THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT NOMINATES SEVEN FEDERAL JUDGES
The President announced the nominations today of seven individuals to serve on the federal bench. President Clinton nominated Theodore A. McKee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also announced six U.S. District Court nominees: Paul L. Friedman, Gladys Kessler, Emmet G. Sullivan and Ricardo M. Urbina for the District of Columbia; Vanessa D. Gilmore for the Southern District of Texas; and Raymond L. Finch for the District of the Virgin Islands.
"These seven men and women have outstanding records of achievement in the legal profession and in public service," the President said today. "I am proud to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve as federal judges."
A biography of the appellate court nominee, Theodore A. McKee, is attached. The district court nominees are as follows:
Paul L. Friedman, 50, has practiced with the firm of White & Case since 1976 as an associate and a partner. He also served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He has been president of the D.C. Bar Association and chair of the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission. Friedman received his B.A. degree from Cornell University and his J.D. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. He and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Friedman, reside in Washington, D.C.
Gladys Kessler, 56, has served on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia since 1977. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was a partner in the law firm of Roisman, Kessler & Cashdan. Kessler has taught courses at Harvard Law School, George Washington University Law School, and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She received her B.A. degree from Cornell University and her LL.B. from Harvard Law School. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Arthur M. Mackwell.
Emmet G. Sullivan, 46, has served since 1992 as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. He previously served as an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and as a partner in the law firm of Houston, Sullivan and Gardner. Sullivan received both his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Howard University. Sullivan and his wife, Nan L. Sullivan, reside in Washington, D.C.
Ricardo M. Urbina, 48, has served since 1981 as an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Urbina was a Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Program for Howard University School of Law. He received both his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Georgetown University. Urbina and his wife, Coreen Marie Saxe, live in Washington, D.C.
Vanessa D. Gilmore, 37, has practiced law with the Houston firm of Vickery, Kilbride, Gilmore & Vickery since 1986. She has had a civil litigation practice and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston College of Law. Gilmore received her B.S. degree from Hampton University and her J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law. Gilmore resides in Houston, Texas.
Raymond L. Finch, 53, has served since 1977 on the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands. Prior to that appointment, he served on the Municipal Court of the Virgin Islands, and was in the practice of law with the firm of Hodge & Sheen. Finch received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University. He resides in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
THEODORE A. MCKEE
Nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Theodore Alexander McKee, 46, is serving in his tenth year on the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, which sits in Philadelphia.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1947, McKee earned his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Cortland. After graduation, McKee became Director of Minority Recruitment and Admissions for the State University of New York at Binghamton, and served as chair of the University's newly-created Afro-American Studies Program, coordinating the search for a permanent academic to head the department. In 1972, McKee entered law school at Syracuse University. He graduated magna cum laude in 1975, and was awarded the Order of the Coif.
Upon graduation, McKee practiced law as a litigation associate at the Philadelphia firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen. After two years with the firm, McKee left to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he worked first in the General Crimes Unit, then in Narcotics and Firearms, and finally in the Political Corruption Unit. In his first year as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, McKee was responsible for investigating allegations of police brutality before a special grand jury, as part of a nationwide probe into police brutality by the United States Civil Rights Commission. As a federal prosecutor, McKee also helped secure indictments against six Philadelphia homicide detectives for civil rights violations and won a racketeering conviction against the chief judge of Philadelphia's traffic court.
In 1980, McKee became Deputy City Solicitor for Philadelphia's Law Department, heading the Revenue Unit and the Code Enforcement Unit. In late 1983, McKee was elected to the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. As a judge, McKee has heard cases in the felony, homicide and orphans' divisions. In addition, from 1980 to 1991, McKee taught trial advocacy at the Rutgers University School of Law.
In 1986, the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed McKee to the state's Commission on Sentencing, an 11 member committee that develops sentencing guidelines and policies. McKee is currently acting chair of the Commission.
McKee's life of public service includes significant activities off the bench as well. He has been involved with the "Big Brothers" program since 1969, and still remains in touch with his first "little brother." McKee has served on a number of civic boards, including the Crisis Intervention Network, which combats drug use and gang violence in Philadelphia, the Crime Prevention Association and Concerned Black Men, both of which help direct urban youth away from crime, and New Directions for Women, which provides female offenders with drug rehabilitation, education, and job counseling.
McKee is married to Ana Luisa Pujols, a Philadelphia internist. They have two young daughters.
If confirmed, McKee would become one of fourteen judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which hears cases from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.