April 12, 2009
Johnny Sutton resigns

As is the norm when a new President is inaugurated, US Attorney Johnny Sutton of the Western Judicial District of Texas has resigned his position.

Sutton's resignation was voluntary, [spokeswoman Shana] Jones said, and his future plans were not immediately disclosed. He was not available for comment.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said Sutton "did a good job overall as U.S. attorney."

Appointed to the office by President George W. Bush in 2001, Sutton followed a time-worn practice of stepping down to allow a new president to nominate a replacement.


The resignation leaves a vacancy in the Western District of Texas, which includes San Antonio, Waco, Del Rio, Austin and El Paso.

There are also U.S. attorney vacancies in the Southern District, which includes Laredo and Houston, and the Northern District, which includes Dallas.

Texas's two U.S. senators and congressional Democrats will now begin vetting candidates for the positions.

The delegation will offer candidates to Obama, whose final nominees will need Senate confirmation.

Lawyers who have expressed interest in Sutton's post include Juanita C. Hernández with the Securities and Exchange Commission; Mike McCrum, a former federal prosecutor; San Antonio City Attorney Michael Bernard; and Travis County Attorney David Escamilla.

Also interested are: Austin lawyer Scott Hendler; Robert Pittman, a U.S. magistrate judge in Austin; and John Murphy, a Western District federal prosecutor.

The only name on that list with which I'm familiar is David Escamilla; if anyone knows anything about these folks, please leave a comment. As with the vacancy in Houston, I hope and expect that Democratic applicants be given priority. Assuming that Sen. Cornymandias doesn't try to change the rules, of course.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 12, 2009 to Legal matters

Michael Bernard from SA is, in a fashion, pre-vetted. By that I mean that SA's Mayor Phil Hardberger, a former Chief Justice of Texas' 4th Ct of Appeals (SA) and a consummate attorney, selected Bernard as SA City Atty. President Obama need look no further.
As to the recurrent buzz that the sitting Republicans from Texas in the Senate have diddly to do with an appointment by President Obama (apart from their 2 votes for or against confirmation of the appointee).....yes, there is the Senatorial courtesy accorded by their fellow Senators not to confirm an appointee opposed by a home state Senator but, as a practical matter, Sen. Hutchison has better sense and despite all his posturing, I doubt that other one could stand being even further ostracized than he is now.

Posted by: Jim Sharp on April 12, 2009 3:48 PM
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