Paula Xinis, a former federal public defender and partner at a prominent Baltimore law firm, was narrowly confirmed by the Senate on Monday to a judgeship on the U.S. District Court.
Xinis, a partner at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, was an assistant federal public defender for 13 years, and previously was a clerk for Judge Diana Gribbon Motz in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The Senate confirmed the Prince George's County woman to the bench 53-34 at a time when Washington has deadlocked over the appointment of another judicial nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court. President Barack Obama nominated Xinis in March 2015.
The seat on the Maryland court that Xinis will take has been vacant since October 2014.