Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) made his first set of decisions on Friday about how he will proceed in picking a replacement for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who will step down next month.
Durbin takes the lead because he is a Democratic senator with a Democratic president in the White House.
In Springfield on Friday, Durbin said a new U.S. Attorney would likely not be confirmed until after November. Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney has the story HERE.
The ins and outs and politics of replacing Fitzgerald with President Obama facing a November election: Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet and Sun-Times Political Writer Abdon M. Pallasch have the story HERE.
*launch an "open, transparent and nonpartisan" search.
*work with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to establish the search process. Bringing in Kirk early in the process is more than a cordial move--it is needed because both senators from Illinois must agree before the Senate will take any steps towards confirmation.
below, from Sen. Dick Durbin....
DURBIN STATEMENT ON CHOOSING THE NEXT US ATTORNEY FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the process for choosing the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois:
"I'm committed to conducting an open, transparent and nonpartisan search for the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District and, over the next few weeks, I will work with Senator Kirk to establish a formal search process to fill the vacancy left by Patrick Fitzgerald's resignation. We will announce that process once it is established."
"I've spoken to Attorney General Eric Holder and he assured me that, in consultation with Patrick Fitzgerald, he will name a strong and competent Acting U.S. Attorney to serve until an eventual nominee is confirmed by the Senate. I'm completely confident that the U.S. Attorney's office will continue its important work during this transition process."
"The Northern District of Illinois deserves a U.S. Attorney beholden only to the law of land. We will find a successor who will continue Patrick Fitzgerald's good work."
Traditionally, the senior Senator of the President's party, in consultation with the junior Senator, makes recommendations to the President for a nominee for the position of U.S. Attorney. In this case, Senator Durbin will submit recommendations to President Obama after consulting with Senator Kirk. The approval of both home state Senators is required for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up and consider any U.S. Attorney nominee. On average, it takes between 2-4 months to confirm a U.S. Attorney once that nomination is sent to the Senate.