Obama names Madoff case judge to fill Sotomayor spot

President Barack Obama on Tuesday gave a promotion to the federal judge who sentenced disgraced financier Bernie Madoff to 150 years in prison.

Obama nominated Judge Denny Chin to a spot on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. He will fill the spot on that court left vacant by now-Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Chin, who was born in Hong Kong, has served on the bench for the Southern District Court of New York since 1994, when he was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

The judge received publicity for his role in presiding most recently in the criminal case, U.S. v. Madoff, in which the financier pled guilty to running the largest Ponzi scheme in American history. Chin sentenced Madoff to 150 years in a federal jail, which is a de fact life sentence.

The president offered words of praise for Chin and Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, who he nominated for a spot on the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Judges Chin and Thompson have displayed exceptional dedication to public service throughout their careers,” Obama said.  “They have served on the bench with distinction in New York and Rhode Island, and I am honored to nominate them today to serve the American people on the United States Court of Appeals.  I am confident that they will be judicious and esteemed additions to the First and Second Circuits.”

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