Sen. Lamar Alexander told NashvillePost.com today that the U.S. Attorney nominee for the Middle District of Tennessee is a "quality pick by President Obama."
That nominee is Nashville attorney Jerry Martin, who was officially nominated by Obama two weeks ago for the position currently held by Ed Yarbrough.
Last week, Alexander's Senate colleague Bob Corker voiced some of those same sentiments although today's statements by Alexander go a bit further. While not an endorsement, the fact that the third-ranking member of the Senate Republican leadership, as Alexander is, says nice things about a Democratic nominee suggests that, so far, things are running smoothly for Martin.
On the current occupant of the office, Yarbrough, Alexander said he was among the best to fill the position and is one of the most respected attorneys in the area. "That was a great appointment by President [George W.] Bush," said the senator.
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.
Martin's 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.
U.S. Attorneys represent the federal government in the nation's district and appeals courts. There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. They serve a term of four years and are the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction.