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Sens. Casey And Toomey Support Three Eastern PA District Judicial Nominees

Tuesday, Nov 27

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today praised President Obama's nomination of Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, Luis Felipe Restrepo and Jeffrey Schmehl as U.S. District judges for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Sens. Casey and Toomey recommended the individuals that the White House has nominated today.

"I'm pleased that the White House has nominated these exceptionally qualified members of the legal community to the bench. I was proud to work in a bipartisan fashion with Sen. Toomey to nominate these individuals, and I'm hopeful that the Senate will work in a constructive manner to confirm them to the bench in the near future," Sen. Casey said. "I'm confident that these individuals who Sen. Toomey and I have recommended and the White House has nominated will serve with the highest standards and discharge justice in a fair and impartial way."

"In her 21 years on the bench, Nitza Quiñones Alejandro has presided over many cases incorporating different facets of the law. In addition to her extensive experience in the courtroom, she has also remained active in her community through her work with schools and mentoring summer law interns," Sen. Toomey said. "Luis Felipe Restrepo, a native of Colombia, has served honorably since 2006 as a U.S. District magistrate judge. He has also dedicated himself to giving back to the community through his involvement in the Police/Barrio Project and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

"Jeffrey Schmehl's colleagues appointed him president judge of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in 2008, a sign of his fitness for the bench. He has also helped veterans in need of legal assistance by working to establish a veterans court in Berks County. The federal courthouse in Reading needs another judge, and I look forward to having Judge Schmehl there in the near future," Sen. Toomey said.

"On a bipartisan basis, I have been working closely with Sen. Casey on judicial nominations for our state to help confirm qualified, experienced individuals with unquestioned honesty, ability and integrity. I am confident that these three nominees will live up to these standards and hope that the Senate confirms them in a timely manner," Sen. Toomey continued.

Biographies for all of the nominees are below.

Judicial Nomination of Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Since 1991, Nitza Quiñones Alejandro has served as a judge for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas' criminal and civil trial divisions. Prior to her judicial appointment, Quiñones Alejandro served as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas from 1980 to 1991.

She has also worked as a staff attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from 1979 to 1991, an attorney advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1977 to 1979, a staff attorney for Community Legal Services from 1975 to 1977, and a legal intern for the Legal Aid Society at the University of Puerto Rico from 1973 to 1975.

A native of Puerto Rico, Quiñones Alejandro holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico. She lives in Philadelphia.

Judicial Nomination of Luis Felipe Restrepo, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Luis Felipe Restrepo has served as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since June 2006. Prior to his nomination to the bench, he worked as a partner at Kreasner & Restrepo in Philadelphia, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights legislation.

Restrepo served as an assistant federal defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 1993, and an assistant defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia from 1987 to 1990. He is a past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania.

A native of Colombia, Restrepo became a U.S. citizen in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and a Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in 1986. He lives in Swarthmore.

Judicial Nomination of Jeffrey Schmehl, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Schmehl has served as a judge for the Berks County Court of Common Pleas since 1998 and was elected president judge by his peers in 2008. Prior to joining the bench, Schmehl was a partner at Rhoda, Stoudt & Bradley from 1998 to 1997, where he had also worked as an associate from 1986 to 1987.

Schmehl served as the county solicitor at the Berks County Services Center from 1989 to 1997 and owned his own law firm from 1981 to 1986. He also served as an assistant district attorney in Berks County from 1981 to 1986 and an assistant public defender for the Berks County Public Defender's office from 1980 to 1981.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College in 1977 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1980. He lives in Reading.

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