Senate committee OKs Purdon for U.S. attorneyBismarck attorney Timothy Purdon is one step closer to becoming North Dakota’s next U.S. attorney, after he received the endorsement Tuesday of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
By: By Kristen M. Daum , Forum Communications Co. , The Jamestown Sun
Bismarck attorney Timothy Purdon is one step closer to becoming North Dakota’s next U.S. attorney, after he received the endorsement Tuesday of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
Committee members approved Purdon by consent vote, along with two U.S. marshal nominees from other states.
The endorsement came with no discussion from committee members, having followed more than two hours of comments — and ultimate approval — of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
One final hurdle remains for Purdon’s nomination: a confirmation vote by the entire U.S. Senate at an undetermined date.
The Senate has its August recess between Aug. 9 and Sept. 12, which could further delay action on Purdon’s nomination if the Senate doesn’t vote on it prior to the recess.
But North Dakota Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan have urged the Senate to move quickly in confirming Purdon.
“Our state has been without a U.S. attorney for far too long,” Conrad said in a statement. “There are cases pending and work that awaits. ... Tim stands ready to lead our state’s U.S. Attorney’s office.”
While praising the committee’s action, Dorgan re-iterated his frustration with how long the process has taken —saying committee approval “was long overdue.”
“This nomination process has taken too long,” Dorgan said. “But the approval by the full Senate is the final step, and I hope that will be completed quickly.”
Backing up Dorgan’s frustrations, Connecticut’s U.S. attorney candidate — who President Barack Obama nominated in February on the same day as Purdon — received Senate confirmation in early May.
However, Obama’s selection of Purdon has drawn criticism from some because of Purdon’s ties to the state and national Democratic parties and his lack of prosecutorial experience.
North Dakota has been without an official U.S. attorney since Drew Wrigley resigned in September 2009. Lynn C. Jordheim continues to serve as the state’s acting U.S. attorney.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled in June to consider Purdon, but a Republican on the committee put a hold on the nomination — a procedural measure that delays consideration until the committee’s next business meeting.
Kristen Daum is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,
which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.