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Senate confirms Vanaskie's seat on U.S. Court of Appeals for 3rd Circuit


After months of waiting, Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie '78 is on his way to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, one step below the U.S. Supreme Court, which covers all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The Senate voted 77-20 to confirm Vanaskie as the court's newest judge. 

The confirmation makes Vanaskie only the second Northeastern Pennsylvanian to sit on the court in its 107-year history. Judge Max Rosenn of Wilkes-Barre, who died in 2006, was the first.

Vanaskie has sat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Scranton since 1994 and served as chief judge from 1996 to 2006. The current chair of the Third Circuit Judicial Council’s Information Technology Committee, he previously served as co-chair of the Third Circuit Library Resources Task Force and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Judges Association. He formerly served as vice president and board member of the law firm Elliott, Vanaskie & Riley in Scranton and as a partner in the Scranton office of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, & Kauffman. After graduating from Lycoming College in 1975 and The Dickinson School of Law in 1978, Vanaskie began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Nealon, then chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

President Obama nominated Judge Vanaskie for the Third Circuit in August of 2009. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-3 in support of his nomination on December 3, 2009.
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