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Obama nominates UNLV law professor for federal court judgeship


President Barack Obama has nominated UNLV law professor Anne Traum for a judgeship in U.S. District Court in Nevada.

Traum is on leave from the law school and serving as special counsel in the Office for Access to Justice at the U.S. Justice Department. She joined the Boyd Law School faculty in 2008, and she has served as the director of the Appellate Clinic since 2009.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., recommended Traum to replace U.S. District Judge Robert Jones, who took senior status Feb. 1.

“Anne Traum is a superb lawyer and educator, and she will be an excellent addition to the U.S. District Court of Nevada,” Reid said. “From her work at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to her time at the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Las Vegas, she has consistently proven herself to be a thoughtful and highly regarded jurist.”

He also said Traum’s dedication to the law and commitment to the community is exemplified through her extensive pro bono work.

Carl Tobias, a professor at University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia, knows Traum well and echoed Reid’s assessment.

“I think she’s terrific,” said Tobias, who was a founding faculty member of the UNLV law school from 1998-2003. “She has spent her whole career more or less in the federal judicial system.

“She has a wealth of experience in the federal courts,” Tobias said. “And she’ll be able to handle both civil and criminal cases from Day One.”

Traum’s nomination was one of eight announced Thursday by the White House.

“Throughout their careers, these nominees have displayed unwavering commitment to justice and integrity,” Obama said. “Their records are distinguished and impressive, and I am confident that they will serve the American people well from the United States District Court bench.”

Traum served as an assistant federal public defender in Las Vegas from 2002 to 2008. She served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Nevada from 2000 to 2002, while on detail from the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked from 1998 to 2000.

Traum began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the United States District Court in Louisiana. She received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1996 after graduating from Brown University in 1991.

Whether the Senate will hold hearings or vote on the judicial nominees in this election year remains unclear. Republicans in the Senate have refused to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, Obama’s nomination to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Scalia died Feb. 13.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Find @SandraChereb on Twitter.