Obama Nominates Maine Supreme Court Justice Levy to Federal Bench

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on September 20, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Justice Jon David Levy, an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court since 2002, was one of eight nominated nationally Thursday by President Barack Obama to be a U.S. District Court judge, the White House announced.

Earlier this year, Maine's congressional delegation passed along Levy's name and the names of attorneys William D. Robitzek of Berman & Simmons in Lewiston and Jeffrey N. Young of McTeague Higbee in Topsham to the White House, reports the Bangor Daily News.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Levy, 59 of Portland, will replace U.S. District Judge George Singal, 67, of Portland, who announced last year that he would take senior status July 31, but continue to hear cases throughout the district.

Because there's less at stake for district judges than appellate court judges, the confirmation process will likely take less time than it did for Judge William Kayatta Jr. who was confirmed in February to replace now-senior Judge Kermit Lipez as a First Circuit Court of Appeals judge after a grueling thirteen months. Of course, Kayatta had it especially rough because he was nominated right before a presidential election year.

If confirmed, Levy would be the only full-time judge in the federal District of Maine who came from the state bench, reports the Daily News. Chief Judge John Woodcock, nominated in 2003, was in private practice prior to his nomination by President George W. Bush. Judge Nancy Torresen was a federal prosecutor before her nomination by Obama in 2011.

If Levy is confirmed, Governor Paul LePage will have the opportunity to appoint a replacement supreme court judge. That would be a first, since the governor has only appointed judges to district and superior courts thus far.

Levy previously served as a Maine District Court judge from 1995 to 2002. Before being appointed to the bench, he worked in private practice in York from 1983 to 1995, according to the White House press release.

Justice Levy began his legal career by clerking for Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. of the United States District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia from 1979 to 1981. He earned his J.D. in 1979 from the West Virginia University College of Law and his B.S. in 1976 from Syracuse University.

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