Cheryl Krause
Cheryl Krause ()

Cheryl Ann Krause, who practices white-collar defense at Dechert, will be nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, according to a release from the White House.

The announcement comes just over six months after 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.

A second nominee might well be announced soon, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law who tracks vacancies on the federal bench. Since 2014 is an election year, which could spell the end of Democratic control of the Senate, the White House will probably want to get its nominees through the Senate approval process quickly, he said.

Krause could be confirmed this year, Tobias said, explaining that she doesn’t look like a controversial candidate.

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.

Krause clerked for two appellate judges, Judge Alex Kozinski in the Ninth Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. The clerkships are interesting, Tobias said, noting that Kozinski is considered to be a fairly conservative judge. Now chief of the Ninth Circuit, Kozinski was nominated by President Ronald Reagan when he was 35.

Reagan had a reputation for nominating young judges who would have a long-term impact on the judiciary to appellate courts, an approach that other Republican presidents have adopted, Tobias said.

During his first term, President Obama reflected President Bill Clinton’s view of appellate court nominations as the capstone of a career, Tobias said. The average age of Obama’s first-term nominees to circuit courts was around 55, he said.

However, in Obama’s second term, he’s taken to naming younger people to appellate benches, Tobias said, noting the two recent nominees to the Ninth Circuit who are in their 40s.

“It’s not systematic,” Tobias said, but there have been some younger nominees since Obama’s re-election.

Krause is 46.

Her nomination was met with praise from both Pennsylvania senators—Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey—who each noted her public service work in their statements.

Krause developed a partnership between Dechert and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities and serves as outside counsel for the city of Philadelphia’s Board of Ethics, according to a release from Dechert.

“I am pleased that President Obama has nominated Cheryl Ann Krause to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals,” Toomey said in a prepared statement. “In addition to her unquestioned commitment to the law, Ms. Krause has a wealth of legal experience in public service and working in private practice. I am confident she will excel as a federal appellate judge and I look forward to her joining our other talented federal jurists on the Third Circuit.”

In a separate statement from Casey, the state’s senior senator said, “I’m pleased that President Obama has nominated Cheryl Krause to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Cheryl has been a partner at two major law firms in Philadelphia while remaining active in pro bono and civic efforts throughout Philadelphia. Cheryl first began her academic studies as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania and further advanced the mission of one of Philadelphia’s great law schools as a member of the faculty. I’m hopeful that the Senate Judiciary Committee will move her nomination forward on a bipartisan basis so she can soon be considered by the full Senate.”

Krause joined Dechert in 2006 from Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, where she was a shareholder.

The chairman of Dechert, Andrew J. Levander, called the nomination “well-deserved.”

Krause is in the Philadelphia office while Levander is based in New York, but, he said, the two have worked together and he characterized her as “really smart, really careful, balanced and fair.”

Saranac Hale Spencer can be contacted at 215-557-2449 or Follow her on Twitter @SSpencerTLI.