Fifth federal judge confirmed, closing vacancies that created ‘judicial emergency’ in New Jersey

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Cherry Hill attorney Georgette F. Castner as federal judge for the District of New Jersey, the latest in a series of confirmations meant to eliminate longstanding vacancies that have caused a “judicial emergency”.

Castner was confirmed by a vote of 52-47.

She is the fifth Biden nominee since last May to sit on the federal bench in New Jersey; no federal judge has been appointed or confirmed under the Trump administration. Vacancies, dating back to 2015, have forced judges to handle large caseloads, which has created a backlog and delayed cases, according to NJ.com.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, applauded Castner’s bipartisan confirmation.

“I am confident that her exceptional qualifications and commitment to justice will make her an excellent, impartial federal judge,” Menendez said. “In her 15 years of experience in state and federal litigation, Ms. Castner has earned a reputation as one of our state’s brightest and hardest-working attorneys.”

Until her confirmation, Castner was a partner at the Camden County law firm Montgomery McCracken, where she focused on government and white-collar investigations, commercial litigation and cannabis law. She also served on the zoning board in her hometown of Moorestown and volunteered at South Jersey Legal Services.

Castner’s confirmation comes just a month after the Senate confirmed Westmont’s attorney, Christine P. O’Hearn, for a federal judgeship in New Jersey. Last year, the Senate confirmed Biden nominees Zahid Quraishi, Julien X. Neals and Karen M. Williams for three more federal judgeships here.

New Jersey is still short of two federal judges, according to US courts.

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