HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — One responsibility that United States Senators are tasked with is nominating judges for federal courtrooms. Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey were praised for their ability to work together to fill vacancies in Pennsylvania quickly. But how will the arrival of John Fetterman impact that process?

Harrisburg’s brand-new federal courthouse will likely have one less federal judge to sit in it.

“There is a decent chance my seat could go north,” said former federal judge and current Dickinson College President John Jones.

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Jones announced his retirement from the bench in May 2021. After accepting a position as the president of Dickinson College, his judicial seat is yet to be filled.

Jones’ empty seat is one of two in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“It is almost a sure bet that the two nominees will be Democrats,” said Jones.

Both empty seats will likely be from Scranton and be seated in Scranton because of President Joe Biden’s and Bob Casey’s connection with the Pennsylvania town.

“Elections matter and they do,” Jones added.

Democrat John Fetterman is now in the selection process; Republican Pat Toomey is out.

Fetterman, who is an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform, could have his fingerprints on one of the selections.

Jones thinks if the nominations come in early 2023, Casey will likely control the process, not Fetterman.

“If Senator Fetterman decides he wants to flex his senatorial muscles, you’ll see that in the fact that there might be somewhat of a delay,” said Jones.

According to Jones, the list of candidates is short and they are all well-qualified. The nominees, however, will not look like Jones, a white man.

“Which is perfectly fine. So they’ll be looking for individuals of color and obviously women as well on the court,” Jones added.

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If Oz had won, Jones thinks there would be one Republican and one Democrat. It will be two Democrats now, but district courts are primarily apolitical.

“I don’t think that anyone should worry that the judicial system is about to swing wildly left or right,” Jones said.

Jones was one of two Republicans nominated in 2001 by Republican President George W. Bush and Republicans Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum.