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Obama defends nomination of former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to federal judgeship

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President Obama is defending his nomination of former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to a federal judgeship.

That's after some Republicans criticized it Thursday.

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Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbenner said Butler was voted off the bench in a statewide election last year and yet Obama gave him "a promotion, a lifetime appointment, and a pay raise."

Butler lost his Supreme Court seat to Michael Gableman.

State Assembly Judiciary panel member Mark Gundrum of New Berlin called the appointment a "slap in the face" to voters who "rejected that level of liberal activism on the bench."

But Obama praised Butler for "unwavering integrity and an unyielding commitment to justice."

And U.S. Senate Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin also praised Obama's choice.

The senators nominated Butler and Madison attorney William Conley to the federal judgeship for the western half of Wisconsin, after Judge John Shabaz retired this year.

Sensenbrenner used to help the senators nominate Wisconsin judicial candidates but he lost that authority when Democrats took over the White House. Kohl and Feingold said they've used a nominating commission for years in which law professors, judges and other experts recommend judicial candidates. Feingold says the commission follows the same rules they've used for decades.

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