A U.S. Senate committee has advanced the nomination of a Belleville native to the federal appeals court.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve, 51, has been nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Donald Trump, along with white-collar defense attorney Michael Scudder Jr. of Chicago.
St. Eve was raised in Belleville and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and law degree in 1990. Following law school, she worked in private practice in New York City with Davis Polk & Wardwell, during which she was second chair in the successful prosecution of former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and the partners in the Whitewater development for fraud.
She had a long history of civil litigation and white-collar defense, according to the Daily Northwestern, and served as counsel to the White House under President Barack Obama as well as the National Security Council. Later she served as assistant U.S. Attorney in northern Illinois, before she was confirmed as a federal judge in 2002.
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She presided over the prosecution of Tony Rezko, found guilty of 16 out of 24 counts in a corruption trial accusing him of trying to get kickbacks on state business during the administration of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Trump nominated St. Eve to the appeals court in February, along with Scudder, who is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP specializing in complex civil litigation and white-collar defense. He also served as senior associate counsel to President George W. Bush and spent four years at the U.S. Department of Justice.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to advance both nominations. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth released a joint statement praising both candidates.
“Judge St. Eve and Mr. Scudder have the experience, integrity and judgment that we look for in federal judges, and we expect them to serve with distinction on the 7th Circuit,” the statement read. “We appreciate the administration working with us on this and again we thank our nonpartisan screening committee for reaching consensus on nominees who will serve the people of Illinois well.”
The nominations will now proceed to the full U.S. Senate for confirmation.