Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nominations of Gerald McHugh and Edward Smith to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Both Gerald McHugh and Edward Smith were nominated by President Obama to the United States District Court this past August. Following the Senate Judiciary Committee vote, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) released the following statements:
"I'm pleased the Judiciary Committee has moved these nominees forward," Sen. Casey said. "Jerry McHugh is an excellent lawyer who has worked tirelessly for justice for all Pennsylvanians throughout his legal career. Jerry McHugh is one of the preeminent lawyers in Pennsylvania. He also has a long and admirable record of civic and charitable work. Judge Edward Smith has an unparalleled record of service as a U.S. Navy JAG officer and a military trial judge. His service on the Northampton County Court of Common Please is universally respected and I hope that the full Senate will quickly confirm these outstanding nominees."
"I applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee approving Gerald McHugh's nomination. He has a wealth of legal experience gained from more than three decades in private practice. I am confident he will excel as a federal judge - presiding with thoughtfulness and integrity. I look forward to him joining our other talented federal jurists in Philadelphia," said Sen. Toomey.
"I am also delighted that the Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved Judge Edward Smith's nomination to serve as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Smith is a dedicated, intelligent jurist who has served on the bench in Northampton County for 12 years. He's also served his country in the military for nearly 30 years, receiving a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. I now look forward to the Senate confirming Judge Smith so that he may begin his work in Easton, which has gone without a federal judge since 2004.
"Sen. Casey and I have worked hard to select qualified jurists to fill vacancies on the bench in Pennsylvania. The selection of these two excellent candidates demonstrates the strength and effectiveness of our bipartisan system, which has led to the confirmation of eight highly qualified men and women to the federal bench in Pennsylvania since I joined the Senate in 2011."
Gerald A. McHugh, Jr. is currently a partner at Raynes McCarty in Philadelphia, where he has worked since 2004 in civil litigation including medical malpractice, unsafe products, aviation disasters, civil rights, and workplace accidents. Before joining the firm, he was a shareholder at Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow & Young from 1981 until 2004. He served as a law clerk to United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Alfred L. Luongo from 1979 to 1981.
He serves on the boards of a number of charitable and civic organizations, including the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network as President since 2004, Lawyers Concerned for Kids Foundation, Hospitality House of Pennsylvania, Lawyers Trust Account Board of which he was Chairman from 1996-2003, West Philadelphia Fire House Project, Inc., and Hospitality House of Philadelphia which he co-founded.
McHugh graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was Associate Editor of the Law Review, in 1979. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Honors Program at St. Joseph's University in 1976.
Since 2002, Edward G. Smith has served as a judge on the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas. Smith is currently a Captain in the United States Navy, serving in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, since 1984. He has also been a partner at DeRaymond & Smith from 1990 to 2001 and served as a solicitor to the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority and Upper Nazareth Township.
He has received numerous military awards, including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two National Defense Service Medals. He has also served as the former President of the Boys and Girls Club of Easton, former Chairman of the Northampton County Drug and Alcohol Commission, former Chairman of Easton Fire Civil Service Commission, and former Director of the YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg and Vicinity.
Smith graduated cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law in 1986. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1983.