Senate OKs Wyoming AG Phillips as new federal judge

Jul 9, 2013 By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

The U.S. Senate on Monday unanimously confirmed Wyoming Attorney General Greg Phillips to serve as a judge on a federal appeals court in Denver.

All 88 senators present voted to confirm Phillips, a Democrat, to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Speaking before the vote, Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both Republicans, said they strongly supported him.

Enzi, who served in the Wyoming State Senate with Phillips, said he could personally attest to Phillips' qualifications to serve as a federal judge.

"Greg was on the Senate Judiciary Committee when we served together in the Wyoming Legislature," Enzi said. "Greg and his family are highly respected in their community and Wyoming is proud to call Greg one of our own."

Barrasso said Phillips will be an outstanding judge.

"The breadth of his experience, his understanding of the law and the role of a judge, as well as the thoroughness with which he approaches his responsibilities, will serve him well," he said.

President Barack Obama nominated Phillips for a seat on the appeals court in January. Phillips has served as Wyoming's attorney general since March 2011. He was appointed by Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican.

Mead said after Monday's vote that he's known Phillips for almost 30 years.

"He has a great legal mind, common sense, the highest ethical standards, and a work ethic second to none," Mead said of Phillips. "This is a rare combination of attributes, which will serve Wyoming and our country for years to come. In my mind there is no one better to sit on the 10th Circuit of Appeals than Greg Phillips."

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