Senate confirms Penn professor for Third Circuit appeals court

Stephanos Bibas, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a former federal prosecutor, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate to become to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Bibas, who was nominated by President Trump in June, was confirmed by a 53-43 vote with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia the only Democrat voting in his favor.

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated Bibas “well qualified” as a judicial nominee, its highest rating.

Ted Ruger, dean of Penn’s law school, said Bibas “possesses all the skills to excel on the federal bench: He is a deeply insightful legal scholar, an accomplished appellate advocate, and an outstanding teacher. The Third Circuit will be adding an exceptional jurist to its ranks.”

Bibas has been a professor of law and criminology at the Penn’s Law School and director of Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic. He was formerly an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bibas, a married father of four and the son of a Greek immigrant, earned his law degree at Yale University.

In 2010, Bibas and a co-counsel successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that non-citizen defendants have the right to accurate information about deportation before they plead guilty.

Bibas replaces Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, who took senior status last year. Former President Obama had nominated Rebecca Haywood to the seat last year, hoping to make her the first African-American woman on the circuit court. But Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, opposed her nomination and said the White House acted despite his objections. Haywood was blocked by the GOP-controlled Senate.

-Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article