Reid aide will be Obama adviser on court nominations

A top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will lead the Justice Department's office contributing to the decision to nominate U.S. attorneys and federal judges, including Supreme Court justices.

President Obama nominated Ronald H. Weich, chief counsel to Reid, as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).

The OLA, according to the Department of Justice, "has responsibility for the development and implementation of strategies to advance the Department's legislative initiatives and other interests relating to Congress." Additionally, Weich will participate in the Senate confirmation process for federal judges and U.S. attorneys.

As chief counsel to Reid, Weich had served as an adviser on a number of legal issues, including judicial nominations. Weich has also served in similar advisory roles for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Weich's influence in deciding federal judgeships could be useful this year and during Obama's first term in office, especially when it comes to Supreme Court appointments.

Stalwart liberal Justice John Paul Stevens is 88-years-old, while younger Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has undergone treatment for pancreatic cancer.