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U.S. Attorney Beverly B. Martin watched C-SPAN Friday as the U.S. Senate made her a federal judge. The televised confirmation capped a relatively smooth confirmation process for the Macon, Ga., resident. “I have a lot of respect for the process,” she says. “Obviously, today I feel it has been really good to me.” For Martin, the process was relatively swift. Her candidacy for federal judgeship went from recommendation to confirmation in a little more than four months, thanks to bipartisan support from the state’s senators, as well as a vote of confidence from key Republicans. Martin was Sen. Max Cleland’s, D-Ga., third recommendation for the post U.S. District Court Judge Frank M. Hull left open when elevated to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August 1997. Martin says she hasn’t scheduled her swearing in. She will take a couple of weeks to rest and organize before her move. U.S. District Court Executive John T. Shope says the court expects her to take over her new offices in the next couple of months. “We’re always ready for another judge,” he says. Martin will become the Northern District’s third female judge. The court now includes eight men and two women. Cleland says Martin’s experience in the private sector, state and federal government makes her perfect for the post. “I’m really excited about the fact that Beverly Martin has been confirmed,” he says. “She comes from a long line of distinguished lawyers.” Martin studied at Mercer University, and received her BA from Stetson University in Deland, Fla. She earned her law degree from the University of Georgia in 1981, and started at the Macon law firm Martin, Snow, Grant & Napier, the firm her great-grandfather founded in 1890. She left private practice after three years and joined the attorney general’s office in Atlanta. She directed the AG’s business and professional regulation division from 1991 to 1994. Martin joined the U.S. attorney’s office in Macon in 1994, handling narcotics and general criminal offenses. President Bill Clinton nominated Martin to her current post of U.S. attorney for the Middle District in 1997. Cleland spokeswoman Patricia M. Murphy says Cleland is considering an effort to fill the U.S. attorney post in Macon before the end of the year. Martin’s post has given her extensive contact with the federal judiciary, she says. “It’s humbling to think that I’m going to be among their number,” she says. “I’m just pleased as Punch that the Senate acted quickly on the president’s nomination,” Cleland says. Cleland has run into trouble filling the benches in the northern district. Two of his three earlier recommendations for judicial posts since Hull was named to the Court of Appeals failed to clear the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator had originally recommended Lilburn, Ga., lawyer Andrew J. Ekonomou to fill Hull’s post, but Ekonomou withdrew his name after the White House waited 15 months to forward the recommendation to the Senate. While Hull’s old post was still open, another seat on the federal bench opened in spring 1999, when then-Chief Judge G. Ernest Tidwell announced he would take senior status. That April, Cleland recommended Conasauga Circuit Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. to fill Tidwell’s post, and Fulton Superior Court Judge Gail S. Tusan to replace Hull. The president formally nominated both candidates that fall, and the Senate unanimously confirmed Pannell. Tusan, however, removed her name from consideration Jan. 21, complaining political infighting would delay a vote on her nomination until after the deadline to qualify to run for re-election. But the confirmation process has moved swiftly for Martin. Following Tusan’s withdrawal, Cleland recommended Martin for the post Feb. 11. President Clinton formally nominated her in March, following an official investigation. Cleland has explained that he bypassed the judicial nomination review committee in recommending Martin because he had very little time to get her nominated and confirmed. Fortunately, says Murphy, Martin already had cleared a White House investigation and a Justice Department background check on her way to her current post as U.S. Attorney. Cleland also was helped by Republican colleagues. Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., supported Cleland’s nominee. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, brought Martin’s nomination to a hearing May 25, two months after the White House forwarded it to the Judiciary Committee. The committee voted June 15 to approve her. The next morning, Murphy says, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., brought the nomination to a vote, which the Senate passed. “We’re certainly very grateful to all those gentlemen,” she says.

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