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Thomas I. Vanaskie - CONFIRMED
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Thomas I. Vanaskie has been a judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania since 1994, and from 1999 to 2006 he served as the district's chief judge. On August 7, 2009, President Obama nominated Judge Vanaskie to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
A lifelong Pennsylvanian, Judge Vanaskie graduated from Lycoming College in 1975 and from Dickinson School of Law in 1978. After law school, he clerked for United States District Judge William Joseph Nealon Jr. on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Following his clerkship, Judge Vanaskie worked in private practice in Scranton, first at Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, & Kauffman and then at Elliott, Vanaskie & Riley, from 1980 until he took his federal district court seat in 1994. Judge Vanaskie's Pennsylvania ties connect him with Senator Bob Casey who described their relationship as follows: "Judge Vanaskie also has a long history with my family. He practiced law with my father, Governor Robert P. Casey, and he administered the oath of office to me at my three swearing-in ceremonies when I served as Auditor General and State Treasurer." Senator Casey also praised Judge Vanaskie, saying: "Tom Vanaskie has served with distinction as a federal district court judge for 15 years. His academic record, his work as a practicing lawyer and his work on the federal bench have been marked by a commitment to excellence. As an appellate judge he will apply the law in a fair and impartial manner."