U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose was confirmed Monday by the U.S. Senate as the next federal judge in Southern District of Iowa.
Rose, 39, of Center Point, was nominated by President Barack Obama in February to replace Chief Judge Robert Pratt, who retired July 1.
The Senate roll call vote was 89 to 1 in confirmation of Rose’s nomination.
“I’m grateful to the president for the nomination and to Senators Grassley and Harkin for their support,” Rose said Monday. “I will be working with the (U.S. Attorney’s) office to make a smooth transition.”
Obama will likely sign her commission certificate later this week, and Rose said she will be happy to talk with The Gazette at that time.
Sen. Chuck Grassley congratulated Rose in a statement, welcoming her as the 29th district judge nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate. Grassley said before the vote, in regards to criticism that there has been delay in the president’s nominees, that 156 of Obama’s district and circuit court judge nominees have been confirmed.
Grassley cited a Gazette article from February that included interviews with judges, lawyers and other colleagues who were in support of Rose’s judgeship nomination. Grassley said Rose is well regarded throughout the state.
“Ms. Rose is a Hawkeye through and through, receiving two degrees from the University of Iowa — her B.A. in 1994 and her J.D. in 1996,” Grassley said. “Obviously, Ms. Rose was on the fast track through law school.”
Sen. Tom Harkin said before the vote that Rose was an “outstanding nominee” and she possessed all the qualifications to be a federal judge.
Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law, who analyzes the judiciary, said he remains optimistic about confirmation of the other nominees, but there are still 22 district and circuit court judge nominees waiting for a vote — many of whom were nominated before Rose.
“No others are up for a vote at this point,” Tobias said. “Why not take those votes if they are not controversial and fill those vacancies?”
Tobias said more information about those pending votes may come this week if the Democrats and Republicans can reach an agreement to at least confirm the 18 District Court nominees.
Rose will be the first woman to serve as a federal judge in the Southern District, and only the second to serve on the federal bench in Iowa’s history. She has worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since graduating from law school, one of the youngest hired at the time. She worked her way up to the top spot in 2009, prosecuting more than 800 felony cases. She was lead prosecutor on 260 of those cases and has handled another 45 civil cases and 34 appeals.