Grassley makes official recommendation to fill two federal judge vacancies
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Based on recommendations from Iowa’s Judicial Selection Commission, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley officially announced late last evening his candidate recommendations to fill two federal judge vacancies. His recommendations included Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, a current district judge in Polk County, for the southern district and Leonard Strand, a U.S. magistrate judge in Sioux City, Iowa, for the northern district.

The two vacancies open up this year as Chief Judge James E. Gritzner and former Chief Judge Mark W. Bennett take senior status. Traditionally, U.S. Senators give their recommendations of federal judge candidates to the president. Anticipating the two vacancies, Grassley assembled the Judicial Selection Commission to assist in identifying Iowa’s best candidates.

The commission was led by Cynthia Moser, ISBA past president and attorney from Sioux City. Other commission members included Richard Sapp, Jeffrey Goodman, Harlan D. Hockenberg and Adam Freed. The commission interviewed all 39 applicants and conducted follow-up interviews with 11 of the top-qualifying candidates.

"Without a doubt,” Grassley wrote in his statement, "the commissioners’ own experience, expertise and commitment to an exhaustive process made possible a review and analysis that was extraordinary by any measure.

"These two Iowans are well suited to honor Iowa’s judicial legacy and serve our state, nation and constitution with distinction in lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary.”

To read the senator’s full statement, click here.