SHEPHERDSTOWN -- U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Gina Groh is uniquely qualified to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia in a ceremony marking her elevation to the federal bench.

Groh received her commission March 20 after a nearly year-long confirmation process following her nomination in May 2011. Rockefeller recommended Groh for the nomination and fought for her confirmation, including testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee and working with colleagues across the aisle to move her nomination forward.

Groh is the first Eastern Panhandle resident to serve on the U.S. Northern District in Martinsburg.

“In her career as a public servant, Judge Groh has shown a determination to stand up for those who can’t always stand up for themselves,” Rockefeller said in a release. “So I have no doubt that Judge Groh is uniquely qualified to uphold the foundations of our legal system – fairness and justice – for all West Virginians.”

Since formally assuming her position on the bench in March, Groh has since been busy hearing cases and sentencing individuals who have pled guilty to crimes.

She was nominated by President Obama on May 19, 2011 and was confirmed by the Senate on March 15, 2012, by a vote of 95-2. Prior to that, she was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 6, 2011, by a unanimous voice vote.

Throughout this process, Rockefeller worked to move her confirmation forward, including recommending her to the President in February 2011; speaking on her behalf at her confirmation hearing on September 7, 2011; speaking directly to Judiciary Committee members prior to the Committee’s vote; and working with colleagues to schedule a confirmation vote before the full Senate.

Groh replaced Judge W. Craig Broadwater, who passed away Dec. 18, 2006. Over the past four years, Rockefeller has guided the nomination of three women to federal judicial vacancies in West Virginia: Irene Berger for the Southern District of West Virginia; Stephanie Thacker for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; and Groh. It is the first time in state history that three women have served together on the federal bench.

“A path of steady fortitude and diligence has led her to this day, when we celebrate the Investiture of the first woman -- and the first judge from the Eastern Panhandle -- to serve in this seat,” Rockefeller said. “I have every confidence she will serve our state and our country with honor and distinction.”




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