Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has forwarded the names of two people for consideration to fill a pending vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

Jane Kelly, an assistant federal defender in the Northern District of Iowa, and Mary Tabor, a judge on the Iowa Court of Appeals, had their names submitted to President Barack Obama, who will make the appointments.

Kelly, who is grew up in Greencastle, Ind., has been a defender in the northern district’s Cedar Rapids office since 1994. She previously she was a law clerk at the U.S. District Court of South Dakota and on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tabor, who is from Maquoketa, has been a state appellate judge since 2010. Between 1993 and 2000, she worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Iowa Department of Justice, the past 10 as director of the appeals division.

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In a statement, Harkin said he had consulted the state bar, the community and interviewed several candidates.

“I am confident that Ms. Tabor and Ms. Kelly are the most qualified based on their character, experiences and expertise,” he said.

Whoever is nominated will, with Senate confirmation, replace Judge Michael J. Melloy, who plans to retire at the end of January. Melloy, who was appointed to the appellate bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, is based in Cedar Rapids.