US Senate vote sends Berks Judge Jeffrey Schmehl to federal bench

Judge will be assigned to federal courthouse in Reading, officials say

US Senate vote sends Berks judge to federal bench

WASHINGTON - The United States Senate's last vote of the week unanimously confirmed the nomination of Berks County's president judge for a seat on the federal bench.

The vote for President Judge Jeffrey Schmehl was tabulated and announced in the Capitol's Senate chamber shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday.

Schmehl will be assigned to the federal courthouse in Reading as a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Both U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., addressed their colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote, urging them to confirm Schmehl's nomination.

"Jeffrey Schmehl's colleagues appointed him president judge of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in 2008, a sign of his fitness for the bench," Toomey said. "He has a passion for the law and will be a dedicated jurist."

"Jeffrey Schmehl's experience as a lawyer and judge has prepared him well for the task he is about to embark on as a federal judge," Casey said. "He brings unquestioned integrity and recognized legal scholarship to his new position."

Schmehl joined the Court of Common Pleas as a judge in 1998. He previously served as Berks County solicitor while working for the law firm of Rhoda, Stoudt & Bradley. He also served as an assistant district attorney from 1981 until 1986 and as an assistant public defender from 1980 until 1981.

Schmehl was one of the three people out of 60 applicants nominated by President Obama in November. The Senate also confirmed Thursday the nomination of Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, of Philadelphia, for a seat on the federal bench. Luis Felipe Restrepo is still awaiting confirmation.

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