Trump Advances Latest List of Judicial Nominations

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump put forward a shortlist of judicial nominees late Friday night for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims as well as courts in Pennsylvania and Texas.

To fill vacancies at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the White House nominated Robert Colville, a former judge for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and Stephanie Haines, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Unlike most judicial nominees selected by the White House, neither Colville nor Haines are members of the Federalist Society – an organization mostly made up of conservatives and libertarians seeking judicial system reform.

Colville predominantly presides over civil litigation, including product liability and insurance matters. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he received his law degree from Duquesne University. He also received a well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association in 2017.

The president also nominated Republican Jason Pulliam to serve as District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Pulliam, a former U.S. Marine, to serve on the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals in 2015. During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, he served as defense counsel to members of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

The president also nominated Matthew Solomson of Maryland and David Tapp of Kentucky for spots on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The court reviews monetary claims brought against the U.S. government.

Solomson is a former chief legal officer for insurance giant Anthem, Inc. Before joining Anthem, he worked as a commercial litigation trial attorney for the civil division of the Department of Justice.

David Tapp, a University of Louisville School of Law graduate, worked as a prosecutor, deputy sheriff, criminal investigator and pre-trial officer before serving as a circuit court judge for the 28th Judicial Circuit in Kentucky.

Tapp recently participated on a panel for criminal justice reform at the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 26.

Tapp lost his bid for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court last April. A year before that, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, appointed Tapp to serve as a legal adviser to Congress on matters involving juvenile delinquency and drugs.

The White House also nominated Timothy Downing of Oklahoma to fill a spot at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The president rounded out his announcement with two nominations for U.S. Marshal posts in the Eastern District of North Carolina and the District of Idaho: Michael East and Brent Bunn, respectively.

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