The nomination of a federal public defender from Cedar Rapids for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal has been approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.
President Barack Obama nominated Jane Kelly to the court earlier this year. Kelly has been an assistant federal public defender since 1994, and she recently represented white-collar criminal Russ Wasendorf Sr.
Both of Iowa's U.S. senators, Democrat Tom Harkin and Republican Chuck Grassley, have supported Kelly's nomination to the federal appeals bench, which hears cases from Iowa and several other states.
Kelly was born in Indiana and obtained her law degree from Harvard University in 1991.