Marcelle advances to Senate review for Federal bench

October 12, 2018 02:20 PM

ALBANY – Tom Marcelle was a physics major at Bowdoin College in Maine. During his senior year, he took a law class and read the case Marbury vs. Madison. That U.S. Supreme Court case established the principle of judicial review. In other words, courts can strike down laws that run counter to the U.S. Constitution.

"If you read that and love it, you're meant for the law and so I really liked it," Marcelle said.

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After graduation, he took a year off, coached football and wrestling and worked nights in a Public Defender's office before going to Cornell Law School.

Marcelle, 56, is a Cohoes City Court Judge who has been a public defender, worked for the Department of Justice, been an Albany County attorney, counsel to the County Legislature, in private practice and even coached football, wrestling and little league baseball.

Now, after six months of a background check by the FBI, he got a call this week that his name will be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration as a Federal Court Judge for the 32-county Northern District. That stretches from the Canadian border to Syracuse to Binghamton. Right now there is only one active Judge hearing cases right now.

"It's very exciting," Marcelle said. "The President nominated me, very grateful and I'm looking forward to the process with the Senate."

Congressman John Faso recommended Marcelle to the White House. Marcelle had been recommended in 2008 under President Bush but the Democratic-controlled Senate did not confirm him.

"There's different types of lawyers. Lawyers who really like engaging in negotiation or litigation. I always liked the law part. Like little nuances of law, all the nerdy things that lawyers do I really like and that's what a judge does. The judge looks over the statutes, decides what it means, listening to the combatants. You're no longer in the game but you get to decide kind of what is in bounds and out of bounds."

He and his wife live in Slingerlands and have three grown children, two still in college.

"You're never on one track," he said. "Life is funny, different channels, you never know. But if you're passionate about something and you can pursue your passion, work your passion, you've done a great job."


WNYT Staff

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