A Senate panel approved the nominations of Eric Murphy, a Miami University graduate, and Chad Readler to the federal appeal court in Cincinnati, clearing the way for a floor vote on both Ohio lawyers.
By separate party-line votes Thursday of 12-10, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee gave its seal of approval to Murphy, who served as Ohio’s solicitor under former Attorney General Mike DeWine, and Readler, a Justice Department official.
Senate Democrats have opposed both nominees, fearing they would be hostile to gun control, the rights of immigrants and same-sex marriage.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is not a committee member, has vowed to oppose both on the Senate floor. But because the Senate is controlled by Republicans, both are expected to be approved.
President Donald Trump last year nominated Murphy and Readler to fill two vacancies on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As state solicitor in 2015, Murphy urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Ohio’s controversial voter-purge law and argued that Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The justices, by a vote of 5-4, found Ohio’s law unconstitutional.
He graduated from Miami University in 2001 with a BA. Went to law school at the University of Chicago.
Readler, a former partner in the Columbus law office of Jones Day, has been principal deputy and acting assistant attorney general for the civil division at the Justice Department. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan law school.