Politics

Vitter’s Wife Nominated by Trump for Federal Judgeship in Louisiana

Wendy Vitter stayed with her husband amid ‘D.C. Madam’ scandal

Wendy Vitter is seen here in 2005 as her husband, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, is sworn in to the 109th Congress by Vice President Dick Cheney. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump nominated former Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s wife for a federal judgeship in Louisiana on Tuesday.

Wendy Vitter, who currently serves as general counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, would become a U.S. district court judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana upon confirmation in the Senate.

She is perhaps best known for defending her husband at a 2007 press conference in which he copped to being a client of “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

David Vitter recovered from that scandal to win a second Senate term in 2010, but political opponents dredged up the Republican’s past — including reports that he wore diapers to rendezvous with Palfrey’s escorts — during his failed 2015 campaign for Louisiana governor against Democrat John Bel Edwards.

It is unclear whether potential Democratic opponents to Wendy Vitter's nomination will bring up her husband’s past during the confirmation process in the Senate.

Wendy Vitter’s courtroom experience in southern Louisiana is robust.

In the late 1980s and early ’90s, she litigated more than 100 jury trials as chief of the Felony Trials Division in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office after graduating from Tulane University Law School. She mainly prosecuted homicide cases.

Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy endorsed her nomination along with the nomination of Robert Summerhays to another federal bench seat in the state.

“Judge Robert Summerhays and Wendy Vitter both have decades of legal and trial experience that make them excellent choices for these positions,” Cassidy said in a joint statement with Kennedy. “They are part of an outstanding group of individuals that President Trump has nominated to the federal bench.”

“As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to a thoughtful discussion with the nominees about their legal backgrounds, philosophies and approaches to constitutional principles,” Kennedy said in the statement. “Mrs. Vitter has done very important work as a prosecutor and as legal counsel for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Judge Summerhays is a respected member of the bench with lengthy experience overseeing legal cases.”

The White House nominated 10 other lawyers to the federal bench Tuesday, his 10th wave of nominations.

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