WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) submitted blue slips to the Senate Judiciary Committee to formally approve three federal judicial nominees for the Pennsylvania’s Western and Middle Districts today. These nominees – Cathy Bissoon, Mark Hornak and Robert Mariani – were first nominated last year by the president and were re-nominated in January. The blue slips signal the senator’s support and allow the Judiciary Committee to move forward with judicial hearings and the confirmation process.
“Today, Pennsylvania faces a shortage of U.S. district court judges, and it is essential to work in a bipartisan manner to address this concern,” Sen. Toomey said. “I therefore have been working closely with Sen. Casey on judicial nominations for our state to help confirm qualified, experienced individuals with unquestioned honesty and integrity. I decided to support the president’s three nominees because I am confident that they will live up to these standards.”
Biographies for each of the three nominees are listed below.
Judicial Nomination of Cathy Bissoon
Western District of Pennsylvania
Since 2008, Cathy Bissoon has served as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Between 2007 and 2008, she served as the department head of the labor group at Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. in Pittsburgh. Prior to her arrival at Cohen & Grigsby, she served as a partner at Reed Smith LLP from 2001 and 2007. She received her Bachelors of Arts summa cum laude from Alfred University in 1990 and her Juris doctor from Harvard Law School in 1993.
Judicial Nomination of Mark R. Hornak
Western District of Pennsylvania
Mark Hornak is presently a shareholder, partner and member of the executive committee at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney where he has engaged in civil litigation labor and employment law since 1982. Prior to joining Buchanan Ingersoll, he served as a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge James M. Sprouse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (July 1981-June 1982). He graduated summa cum laude from University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law in 1981 and was ranked second in his class. He received his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education in 1978.
He has served on the board of a number of non-profit organizations, including the Steel Valley School District (December 1983-May 1993); the Pittsburgh Foundation (December 2009-present); WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh’s community-based and operated public television and public radio station (September 2005-present); and Girl Scouts of America, Western Pennsylvania Council (1999-2005).
Judicial Nomination of Robert D. Mariani
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Since 1983, Robert Mariani has run his own law practice, Robert D. Mariani, P.C. in Scranton, where he focuses on labor and employment law. He served as a partner at Mariani & Greco from 1979 to 1993. Additionally, his experience includes serving as solicitor to the Scranton/Dunmore Sewer Authority. Robert Mariani received his Bachelors of Arts cum laude from Villanova University in 1972 and his Juris doctor cum laude from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1976. In February 1993, Gov. Bob Casey Sr. nominated Mariani to fill an interim vacancy on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
He was a member of a number of bar associations, including the advisory committee of the National Academy of Arbitrators and the course planning team for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Labor Law Symposium. He has taught labor law at the Scranton campus of Penn State University and has been an instructor in Penn State’s Union Leadership Academy Program, where he has taught labor law and collective bargaining.