Cheryl Ann Krause, President Obama’s nominee for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, cleared a hurdle Thursday on her way to the bench.
The Senate Judiciary Committee moved her along to be voted on by the full Senate after holding a voice vote with no members voting against her.
Krause was voted out of committee with three other judicial nominees, all of whom are nominees for district court seats in other circuits.
A handful of appellate court nominees are ahead of Krause in line for a floor vote in the Senate and there are more than 20 district court nominees waiting for a floor vote, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law who tracks judicial nominees. He estimated that she might get a floor vote in June or July.
It’s a “great sign for her that no one spoke about her,” Tobias said, explaining that the voice vote coupled with no criticism of her “looks like smooth-sailing” toward a confirmation.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement expressing concern about all the judges up for committee vote except for Krause.
Krause, 46, practices white-collar defense at Dechert in Philadelphia.
She was nominated for one of two empty seats on the Third Circuit in February and sat for a hearing in March.
The two seats were left open on the appeals court when longtime Judges Dolores Sloviter and Anthony Scirica took senior status last summer. No one has yet been named for the second seat.
The last judge to be put on the bench in the Third Circuit was Patty Shwartz, a former U.S. magistrate judge in New Jersey, who was confirmed last April, 18 months after she was first nominated.
Last week, two nominees were confirmed by the full Senate for seats on the bench in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with surprisingly close votes.