Senate confirms Wier as eastern Kentucky judge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed Robert Wier as a federal judge in eastern Kentucky as Republicans continue their push to remake the federal bench.

Kentucky's senators - Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul - say Wier is the sixth Kentuckian to win Senate confirmation as nominees of President Donald Trump for judgeships. Three were confirmed as U.S. District judges and three as appellate judges.

McConnell, the Senate majority leader, says the fast pace of confirmations for judgeships nationwide could be Republicans' most "long-lasting accomplishment."

The Senate confirmed Wier Tuesday despite a decision that prompted a six-month manhunt.

As a magistrate in 2016, Wier let attorney Eric Conn stay out of jail before being sentenced on charges he defrauded the federal government of $600 million in Social Security disability benefits. But Conn fled. He was caught later in Honduras.

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