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Race for U.S. Atty. Posts in Pa. Kicks in Gear

The mad race for the 3 U.S. Attorney posts in Pennsylvania seems to be kicking into high gear, particularly for the post in Philadelphia. We’d like to think that the selection process isn’t political. Then again, we’d like to think, well, a lot of things.

Sen. Specter

Sen. Specter

By Emilie Lounsberry and Tom Infield
Philadelphia Inquirer

The search for a new U.S. attorney for the eastern region of Pennsylvania has now moved into high gear, with about 20 lawyers and judges interviewed last week in a marathon session in Harrisburg.

President Obama will make the formal nomination, after the recommendation of Pennsylvania’s two Democratic senators – Bob Casey and Arlen Specter. It was unclear how quickly a nominee would be announced.

The 16-member panel that conducted the interviews was chaired by two Philadelphia lawyers: Tom Kline, a law partner of Specter’s son, Shanin; and Robert Ross, a law partner of Casey’s younger brother, Matt. Another of Casey’s brothers, Christopher, also a lawyer in the city, was on the panel.

The group interviewed candidates for U.S. attorney jobs in the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, as well as in the Eastern District – more than 40 people in all.

In an interview yesterday, Kline said the panel reached a “consensus” on recommending a number of “qualified candidates” for each of the jobs. He declined to name names.

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