A Superior Court Judge in the Tri-Cities was nominated today by President Barack Obama for a federal judgeship in the Eastern District of Washington.
Salvador Mendoza Jr. would replace U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko, who has moved into senior status. The appointment must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The nomination was among four announced today the White House. Federal judges are paid $174,000 a year.
Mendoza was appointed to the Benton and Franklin County bench in April by Gov. Jay Inslee. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and completed his law degree from UCLA in 1997. In addition to having worked as a deputy prosecutor and assistant attorney general, he had focused on criminal defense while in private practice.
The Eastern District of Washington is based in Spokane but has judges in the Tri-Cities and Yakima.
Mendoza is the second judicial nominee awaiting Senate confirmation in Eastern Washington. Wenatchee lawyer Stan Bastian was nominated last fall to replace U.S. District Judge Ed Shea, who moved to senior status in the summer of 2012.
Federal judges who meet certain requirements are able to move into senior status rather than retire. It’s intended to keep experienced judges on the job by offering them reduced caseloads.