Following the announcement last month that U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore will step down from active service on Colorado's federal trial court, the state's two senators have sent their recommended candidates to the White House — all of whom are familiar to the Biden administration.
In an Aug. 2 letter, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper asked the administration to nominate U.S. Magistrate Judges Gordon P. Gallagher, S. Kato Crews or civil litigator Sundeep K. "Rob" Addy to Moore's seat. The three men are also under consideration for another vacancy set to arise on Colorado's U.S. District Court, following the retirement announcement earlier this year from William J. Martínez, who, like Moore, is a Barack Obama appointee.
The move by the senators to double down on their prior recommendations without soliciting new applicants all but ensures two of the three candidates will advance to the confirmation process.
This is the third time Gallagher, a part-time magistrate judge and defense lawyer based in Grand Junction, has appeared on the senators' list of finalists. Crews and Addy each appeared for the first time in April, when Bennet and Hickenlooper selected finalists for Martínez's seat.
The White House has yet to announce its nominee for the Martínez vacancy, which will occur on Feb. 10, 2023. The vacancy for Moore's seat is effective on June 20, 2023. Both judges are taking a form of retirement known as senior status, which enables them to continue handling cases part time while allowing the president to nominate a successor.
Crews is a magistrate judge in Denver who previously helped found a Greenwood Village-based law firm that handles business litigation and defends employers against civil lawsuits. Addy is a partner at the firm of Bartlit Beck who recently worked with the Colorado Attorney General's Office in its investigation of Aurora's police and fire departments.
To date, Biden has appointed three judges to Colorado's seven-member federal trial court and one judge to the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Colorado.