Senate confirms Titus as U.S. judge

Sarbanes, Mikulski backed appointment of lawyer for Maryland federal bench

November 06, 2003|By Julie Hirschfeld Davis | Julie Hirschfeld Davis,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON - The Senate unanimously confirmed Roger W. Titus yesterday to a seat on the federal District Court for Maryland, to plaudits from the state's two Democratic senators, who said the Bush administration nominee will be a good addition to the trial court.

Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes backed Titus enthusiastically as the Senate considered his nomination. They had previously recommended Titus, a Rockville lawyer, for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

That appeals court, based in Richmond, Va., covers Maryland and four other states.

But President Bush has nominated Virginian Claude A. Allen to the appellate seat, sparking outrage from the two senators, who say it should go to a Marylander, as it has in the past.

Still, Mikulski and Sarbanes said that Titus, a former president of the Maryland State Bar Association, is the sort of judge they want to see representing Maryland on the federal bench.

Titus' confirmation marks the third time the two Maryland Democrats have backed a Bush choice for the District Court and seen unanimous approval by the Senate.

The others were William D. Quarles Jr., confirmed in March, and Richard D. Bennett, confirmed in April.

That stands in contrast to the bruising partisan fights between Republicans and Democrats this year over Bush's judicial picks.

"These nominees represent the types of lawyers that we should be putting on our federal courts," Mikulski said of the new trial court judges.

"They have strong bipartisan support, distinguished legal careers in the state from which they were selected and they are in the mainstream of legal thought."

The Allen fight could join the ranks of recent high-profile judicial fights if Republican leaders follow through on plans to push his nomination through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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