WASHINGTON (CN) – The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed President Donald Trump’s choice to serve on the D.C. federal court Monday, kicking off Republican plans to spend the week filing high-level judicial vacancies.
Trevor McFadden, who currently serves as deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division, will serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after being approved 84-10 on Monday evening.
A member of the conservative Federalist Society since 2003, McFadden spent two years as a police officer in the Washington suburb of Fairfax County before entering the legal field. McFadden worked as an intern at the Virginia state prosecutor’s office in 2005 before joining the Justice Department in 2007 as counsel to the deputy attorney general.
McFadden then worked as a federal prosecutor in Washington for five years before moving to private practice at the Washington firm Baker McKenzie.
McFadden returned to public life after Trump won a year ago, volunteering on Trump’s transition team as a “vetter.” McFadden told Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that his work was limited to reviewing “public-source information” about potential appointees to see if there was anything that might “disqualify them or reflect poorly on the president.”
McFadden’s nomination was relatively uncontroversial, though Washington’s nonvoting member in the House of Representatives, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, objected to McFadden’s appointment to a court in Washington where he is not a resident. McFadden told Feinstein in written responses to questions after his nomination hearing that he had no plans to move to the city.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also pressed McFadden in written questions for the record about his elected position at the Falls Church Anglican, a church near Washington that broke from the Episcopal Church in part because the larger church put in place a gay bishop.
Though he would not offer his personal opinion on the subject, McFadden assured Whitehouse that if approved to the bench he would apply the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage across the country.
“It would be improper for me to state my personal opinions,” McFadden said in a written questionnaire. “If I am confirmed as a judge, I will faithfully apply the applicable Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit precedents, including Obergefell v. Hodges.”
McFadden is the first judge to be confirmed in a week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised to fill with judicial confirmation votes. After voting to confirm McFadden, the Senate ended debate on Amy Barrett, Trump’s nominee to serve on the Seventh Circuit.
“These nominees understand their role as a judge is to put aside their personal preferences and instead decide cases based on what the law says,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. “We’ll confirm all of them this week, no matter how long that takes.”