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updated: 8/14/2012 8:15 AM

Bipartisan screening committee for federal judges

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says a bipartisan screening committee is being formed to assist him in selecting federal judges for the Northern District of Illinois.

The district currently has three judicial vacancies. Before making recommendations to President Barack Obama, Durbin says he'll consult Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, who has established a similar selection process.

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Durbin says it's very difficult to secure confirmation of qualified judicial nominees without a bipartisan effort in the Senate.

The 13-member committee will draw from former judges, prominent litigators, bar association leaders and former prosecutors.

It will be co-chaired by former Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine and Patricia Holmes. She's a partner at Schiff Hardin and a former state trial judge and federal prosecutor.

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