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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


D. Brooks Smith

Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Confirmed July 31, 2002

The Senate voted on July 31, 2002, to approve the nomination of federal district Judge D. Brooks Smith (W.D. Pa.) to a lifetime seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit nearly always serves as a "regional Supreme Court" with final say on federal environmental and other issues for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Judge Smith was the first of President George W. Bush's many federal judicial nominees to be opposed by national environmental groups, including: Earthjustice, Community Rights Counsel, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Scenic America, The Wilderness Society, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Endangered Species Coalition. This opposition was conveyed to the Committee before it voted and was reiterated in a June 20, 2002, letter to the Senate from Earthjustice and other national environmental, women's rights, civil rights, and disability rights groups opposed to Judge Smith's nomination.

Judge Smith answered oral questions at a February 26, 2002 Committee hearing on his nomination and provided written responses to a series of written follow-up questions from Committee members.

On May 23, 2002, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 in favor of sending Brooks Smith's nomination to the full Senate. Review Earthjustice's response to the committee vote.  On July 31, 2002 the full Senate voted 64/35 to confirm Brooks Smith.

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gavel icon Press Releases:

Earthjustice Criticizes Confirmation of Controversial Anti-Environmental Nominee to Lifetime Federal Judgeship (07/31/02)
Senate votes 64-35 to confirm D. Brooks Smith to Third Circuit Court of Appeals

gavel icon Reports & Analysis:

Earthjustice urges the Senate to oppose the pending nomination of federal district judge D. Brooks Smith
Analysis of D. Brooks Smith's position on Federalism and the Commerce Clause, and his anti-environmental rulings