Senate, in Rare Move, OKs a Federal Judge

     SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - Sacramento Superior Court Judge Troy Nunley has been confirmed as the newest U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of California.
     President Barack Obama nominated Nunley to the Sacramento federal bench and the U.S. Senate confirmed him Saturday by voice vote.
     Nunley will fill the seat vacated by Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., who assumed senior status last July.
     Nunley was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 2002 by Gov. Gray Davis. From 1999 to 2002 he was a deputy attorney general in the criminal division of the office of California's attorney general. He was a prosecutor in Sacramento County from 1996 to 1999 and in Alameda County from 1991 to 1994.
     A native of San Francisco, Nunley got his bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College in 1986 and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1990.
     There still is one vacancy on the six-judge U.S. Eastern District in Sacramento.
     Nationwide, there are 87 vacant federal judgeships, according to the United States Courts official website: 69 in U.S. District Courts, 16 on U.S. Courts of Appeal, and 2 on the U.S. Court of International Trade.
     Seven nominees are pending on U.S. Courts of Appeal, and 20 in U.S. District Courts, according to www.uscourts.gov, dated Monday.
     Republican senators have repeatedly blocked President Obama's nominees to federal judgeships, and the president has not made an issue of it.