Taft extends deadline for applications to replace Justice Cook

Several names familiar to Ohio voters are on a list of possible replacements for Supreme Court Justice Deborah L. Cook should the U.S. Senate confirm her nomination as a federal judge, Gov. Bob Taft's top aide said yesterday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Cook's nomination to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Confirmation by the full Senate has been held up because of the fight over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the appeals court for the District of Columbia.

Applications for Cook's seat were due in Taft's office today, but the deadline was extended to March 28 so more applications could be filed, said Brian K. Hicks, the governor's chief of staff.

About 10 applications have been received so far. Taft expects another five or so.

Those who have applied, or intend to, include Ohio appeals court Judges Mark Painter and Stephen Powell of Cincinnati, Richard Knepper of Toledo and William Batchelder of Medina, and former appeals Judge Terrence O'Donnell of Cleveland, Hicks said. All are Republicans.

Cook's confirmation probably won't occur soon, but Hicks said Taft wants to move quickly if the Senate approves her.

The appointee would face election in 2004 to one of four seats that would be on the ballot.

Click here to read the full story in the Columbus Dispatch (subscription site - paid access only).

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