First woman sworn in as U.S. District Court judge in Maine

Posted Oct. 11, 2011, at 6:52 p.m.
Nancy Torresen
Courtesy of Sen. Susan Collins office
Nancy Torresen

BANGOR, Maine — The first female U.S. District Court judge in Maine was sworn in Tuesday during an informal ceremony, according to information on the website for U.S. District Court in Maine.

Nancy Torresen, 51, of Bangor was confirmed Oct. 3 by the U.S. Senate.

A former federal prosecutor, Torresen said last week that she was looking forward to getting to work in her new job. She will be sitting in Portland.

Efforts to reach Torresen late Tuesday were unsuccessful.

A formal investiture ceremony will be held at a later date, according to U.S. District Judge John Woodcock, who administered the oath of office in a private ceremony in his chambers at federal court in Bangor.

“On behalf of the district, I am pleased to announce that Nancy Torresen took the oath of office as United States District judge today,” Woodcock wrote in a posting on the court website. “Judge Torresen is the court’s 17th federal district judge in the District of Maine. … Please join the court in extending a very warm welcome to Judge Torresen.”

Torresen’s name was sent to the White House by U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, both Maine Democrats, late last year. In March, President Barack Obama nominated her to replace U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby in Portland. He assumed senior status a year ago but plans to maintain a full caseload.

In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended that Torresen be confirmed.

Appointments to the federal bench are for life. The salary of a U.S. District judge in 2011 is $174,000 per year, according to information on the website for the federal court system.

Torresen first joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1990 and initially handled civil matters involving federal agencies. In 1994, she was assigned to the Appellate Section of the Criminal Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office, where she primarily was responsible for representing the state in appeals of serious violent crime convictions.

In 2001, she returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was responsible for investigating and prosecuting federal crimes.

From 1988 to 1990, Torresen worked at the law firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. She served as a law clerk to former U.S. District Judge Conrad K. Cyr from 1987 to 1988.

Torresen received her law degree in 1987 from the University of Michigan Law School and her undergraduate degree in 1981 from Hope College in Holland, Mich.

She is married to lawyer Jay McCloskey, who served as U.S. attorney for Maine under President Bill Clinton. The couple lives in Bangor.

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