The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a voice vote for William McSwain, President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, the committee is set to decide whether McSwain will advance to the full Senate for a confirmation hearing. Along with McSwain, the committee will consider nominees for other federal appointments for the region, including Colm F. Connolly and Maryellen Noreika, chosen to fill judicial vacancies in Delaware.
The Legal first reported days after Trump’s election in November 2016 that McSwain was in the running for the top federal prosecutor position, which is based in Philadelphia.
McSwain currently focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense at Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he is a partner. His representation of Chester County Magisterial District Judge Mark Bruno during the 2014 Philadelphia Traffic Court ticket-fixing trial resulted in a total acquittal for Bruno.
As an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia from 2003 until his departure for Drinker Biddle in 2006, he specialized in matters dealing with the U.S. Department of Defense. McSwain served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer and is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of the Harvard Law Review.
If confirmed, McSwain will lead a U.S. Attorney’s Office that has had its hands full prosecuting public corruption, with politicians and officials from Philadelphia on trial almost annually in recent years.
In tandem with McSwain’s nomination, Trump also announced his nominees for three federal district judgeships in Pennsylvania: Susan Paradise Baxter and Marilyn Jean Horan for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and Chad F. Kenney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Hearings for those candidates have not yet been scheduled.
Baxter, a federal magistrate judge since 1995, served as chief magistrate judge for the district from 2005 until 2009. Before her appointment to the bench, she served as solicitor for Erie County and as a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm.
Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Horan has served on that court since 1996. Before her election to the bench, Horan worked for 17 years as an attorney at Butler law firm Murrin, Taylor, Flach & Horan. Her practice included civil litigation, family and domestic relations, Orphans’ Court practice, business and estate planning, administrative law, and bankruptcy.
The Eastern District nominee Kenney has been a judge on the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas since 2003. Kenney has handled family, criminal, civil, and Orphans’ section cases. In 2012, his fellow judges elected him to serve a five-year term as the president judge. Before becoming a judge, Kenney was a two-term sheriff of Delaware County. Kenney began his legal career as a civil litigator and later entered the general practice of law.