An Iowa Senator is raising some concerns about an Iowan who’s been nominated by President Bush to be a federal judge. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says he’d probably vote to confirm Steve Colloton if his nomination reaches the Senate floor, but Harkin says he’s concerned because Colloton has never before served as a judge. Republican Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa City says he has no such concern.Leach says Colloton would be one of the youngest appellate court judges ever selected, but Colloton also has served as clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Chief Justice and as a U.S. Attorney for Southern Iowa. Leach speculates that Colloton could become the first Iowan to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court someday. Leach says Colloton is an “unusually young but unusually competent young man with enormous potential.” Colloton appeared at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, and Leach was there. Leach says Colloton did well at the hearing, and he would make a “distinguished judge.” Harkin gave a very brief introduction at the hearing, and noted that in 2001, he had supported Colloton’s nomination to be U.S. Attorney. Senator Charles Grassley has called Colloton “extremely well qualified” and “fully prepared to serve in this key position.” Colloton served as an associate to Kenneth Starr from 1994 to ’96. Starr was the independent counsel who while investigating President and Mrs. Clinton’s Whitewater investments discovered the President’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Colloton got his undergrad degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale. He’s been nominated by Bush to take a seat on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in St. Louis and handles appeals from Iowa and six other states.
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