PADUCAH – A Kentucky native has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a federal judge for the Western District of Kentucky.

Benjamin J. Beaton received a 52-44 vote of approval from the Senate on Tuesday and is currently awaiting his judicial commission before assuming the bench.

Beaton was born in Paducah in 1981 and graduated from Tilghman High School. He received his undergraduate degree at Centre College, and his law degree from Columbia University.

After graduating from law school, Beaton clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, and later for Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

From 2012–2018, Beaton was an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin, then became a partner at Squire Patton Boggs in 2018, where he co-chaired the firm’s Appellate & Supreme Court practice group until his appointment to the bench.

He worked for law firms in Chicago and Cincinnati before being nominated for the district judge position by President Donald J. Trump in August. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law where he teaches constitutional interpretation.

Beaton takes the post that had been held by Judge Justin Walker, who was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit earlier this year.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, told his colleagues, “Mr. Beaton has excelled at some of the country’s top law firms. He’s also undertaken a substantial pro bono caseload and shown a dedication to community service.

“At each step, the nominee has demonstrated a firm commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. The American Bar Association has confirmed what Kentuckians already knew: Mr. Beaton is well qualified to serve as a district judge.”

After the vote, Kentucky’s other U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, said, “Congratulations to Paducah, Kentucky, native Ben Beaton on his confirmation to serve as a judge for the Western District of Kentucky. From clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court to litigating cases at the federal and state levels, Ben has the experience and fortitude needed to uphold the rule of law on the federal bench, and I was proud to support his nomination.”

(By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

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