President Trump nominates U.S. Magistrate CJ Williams as next U.S. District judge

Nomination for lifetime appointment will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee

(File photo): Chief Magistrate Judge CJ Williams (left) and U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Strand (right) listen during a ceremony honoring U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade (center) for her years of service as at the U.S. District Courthouse in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
(File photo): Chief Magistrate Judge CJ Williams (left) and U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Strand (right) listen during a ceremony honoring U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade (center) for her years of service as at the U.S. District Courthouse in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Chief Magistrate CJ Williams was nominated as the next U.S. District judge for the Northern District of Iowa by President Donald Trump this week.

Last year, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Joni Ernst, recommended Williams, along with four other lawyers, to the White House.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade took senior status in October and Grassley and Ernst invited all Iowa lawyers to submit their names for consideration for a recommendation to the bench. All the applicants were interview and considered by an independent review panel convened by the senators.

“Judge Williams is highly qualified to serve in this lifetime appointment,” Grassley and Ernst said Monday in a statement. “Judge Williams’ experience, commitment to the law as written and impartiality to those who have come before him will make him an excellent addition to the court. We look forward to his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and are eager to introduce him to our colleagues.”

Williams’ nomination will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Grassley chairs. Federal judges are nominated by the President, confirmed “with the advice and consent” of the U.S. Senate, and serve lifetime appointments.

Nationwide, there are 94 district courts in the federal system. In Iowa, there are two districts, Northern and Southern, with a total of five district court judges.

Williams, as the U.S. chief magistrate, presides over all pretrial matters in criminal and civil cases, along with presiding over the trials by agreement of the parties. Previously, he was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, serving as the Senior Litigation Counsel.

He also was a trial attorney for Lathrop & Gage L.C. in Kansas City, Mo., and for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Williams received his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law with High Distinction and his Masters of Law from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

 l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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