Three federal judges nominated in Eastern Pa.

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated three people to fill vacant U.S. District Court judge seats in Eastern Pennsylvania.

They are Philadelphia County Common Pleas Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro; U.S. Magistrate Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo; and Berks County Common Pleas President Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl.

Judge Quinones' resume includes work for the federal departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services. Judge Restrepo started as a law clerk at the National Prison Project. Judge Schmehl has been a prosecutor and a public defender.

Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey issued a joint statement supporting the nominations.

People For the American Way issued a news release commending the diverse choices and noting that two of the three nominees are of Hispanic heritage, and one, Judge Quinones, would be "the first openly gay Hispanic federal judge."

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