Last week, the Senate confirmed Wyoming Attorney General Gregory Alan Phillips for a seat on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Phillips, or as we like to call him, "Mr. Wyoming," will serve on a court that is based in Denver and cover appellate cases from Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, parts of Oklahoma, Utah, and his beloved Wyoming.
The Senate voted unanimously, 88-0 on Monday, to confirm Phillips.
"The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Phillips because he is highly qualified [and] non-controversial, and had the strong support of the Wyoming senators," said law professor Carl Tobias to the Casper Star-Tribune.
Phillips is a Democrat and was nominated by President Obama, but was also strongly supported by Wyoming's two Republican senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso. Enzi noted that Phillips was appointed by a Republican governor to serve as attorney general in Wyoming and says that's a testament to Phillips' fairness and professionalism.
The 52-year-old newbie will be taking the seat held by Judge Terrence O'Brien, who is movin' on up to senior status.
Phillips grew up in Evanston and served as a Democratic state senator from Uinta County from 1993 to 1998. He's a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law and worked for two years after graduation for U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson in Cheyenne.
Before becoming Wyoming's attorney general in 2011, he served seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming, handling criminal prosecutions and appeals. He's no stranger to federal court -- he's argued nearly 20 cases before the Tenth Circuit, according to the Star-Tribune.
One can only wonder how surreal it will be for him to be sitting on the other side, with a gavel in hand. There's no word yet on who is going to fill Phillips' big, uncontroversial shoes as attorney general.
- Senate confirms Wyoming AG Gregory Alan Philips for seat on 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (The Associated Press)
- Robert Bacharach's Tenth Circuit Nomination Held Up in Senate (FindLaw's Tenth Circuit Blog)
- Republicans Filibuster Judge Robert Bacharach's Confirmation (FindLaw's Tenth Circuit Blog)