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New federal judge confirmed


UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The U-S Senate voted 70-to-24 to confirm Madison attorney James Peterson for a Wisconsin federal judgeship that's been vacant for five years. Peterson will replace the late John Shabaz in a court that's based in Madison and serves roughly the western half of the state.

All of yesterday's no votes came from Republicans.

President Obama nominated Peterson after he was recommended by a state selection panel formed by both Wisconsin senators. Republican Ron Johnson called it a successful bi-partisan process, and Democrat Tammy Baldwin called Peterson a well-qualified jurist who will serve the state and the nation well.

The judgeship has been vacant since 2009, because Obama tried four times to get former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to fill the post. Republicans on Capitol Hill kept casting Butler aside, noting that he lost a statewide election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008.