Penn alumnus Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, who graduated from the College in 1981, was nominated by President Barack Obama Tuesday to serve on a federal court in Philadelphia.
The appointment, if approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, would turn into a lifetime position at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Obama also appointed Common Pleas Court Judge Nitza Quinones Alejandro and Berks County Judge Jeffrey Schmehl. If approved, Quinones would be the first openly gay Latina woman to serve in a federal court.
Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey ( R) supported the nominations, going against previous partisanship that has been stalling judge nominees. There are currently six empty District Court seats in the Eastern District.
Restrepo was born in Colombia and came to the United States when he was 6 months old. He attended Tulane University’s law school. He has served as a U.S. magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2006.
Before that, he worked with attorney Lawrence Krasner — who recently represented Wharton junior Tania Chairez in her civil disobedience case — for 13 years at law firm Krasner & Restrepo from 1992 to 2006.
“When we formed our partnership, it was a deal on day one that he intended to be a judge,” Krasner said. “When the opportunity rose, he went for it and I’m very happy for him.”
“He has a way with people, bringing people together and keeping things civil,” Krasner said, adding that his former partner is intelligent, even-tempered and hardworking.
Obama said in a White House release Tuesday, “These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench.”
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