Senate Confirms Boom for Federal Bench in Kentucky

WASHINGTON (CN) – The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to a seat shared between two Kentucky federal courts.

Claria Boom, who has worked at the Lexington, Ky., firm Frost Brown Todd since 2006, cleared the Senate 95-1 on Tuesday afternoon after receiving unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee in December. The Kentucky native will now take a seat shared by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

A minority of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated Boom not qualified, while a majority rated her qualified. Unlike with Steven Grasz, a Trump nominee to the Eighth Circuit who earned confirmation despite a not qualified rating, the group did not explain its assessment of Boom.

Before entering private practice, Boom worked as a federal prosecutor in Kentucky from 1998 to 2002, where she focused on financial crimes, according to her profile on the Frost Brown Todd website. She now specializes in financial law with experience handling “a wide variety of banking, finance and commercial transactions, as well as internal investigations.”

Senators did not question Boom when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November, as the first panel of the day ran long. In questions submitted in writing after the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., pressed Boom over her work representing corporate clients.

Boom insisted that the focus of her private practice work will not color her decision-making on the bench. She told Whitehouse she would be careful to stop wealthy clients from using their resources to fund “paper blizzard tactics” meant to force their opponents to settle by sapping them of their time and money.

“If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I will ensure all litigants follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Boom wrote to Whitehouse. “I will engage in active, hands-on case management and ensure that proportionality be an integral part of the scope of discovery in every case.”

Boom has a history of donating to Republican candidates in elections, though in relatively small sums. She contributed donated twice to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for a total of $500, while she has given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., $1,450 in four separate donations from 2001 to 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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