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In the midst of confirmation hearings over the conservative credentials of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr., President George W. Bush has found himself with a list of decidedly different candidates for a vacant seat on the D.C. Superior Court. Last week the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission handed the White House three names to choose from to replace Judge Noel Kramer, who was sworn in last week as a D.C. Court of Appeals judge. All three have made the commission’s short-list before (but two back when Bill Clinton was president): Robert Spagnoletti, D.C.’s first attorney general; Andrew Fois, a former high-ranking Department of Justice official under Clinton; and Carol Dalton, a magistrate judge who handles abuse and neglect cases on the Superior Court’s Family Court. Spagnoletti, who came under fire from Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) earlier this year for advising a gay married couple that they could file a joint tax return under D.C. law, declined to comment on his prospects. Fois, the former assistant attorney general for legislative affairs under Attorney General Janet Reno, was selected by Clinton for a spot on the bench in 2000, but his nomination was never acted upon by the Senate. Fois says it “remains to be seen” if his former political connections damage him in the selection process. But in what might be considered extra insurance, Fois’ position as a legal contributor to Fox News Channel is listed front and center on his biography that the commission handed out.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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