Peter Deegan, Marc Krickbaum confirmed as Iowa's U.S. attorneys

Peter Deegan and Marc Krickbaum will serve as U.S. attorneys for Iowa’s northern and southern districts, after the Senate confirmed them by voice votes on September 14. A White House press release in July provided background on the nominees:

Mr. Deegan is currently an Assistant United States Attorney and the Chief of the Criminal Division in the Northern District of Iowa. He has worked at the Iowa U.S. Attorney’s Office for more than 10 years. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Deegan has prosecuted a variety of Federal offenses with an emphasis on complex white collar and business crime. He previously was an associate attorney at Murphy Smith & Polk PC in Chicago, where his practice focused on labor and employment litigation. Mr. Deegan clerked for the Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He received his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D., cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School. […]

Mr. Krickbaum is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, and he previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Iowa. Prior to joining those U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Mr. Krickbaum served as counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. Mr. Krickbaum clerked for the Honorable Steven M. Colloton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Honorable Mark Filip of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He received his B.A. with highest distinction from the University of Iowa, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

I enclose below comments from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and excerpts from Zoe Tillman’s report highlighting the lack of diversity among President Donald Trump’s U.S. attorney nominees: 41 men, one woman.

Grassley and Ernst recommended all-male short lists for Iowa’s vacancies in April. The other candidate for the northern district was assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Reinert. The other candidates in the southern district were Matt McDermott, a litigator in private practice in Des Moines, and Alan Ostergren, who has worked in the Muscatine County attorney’s office since graduating from law school in 1997, for the last six years as county attorney.

Joint statement from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, September 14:

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today confirmed by a unanimous, bipartisan voice vote the nominations of Peter Deegan, Jr. and Marc Krickbaum to be U.S. Attorneys for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, respectively, the final step in the confirmation process before being sworn into office. The nominations were previously reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley. Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst made the following comment.

“Congratulations to Pete Deegan and Marc Krickbaum on their confirmations to serve as U.S. attorneys for Iowa. The overwhelming bipartisan support for their nominations from the U.S. Senate is an impressive testament to their qualifications and readiness to serve. Mr. Deegan’s significant experience within the office he will now lead, most recently as chief of the criminal division, has uniquely prepared him for his new role as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. Likewise, Mr. Krickbaum’s extensive experience within the Department of Justice, most recently as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago and Des Moines, has provided him with the experience necessary to lead as the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Both Mr. Deegan and Mr. Krickbaum are highly qualified and we’re confident they will serve our state and country well.”

Zoe Tillman reported for Buzzfeed on the striking gender imbalance among Trump’s picks so far, compared to President Barack Obama’s first 42 U.S. attorney nominees, of whom twelve were women.

“It’s a slap in the face,” said Joyce Vance, a former US attorney in Alabama who was one of Obama’s early nominees in 2009, of Trump’s decision to nominate predominantly men. “It’s a statement that this is not a priority.”

Vance said that in not elevating women to these positions, the administration was starting a chain reaction that would keep women lawyers out of leadership posts in the future.

“US attorneys often become judges, partners in big law firms, even senators, and restricting women from advancing by excluding them from the US attorney positions is really a giant step backwards,” Vance said. […]

Christopher Kang, who worked on federal court and law enforcement nominees in the White House counsel’s office under Obama, said that the White House tries to accommodate senators’ preferences, but the president sets the tone. Obama communicated to senators that diversity was a priority, he said, so senators had to consider that as they pitched candidates to the White House.

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