U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, said Tuesday he will do his part of make sure the Middle District of Pennsylvania soon has a sitting federal judge.
Flanked by local community leaders, Toomey was in Williamsport at the U.S. District Court building to stress the importance of having a judge in Lycoming County.
He called both of the nominees for the bench spot well qualified people.
Matthew Brann, a Canton attorney, and Malcahy Mannion, of Scranton, both have been confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
However, the full Senate has the final say on the matter.
Toomey said he will push for the Senate to vote on it by September.
Still, there is no timetable on the confirmation.
Toomey said with a growing economy in Williamsport, thanks to the natural gas industry, a full-time sitting judge is needed here.
State Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and others agreed.
Yaw said there are many new businesses in the area which will be in need of legal help that ultimately will be settled in federal court.
In addition, he noted the nearby presence of the Allenwood federal prison system.
Yaw said the Middle District of Pennsylvania covers 33 counties.
Lycoming County Commissioner Jeff Wheeland called filling the bench "critically important for the economy."
Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana sounded an upbeat note to the appearance of Toomey and his push to fill the vacancy on the bench.
"It looks like help is on the way," he said.
Toomey said there's no reason why the Senate shouldn't fill the vacancy quite soon.
He noted that both he and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, agree that it needs to get done.
"There is nothing controversial here," he said.
Both men, he said, are well qualified and respected.
There has been no full-time sitting federal judge in Williamsport since 2010.