Government

U.S. Senate confirms C.J. Williams as U.S. District Court judge in Iowa

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

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Thursday 79-12, confirming C.J. Williams as the next U.S. District judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

Last year, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Joni Ernst, recommended Williams, 54, along with four other lawyers, to the White House, and President Donald Trump nominated him in February.

Williams, who has been the chief magistrate since January 2017, fills the vacancy left by U.S. District Judge Linda Reade, who took senior status last year.

“Judge Williams is highly qualified to serve in this lifetime appointment,” Grassley said in a statement Thursday. “His commitment to the law as written and impartiality to those who have come before him will make him an excellent addition to the court. Judge Williams is widely respected across the political spectrum. His legal expertise, including extensive courtroom and academic experience, will serve him well in this new role.”

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 former U.S. chief magistrate, presided 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.

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He also was a trial attorney for Lathrop and 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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