Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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Federal court nominee Jennifer Dorsey may finally find her way to the bench

After waiting for 10 months and weathering the overtones of an alleged pay-to-play scandal, Nevada federal court nominee Jennifer Dorsey will stand for a confirmation vote by the full Senate on Tuesday.

A vote to confirm Dorsey is scheduled for Tuesday at noon. If successful, it will leave only one vacancy — for which there is not yet a nominee — on the Silver State's federal bench.

The Senate is expected to confirm Dorsey, but she won't be receiving the support of both Nevada senators.

On the day that the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Dorsey's nomination to the full Senate for a vote, Sen. Dean Heller came out and declared himself firmly opposed because he didn't like the circumstances surrounding her nomination.

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid recommended Dorsey for the federal bench shortly after two founding partners of her firm, Kemp, Jones & Coulthard, donated $150,000 to Majority PAC, a political action committee that is run by former Reid advisors and worked during the 2012 campaign season to promote Democratic Senate candidates — including Heller's opponent, former House Rep. Shelley Berkley.

The timing of the contributions and Dorsey's nomination was first revealed in a Las Vegas Review-Journal report.

Reid denied any wrongdoing.

While the timing of events soured Heller's vote, the revelation does not seem to have hindered Dorsey's nomination: She won the support of the Senate Judiciary Committee, albeit on a party-line vote, a few weeks after the timing of the donations from her firm were pointed out.

Dorsey was nominated last September to replace Judge Larry Hicks, who took senior status at the end of 2012.

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