WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jane Young, former New Hampshire deputy attorney general, was confirmed Wednesday by a voice vote as the next U.S. Attorney for the district of New Hampshire. She was expected to be sworn in on May 2.
Although Young was nominated in January by President Joe Biden, the confirmation process was unusually prolonged due to what one political observer described as “partisan politics.”
“In the old days, before things got so partisan and bogged down, these confirmations would go quickly. Those days are over,” said Carl Tobias, a prominent law professor at the University of Richmond who has been following the process closely.
“Although Jane Young had strong support from New Hampshire’s senators and she seems to be very well qualified, the process was held up by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas). He’s been in a fight with the department of justice for an unrelated matter. Normally, this should have taken a few weeks,” Tobias said.
Instead, it has been three months since Biden’s nomination. Cotton’s beef with the U.S. Department of Justice also delayed the confirmation of six U.S. attorneys including Young, and two U.S. marshals.
Cotton acknowledged his delay tactic earlier this year was to make a point about the Justice Department and its handling of a lawsuit involving U.S. marshals in Portland, Or., during a 2020 courthouse demonstration.
Both New Hampshire U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan issued statements following word of Young’s confirmation.
“I’m thrilled Ms. Young was confirmed by the Senate today – a clear indication of her undeniable qualifications and experience. I’m confident she will serve New Hampshire with distinction as the state’s chief federal law enforcement officer,” Shaheen said. “Throughout her tenure, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the law, public service and justice. As a native Granite Stater, I have no doubt Ms. Young will channel her passion and expertise to ensure the needs of New Hampshire are met.”
Added Hassan, “Jane Young is an exceptional choice for U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire, and it is encouraging to see her confirmed to the position with bipartisan support. Her stellar record of investigating and prosecuting criminals, and her deep commitment to justice, gives me confidence that Ms. Young will serve Granite Staters with distinction.”
Young joined the NH Department of Justice in 1992 and served as the Deputy Attorney General since 2018. She has held various leadership positions including Director of the Division of Public Protection from 2017 to 2018, Chief of the Criminal Justice Bureau from 2007 to 2017, and Chief of the Drug Unit from 2006 to 2007. From 1990 to 1992, Young served as an Assistant County Attorney in the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office.
Tobias said he follows the U.S. Attorney confirmation process because of its importance.
“It’s a very powerful position – this is the chief law enforcement officer for each U.S. state, and both parties have been frustrated about the delayed process,” Tobias said.