Galveston, West Texas finally get new federal judges. Finally!
The Senate voted Thursday to approve two Texas judicial nominees to district courts in the Lone Star State, including one in Galveston.
Gregg Jeffrey Costa will serve Texas’ Southern District in Galveston, and David Campos Guaderrama, will serve the West District of Texas. Both were nominated in September of last year and are supported by both of the state’s Republican senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Costa was confirmed by a vote of 97-2, and Guaderrama was confirmed by a voice vote.
“I’m very pleased to be able to have nominated these two fine lawyers to the president,” Hutchison, a Dallas Republican, said.
The spot Costa has been nominated to fill has been vacant since June 2010. Guaderrama’s has been vacant since February 2009. The spot Guaderrama will fill was marked a judicial emergency by the Department of Justice because of he length of vacancy and number of cases in the district.
Sen. Patrick Leahy spoke on the Senate floor prior to the appointments and commented on the amount of time and number of vacancies — never before have so many vacancies been present for so long.
“150 million Americans are in districts or states with judicial vacancies that means justice delayed, and if justice is delayed then justice is denied,” Leahy said.
Last month, the Senate agreed to set a schedule to vote on the nominations of 14 judges, including Costa and Guaderrama.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, the Democratic point person on Texas judicial nominations, said he was “pleased” with the Texans’ confirmations.
The confirmation of these two individuals was long overdue. Mr. Costa has dedicated most of his outstanding legal career to public service. Judge Guaderrama has long served the El Paso community with distinction. Each will help strengthen federal justice in Texas. While this process took far too long and there remain too many unfilled judicial vacancies in Texas, this vote represents modest progress.”
Hutchison said Costa waited for his confirmation until he finished with the R. Allen Stanford case involving a Houston businessman who ran a $7 billion dollar Ponzi scheme for several years.