That sigh of relief you just heard came from a law office on Second Avenue.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker said earlier today that, although he does not know and has not met Nashville attorney Jerry Martin, he doesn't see any problems at this point with Martin's nomination by President Barack Obama to become the next U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Martin was officially nominated by Obama last week for the position currently held by Ed Yarbrough. The appointment will have to be confirmed first by the Senate Judiciary Committee and then the whole U.S. Senate. While neither Corker nor Sen. Lamar Alexander sit on the judiciary committee, any objection they raise would signify trouble for Martin as they are his home-state senators.
Corker said that he looked forward to reading the materials Martin will have to submit to the Senate as part of his nomination and learning more about him. Tennessee's junior senator then added that, although he has yet to examine Martin's record, he "doesn't foresee any problems" for the nominee.
A partner in the law firm of Barrett Johnston & Parsley, Martin's most recent political activity was serving as chairman of the Obama campaign in Tennessee. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and received his law degree from Stanford University in 1999, where he served as associate editor of the Stanford Law Review.
Contacted by NashvillePost.com, Martin declined to comment for this story.
Any nomination for a position that must be confirmed by the president is fraught with difficulty and can be held up for any number of reasons, regardless of which party controls the White House and the U.S. Senate. Recently, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) used his senatorial privilege to place a blanket "hold" on dozens of President Obama's nominees to agencies because of an unrelated dispute over a military funding matter in his state.
With Martin's nomination, there are only two major presidential appointments expected in the near future. One is that of U.S. Marshal, currently held by Denny King, and the other is a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The spot on the District Court has been vacant since 2007, when Nashville-based Judge Robert Echols took senior status. He still is on the bench, though, because no one has either gained the support of the Senate, as in the case when then-President George W. Bush nominated Nashvillian Gus Puryear to fill the seat, or has been nominated since, as with Obama.
Rumors have circulated throughout town and various attorneys have been vetted for the job, but there has yet to be movement.
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