John J. Tharp Jr.Photo courtesy Mayer Brown LLP's website

The U.S. Senate voted 86-1 on Monday to confirm John J. Tharp Jr., a Chicago attorney who lives in Oak Park, to fill the vacant judgeship U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Tharp is a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP, where he focuses on securities litigation cases involving shareholder class actions, derivative suits, and multi-district litigation.

As part of a bipartisan agreement from U.S Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tharp was recommended, according to a joint news release from the their offices.

“As a prosecutor and lawyer, Jay Tharp is uniquely qualified to both serve as a federal judge and to send a signal that Illinois is not synonymous with corruption,” Senator Kirk said in the release. “Jay Tharp made a name for himself as an Assistant U.S. Attorney whose cases included political corruption and money laundering.  His impressive tenure in that office includes service in the General Crimes Division and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Jay Tharp will be an outstanding addition to this federal bench. I want to thank Senator Durbin for his continued dedication and hard work to ensuring the Senate’s timely confirmation both Illinois’s nominees Jay Tharp and John Lee.”

Durbin shared Kirk’s thoughts, and said he was pleased with the judicial selection process.

“Jay Tharp has the qualifications, temperament and integrity to serve the Northern District well,” Durbin said in the release.  “Both he and John Lee, who was confirmed last week, will bring tremendous legal skill to the federal bench. Their confirmations are a testament to the success of the bipartisan process that Illinois has in selecting judges.  I thank Senator Kirk for carrying on this tradition and I look forward to working with him to fill judicial vacancies in our state.”

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