Senate approves University of Akron law professor Ryan T. Holte for federal judgeship

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The U.S. Senate on Monday approved University of Akron law professor Ryan T. Holte’s nomination to be a United States Court of Federal Claims judge by a 65 to 35 vote. Both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators voted to support Holte.

In addition to serving as an associate law professor at University of Akron before his judicial appointment, Holte served as director of its Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology.

“Ryan Holte has the experience and temperament necessary to make an outstanding judge,” said a statement from Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman. “Throughout the nomination process I’ve been impressed with Ryan’s demeanor, credentials and earnest desire to serve his country. I’m confident that Ryan will make a terrific judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.”

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims handles cases where citizens claim the federal government owes them money over matters like taxes, military pay and contract claims. Each of the 16 judges on the court serves for a 15-year term.

Several liberal organizations objected to Holte’s nomination, noting that he’s never tried a case and arguing he’s too youthful and inexperienced to serve as a federal judge. They observed he was nominated for a judgeship that’s been vacant since 2013, and accused Republicans who control the U.S. Senate of failing to move forward with President Barack Obama’s more qualified nominee for the job so they could pack the courts with conservative ideologues.

“Given Holte’s lack of qualifications, we have serious concerns that Holte was nominated not because of his extensive legal experience but to use the court to pursue a political agenda,” said a letter the Alliance for Justice sent to U.S. Senators.

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