U.S. Senate confirms Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz for Third Circuit

By Jon Campisi | Apr 11, 2013

United States Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz this week was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 64-34 vote to serve on the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Shwartz, a Paterson, N.J. native who has served as a magistrate judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey since 2003, had first been introduced to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., back in mid-February 2012, according to a news release from Lautenberg’s office.

The judge’s nomination was initially approved by the Judiciary Committee last year, but votes on federal appeals court nominations were held up in the full Senate by Republican lawmakers, according to Lautenberg’s office.

Shwartz was finally confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee this February, followed by the recent bipartisan vote by the full body.

“Judge Shwartz will be an outstanding addition to the Third Circuit, and I am pleased the Senate has confirmed this highly qualified nominee,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “I have consistently supported her nomination and worked to ensure that she received bipartisan support.”

Shwartz, who attended undergraduate studies at Rutgers University and received her juris doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, previously worked as an associate at the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and had served as a law clerk to Harold A. Ackerman, a federal judge from the District of New Jersey.

Shwartz also has prosecutorial experience; she worked for 14 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

The jurist has served as a magistrate judge at the federal courthouse in New Jersey since 2003.

“Judge Shwartz … has a strong work ethic and broad range of experience,” Lautenberg said in his statement. “She has served New Jersey well throughout her legal career and has built a sterling reputation for dispensing justice fairly and wisely. I now look forward to seeing Judge Shwartz take her well-deserved seat on the Third Circuit.”

New Jersey’s other U.S. Senator, Bob Menendez, also praised Shwartz’s confirmation in a statement issued by his office.

“I’m incredibly pleased that today the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is gaining an eminently qualified judge – Patty Shwartz – and I am certain she will serve honorably and serve well,” Menendez stated. “Judge Patty Schwartz is a person of character who met the highest standards for any nominee. I’m proud to have supported her confirmation and look forward to the fine contributions she will make in her new capacity as appellate judge.”

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals is based at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, although the bench handles appeals cases out of Pennsylvania’s three District Court’s, the federal court in New Jersey and the District of Delaware.

At full capacity, the bench has 14 active judges.

One of the judges on the Third Circuit, Marjorie O. Rendell, is the wife of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

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