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President Obama Nominates Vanaskie ’78 to Third Circuit


University Park, Pa. — On Friday, August 7, President Obama nominated Judge Thomas Vanaskie ’78 to the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The post is one step below the U.S. Supreme Court and covers all of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

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.

Vanaskie currently serves on the Law School’s Board of Counselors.

In addition to Vanaskie's nomination, President Obama also nominated Nashville attorney Jane Stranch for a seat on the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a release issued by the White House, President Obama said that he was honored to nominate Vanaskie and Stranch.

"Jane Stranch and Thomas Vanaskie have displayed exceptional dedication to their communities through their work, and I am honored to nominate them to serve the American people as judges on the United States Court of Appeals," President Obama said. "They will be diligent, judicious, and esteemed additions to the Third and Sixth Circuit benches."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to meet this fall; Vanaskie will need 51 votes for confirmation by the full Senate.

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