President Bush nominates Patrick Schiltz for federal judgeship

Patrick Schiltz, who came to the University of St. Thomas in 2000 as the founding associate dean of its School of Law, yesterday was nominated by President George Bush to become a federal judge in Minnesota.

The nomination process began earlier this year when Schiltz was selected as one of a small group of candidates recommended by U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman for the judgeship. Schiltz still has to go through the confirmation process in the U.S. Senate. Although the timetable is uncertain, it is likely that Schiltz will be confirmed by summer.

Patrick Schiltz

“I am deeply honored by the president’s decision and I look forward to the confirmation process,” Schiltz said, adding that he would remain at the School of Law until he is confirmed. He expects to continue teaching here at least through the spring semester.

“Patrick Schiltz is an outstanding choice for Minnesota’s next federal judge,” said Thomas Mengler, dean of the St. Thomas School of Law. “The federal courts handle some of the most important issues that come before our justice system, and Professor Schiltz will bring to those cases an incredible intellect; background as an outstanding practicing attorney, legal scholar and educator; a great sense of fairness; and sensitivity to the rights of individuals."

“We wish him well in the confirmation process and success in his career on the federal bench,” Mengler added.

Schiltz was associate dean of the School of Law from 2000 until 2003, when he was named to the school’s St. Thomas More Chair in Law. He has been teaching courses in civil procedure and evidence – courses that relate closely to the work of federal judges.

If confirmed, Schiltz will fill the vacancy created when Judge Richard Kyle took “senior status” last spring. Senior status is similar to retirement. Schiltz would be one of seven federal district court judges in Minnesota. They hear both civil and criminal cases.

If confirmed, Schiltz would hear cases in the Twin Cities and Duluth and maintain his chambers in St. Paul.

A native of Minnesota, Schiltz graduated summa cum laude from the College of St. Scholastica and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was on the law review. He served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, practiced law at Faegre & Benson, and from 1995 to 2000 taught at the Notre Dame Law School. Schiltz is a noted scholar in the areas of legal ethics and appellate procedure.

He is married to Elizabeth Schiltz, who also serves on the St. Thomas law faculty. The Schiltzes have four children.