The White House plans to nominate the judge who presided over the Bernard Madoff case to the appeals court that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor served on, Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday.
Schumer said in a statement that his office told the White House that U.S. District Judge Denny Chin "would be an outstanding choice" for an appointment to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
One of the four openings on the appeals court was created Sotomayor was elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court. She heard her first case as a justice on Wednesday.
Chin, 55, sentenced Wall Street swindler Madoff earlier this summer to 150 years in prison for cheating thousands of people out of billions of dollars.
Schumer praised Chin in his two-sentence statement, saying: "Even in the most high-profile of cases, he has been unflappable, erudite and steadily applied the law." Chin did not comment publicly on Schumer's statement Wednesday.
Chin was widely celebrated for his decision to jail 71-year-old Madoff immediately after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in March and for sentencing him to the maximum prison term in June. Yet Chin also has gained respect for his compassion on the bench.
In November 2007, he cited then-83-year-old Oscar Wyatt Jr.'s age and military service during World War II as he sentenced the Texas oilman to a year and a day in prison for his role in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.
Nine months earlier, he reversed a jury verdict, saying evidence did not support the fraud conviction of a former New York Stock Exchange floor supervisor who once oversaw all trading in General Electric Co. stock.