The Senate Judiciary Committee almost unanimously approved four more judicial nominees July 19 for federal district court positions in California, New York and Pennsylvania.

The four nominees, three of which would fill positions that have been open for more than two years, now join 17 other nominees who have been approved by the committee and await a vote on the Senate floor before the nominations expire at the end of the year.

All four nominees were first selected by President Barack Obama in mid-May, and the committee worked relatively quickly to approve them. The nominees would, if confirmed, fill spots on short-handed courts considered to be judicial emergencies.

Fernando Olguin, a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California since 2001, was approved by the committee to replace Jacqueline Nguyen, who was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in May.

Frank Geraci Jr., a county court criminal judge in Rochester, N.Y., since 1999, was approved for a spot in the Western District of New York last filled by David Larimer, who took senior status in March 2009.

Matthew Brann, a civil attorney and partner at the law firm of Brann, Williams, Caldwell & Sheetz since 1995, was approved for a spot in the Middle District of Pennsylvania to replace Thomas Vanaskie, who was elevated to Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in April 2010.

And Malachy Mannion, a magistrate for the Middle District of Pennsylvania since 2001, would fill a vacancy created when District Judge Richard Caputo took senior status in March 2009.

The Middle District of Pennsylvania was featured in a May 14 article in The National Law Journal about Obama’s relatively slow rate of making nominations to fill the historically high number of judicial vacancies across the country.

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