The Scioto County Courthouse was filled Friday night as former Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge Matt McFarland took the oath of office for the position of U.S. Federal District Court Judge. McFarland was confirmed last year after being nominated by President Trump.
Portman (R-Ohio) and Brown (D-Ohio) recommended the president nominate Judge McFarland for the vacancy which was created upon the retirement of Judge Thomas Rose. The Southern District has court locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton and serves more than five million Ohioans in 48 counties.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals serves Adams County, among others in the region.
“I applaud the Senate for confirming Judge Matt McFarland to be the next federal judge in the Southern District,” said Portman. “Judge McFarland has been a dedicated public servant on the state court of appeals. His esteemed reputation is well deserved, and I am confident he will continue make Ohio proud with his distinguished service on the bench.”
During Judge McFarlands’ Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Portman testified, “Matt is a Buckeye through and through. He was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees in Columbus at Capital University. In fact, if confirmed, Matt will be the first person from Portsmouth, Ohio to serve on the bench of the Southern District of Ohio, and the first federal judge to come from the Appalachian part of Ohio in 100 years. About time.”
“I’m very honored to be confirmed for this important position and grateful to have the bipartisan support of the Senate and of President Trump for his nomination. Serving as a judge has been the greatest professional honor of my life and I look forward to serving the citizens of Ohio at the federal level,” said Judge McFarland.
Several Adams County residents were present this evening in Portsmouth to witness Judge McFarland take his oath to be on the Federal bench.
“Lori and I wish Judge Matt McFarland all the best as he embarks on this new journey,” said State Representative Brian Baldridge. “He will be a wonderful Federal Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.”
“Congratulations to my friend Matt McFarland on taking the oath of office as the newest Federal Judge for the Southern District of Ohio!” said former Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway. “The President along with the advice and consent of the Senate selected a humble public servant. So very proud of him!”
Judge Matthew W. McFarland is a judge on the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals. He was elected to the court in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016. Judge McFarland received his undergraduate degree from Capital University, cum laude, and his J.D. from Capital University Law School, Order of the Barristers. Judge McFarland has previously served as the court’s Presiding and Administrative Judge and as a visiting judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio on multiple occasions. Prior to joining the appellate bench, he served as the Magistrate in Scioto County Common Pleas Court Probate/Juvenile Division, and as Chairman of the Ohio Association of Magistrates, Juvenile Section. Before joining the common pleas bench, Judge McFarland was a Scioto County Assistant Prosecutor and acted as Special Counsel for the Ohio Attorney General. He also was a Licking County Assistant County Prosecutor and had his own solo practice. He currently is an adjunct professor at Shawnee State University and is an Eagle Scout.
The President of the United States nominates U.S. district court judges based on recommendations from U.S. senators. Those recommendations are then vetted by the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee before being considered for confirmation by the full U.S. Senate. U.S. district courts are general trial courts that hear both civil and criminal cases. In the past 3 years, the U.S. Senate has confirmed 185 of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, the majority of whom have a conservative track record. Senators have confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 50 circuit court and 133 district court judges.
McFarland’s Court of Appeals seat is now vacant. Currently, the governor is working to fill the seat.