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Johnstone's 9th Circuit nomination clears Senate Judiciary Committee


University of Montana law professor Anthony Johnstone’s nomination as judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on an 11-10-1 vote.

The nomination now awaits a vote by the full Senate, controlled by Democrats.

Johnstone was nominated to replace former Chief Judge Sidney Thomas of Montana, who plans to take senior status. 

Johnstone is the Helen and David Mason Professor of Law and an affiliated Professor of Public Administration at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at UM where he has taught since 2011. He previously served as solicitor for the State of Montana, as an assistant attorney general at the Montana Department of Justice, and as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP in New York. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas on the Ninth Circuit from 1999 to 2000.

“Anthony Johnstone has a proven record of applying the law without bias and standing up for our constitution, which will make him an excellent judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., in a statement. “He has served the people of Montana with fairness and integrity, and I have no doubt that he’ll continue to do the same at the federal level.

He is a 1995 graduate of Yale College and earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1999.