The nominees are Eric D. Miller, a partner in the Seattle office of Perkins Coie; Tessa M. Gorman, an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle; and Kathleen M. O’Sullivan, a partner at Perkins Coie.
President Donald Trump on Friday announced the nominations of two Seattle attorneys to federal judicial vacancies in Western Washington and a third to serve as an appellate court judge.
Eric D. Miller has been nominated to a circuit judgeship on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Miller is a partner in the Seattle office of Perkins Coie, where he currently serves as the chair of the firm’s appellate practice. He once served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Tessa M. Gorman, an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle, has been nominated to serve as a district judge in the U.S. District Court. She is chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.
Kathleen M. O’Sullivan, a partner at Perkins Coie, was also nominated to serve as a district judge for the Seattle-based federal court. She was previously nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2016 to the U.S. District Court bench.
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Gorman and O’Sullivan were each nominated by a bipartisan Judicial Selection Committee. They would fill two positions in the U.S. District Court after judges Marsha Pechman, Robert Lasnik and James Robart announced they were moving to senior status positions.
The judicial-selection committee was put together by senators Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, and U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Washington.
Miller was not recommended by the committee, but would replace Judge Richard C. Tallman on the court of appeals. Tallman announced his senior status in March.
In an email, Bryan Watt, a spokesperson for Cantwell, wrote that “the senator did not and does not consent to Eric Miller’s nomination,” but did not elaborate.
Murray’s spokesperson, Eli Zupnick, wrote in an email that Murray appreciates that the administration chose to respect the recommendations of Gorman and O’Sullivan by Washington’s judicial selection process, but would need to review Miller’s record and qualifications before supporting his nomination.
Lasnik said in an interview that he is thrilled Gorman has been nominated to his seat.
“I’ve seen her operate in the court room from when she was basically new all the way up to her promotion as the first woman to head the criminal division,” Lasnik said.
The nominees face confirmation before the U.S. Senate.