Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that the committee cleared the Iowa nominees for the open judgeships in both of the state’s federal district courts.
Judge Leonard Strand and Judge Rebecca Ebinger had been nominated by the President to fill federal judgeships on both the Northern and Southern District Courts of Iowa. The nominations must now be considered by the full Senate.
“I was glad to shepherd these two outstanding Iowans through my committee. With such impeccable credentials, it makes my job a lot easier,” Grassley said. “I appreciate the White House working with me to move these nominations forward.”
Grassley recommended Strand and Ebinger to the White House after an extensive effort by a Judicial Selection Commission that Grassley formed after two judges announced their intention to take senior status. The commission was comprised of highly qualified members of the Iowa legal community, and led by Cynthia Moser, a former Iowa State Bar Association president. The commission also included Richard Sapp, Jeffrey Goodman, Harlan D. Hockenberg, and Adam Freed.
These lawyers spent hundreds of hours carefully reviewing applications and interviewing each of the 39 Iowans who submitted applications and sought consideration. Eleven applicants were then selected to participate in a lengthy second interview. The commission’s review included not only these interviews, but also a thorough study and examination of the applicants’ professional history, credentials, and qualifications. The commission then made recommendations to Grassley, who – in consultation with Senator Joni Ernst – reviewed the candidates and their qualifications before submitting his recommendations to the White House.
Strand currently serves as a U.S. magistrate judge in Sioux City for the Northern District of Iowa. He graduated first in his class from the College of Law at the University of Iowa and brings extensive experience in civil litigation from private practice in Cedar Rapids.
Ebinger is a state district judge in Polk County. She graduated from Yale Law School, was an assistant U.S. attorney in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, and clerked for Judge Michael J. Melloy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.