Judiciary Committee confirms receiving Marquez nomination, McCain denies it

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson attorney Rosemary Marquez was nominated by President Obama to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona almost three months ago.

The President appointed two women, Judge Jennifer Guerin Zipps was given the green light.  While Marquez is still stuck on red.

Senators John McCain appears to be holding up Marquez' nomination although he denies it.

Senator John McCain was in Tucson Tuesday holding a town hall meeting.

When asked about attorney Rosemary Marquez's appointment, he said her name hadn't been submitted yet to the U.S. Judiciary Committee.

"We have not seen it submitted by the administration so neither Jon Kyl and I are blocking it.  If her name is submitted we will go through the process which is our constitutional responsibility," said Senator John McCain.

Marquez's name was submitted to the committee June 23, 2011.  U.S. Judiciary Committee staff confirmed receipt of the nomination.  Her nomination number is PN724112.

Pima County Democratic Chair Jeff Rogers, who went to law school with Marquez, feels there's something not right about Senator McCain's statement.

"Does he not clear off his desk for 2 or 3 months at a time?  There's something very suspicious about it.  He's either got an incompetent staff or he's not telling the truth," said Rogers.

Roger says there should be no reason for her to be stopped from being a federal judge.

"She's done a lot of criminal trials and you just don't see that many real good trial lawyers make it to the federal bench these days," said Rogers.

He also pointed out her qualifications and the lack of Hispanics holding the gavel in Arizona courts.

Attorney A. Bates Butler, III, a former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, has shared the defense bench with Marquez before.

"I was enthused by it.  I think she's got a great temperament to be a judge," said Butler.  "I think she brings a different background to the bench then we have on the bench currently."

Both lawyers feel that something needs to be done, because the case loads of the judges in federal court are continuing to increase.

"That courthouse around the corner is the absolute busiest court house in the entire United States," said Rogers.

"Now we're even in worse shape, so any kind of delay on getting us the judges we need is going to only negatively impact all of Southern Arizona," said Butler.

Rogers says the ball is in Senator McCain's and Kyl's court.  For now its just a waiting game for Marquez to see what the senators do after reviewing her file.

McCain's staff did not respond to inquiries asking for response to the nomination confirmation or clarification on McCain's comments.