WASHINGTON (CN) – The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed a Louisiana state court judge to a seat on a federal court.
Judge Terry Doughty has served as on Louisiana’s Fifth Judicial District Court since 2009, having spent the previous two decades at the Rayville, La., firm Cotton, Bolton, Hoychick & Doughty. While working as an associate and later a partner at the firm, Doughty also served as a state prosecutor in Richland, Franklin and West Carroll Parishes.
Doughty, who will now sit on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, told senators during his confirmation process that his work as a state judge has left him better prepared for a spot on the federal bench.
“I believe the most important lessons I have learned in serving as a state district court judge is how to be fair and impartial and to decide cases based upon the law, without regard to the parties, attorneys or consequences,” Doughty wrote in response to questions Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sent to him following his confirmation hearing. “I believe today I am a more experienced and therefore a better judge than I was in 2009.”
Doughty has lead the Fifth District Drug Court since he became a judge in 2009 and also helped start the district’s juvenile drug court. Both programs give court-monitored outpatient drug treatment programs to people who are on parole or probation and suffer from substance abuse problems.
Doughty said his involvement in the program has been “rewarding” and told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., it left him better able to understand the people who enter his courtroom.
“I understand how hard alcohol and/or drug addictions are to overcome,” Doughty wrote to Whitehouse in response to questions submitted after his hearing. “I also believe that for persons with those problems, rehabilitation must be a part of sentencing in order to enable the defendant to overcome these problems and live a productive life.”
Doughty’s path through the Senate was smooth, with no senator voting against his nomination either before the Senate Judiciary Committee or the full Senate.