Obama nominated Judge Beth M. Andrus, prosecutor J. Michael Diaz and attorney Kathleen M. O’Sullivan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced nominations for three federal judicial vacancies in Western Washington state, but it may be a while before they’re confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Obama nominated Judge Beth M. Andrus, prosecutor J. Michael Diaz and attorney Kathleen M. O’Sullivan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and a close observer of the courts, said the nominees “are highly-qualified, mainstream diverse candidates” but they may not be approved this year.

“The three will be at the end of a very long queue,” he said.

The Senate has been moving particularly slowly to fill a long backlog of vacancies since last year.

As lawmakers feud over a Supreme Court vacancy and other judicial vacancies, 49 of the president’s nominees for federal judgeships were still awaiting votes as of Thursday.

In a statement, Obama called the three nominees “distinguished public servants and valuable additions” to the federal court system.

“I am honored to put forward these highly qualified candidates for the federal bench,” the president said.

Andrus has served as Superior Court Judge for Washington’s King County Superior Court since 2010.

Diaz has served as the Civil Rights Program Coordinator for the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington since 2011.

And O’Sullivan is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Perkins Coie, specializing in appellate and commercial litigation.