Harkin has recommended two names to President Obama: Jane L. Kelly and Mary E. Tabor.
After law school, Jane Kelly served as a law clerk on both the United States District Court of South Dakota and on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Since 1994, she has served as a federal defender in the Northern District of Iowa.
Since May 2010, Mary Tabor has served as a judge on the Iowa Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court. Prior to her appointment, from 1993 until 2010, she worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Iowa Department of Justice, the last ten as the Appeals Division’s director. In that capacity, she supervised an office that opened nearly 800 new cases each year and filed about 375 briefs annually, including both state direct appeals and federal habeas cases. She also represented the state in defending the constitutionality of numerous statutes.
Harking said in a press release, “I am confident that Ms. Kelly and Ms. Tabor are the most qualified based on their character, experiences and expertise.
“I am pleased to submit to President Obama the names of two outstanding attorneys– both of whom are well-qualified for the Eighth Circuit – and look forward to working with him to fill this important position as quickly as possible.”