WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump announced 12 new nominees for federal courts across the country on Thursday, including three for appellate courts.
Two of Trump's newest batch of judicial nominees would serve on the Sixth Circuit if confirmed, both from Ohio.
Eric Murphy has served as Ohio's solicitor general since 2013, transitioning to government work after spending six years at the law firm Jones Day.
A former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, Murphy recently argued before the Supreme Court in Husted V. Randolph Institute, a case challenging Ohio's method of purging its voter rolls.
Murphy faced tough questions from the justices in January as he defended Ohio's voter roll maintenance process, which challengers have said reduces turnout and disadvantages minorities.
He would be joined on the Sixth Circuit by Chad Readler, who currently serves as principle deputy and acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Division.
Like Murphy, Readler also worked at Jones Day, spending 18 years at the firm and rising to the level of partner before leaving for the Justice Department.
Readler also has experience arguing before the Supreme Court, having successfully argued McQuiggin v. Perkins in which the high court held people convicted of crimes may get around a statute of limitations imposed on habeas petitions if they can provide "a credible showing of actual innocence."
The case was one of many Readler handled pro bono while in private practice, with a White House press release noting he has also represented people facing the death penalty and life in prison. Readler successfully represented a Native American man sentenced to death after being convicted of killing three people in Oklahoma.
The Tenth Circuit agreed with Readler's argument in the case that because the crimes occurred on tribal land, the man should have been tried in federal court and could not face the death penalty.
"I've met with both Chad and Eric and they are extremely well qualified to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit," Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "I look forward to supporting their nominations on the floor of the U.S. Senate."
Trump also tapped Jonathan Kobes to a seat on the Eighth Circuit. Kobes serves as general counsel to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and previously worked as director of corporate compliance for Raven Industries, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, technology company.
Kobes also worked as senior regulatory counsel for DuPont Pioneer and as senior counsel at ethanol company Poet. He additionally spent time in private practice at the firm Murphy Goldammer & Prendergast.
He also has experience as a government lawyer, as both a federal prosecutor and as an honors attorney at the CIA.
"Jon's wide range of experiences in both the public and private sectors provides a strong platform for this role as a judge," Rounds said in a statement Thursday. "A lifelong conservative, he believes a judge's role is to make decisions based on the law as it is written, not to legislate from the bench. President Trump has done a tremendous job putting fair-minded, conservative judges on the bench and nominating Jon Kobes upholds that standard. I've relied on Jon's sound counsel and advice since coming to the Senate and look forward to supporting his nomination."