other commission members are Vice Chair William Carr of Pennsylvania, Vice Chair Ketanji Jackson of Maryland, Chief Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and Beryl Howell, who was confirmed by the Senate this week as a United States district judge for the District of Columbia. The two non-voting members of the Commission are Isaac Fulwood, Jr., chairman of the United States Parole Commission, and Jonathan Wroblewski, representing the Department of Justice.