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Pa. Judge May Withdraw Nomination

March 16, 1998

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A judge targeted by prosecutors as ``soft on crime″ has decided to withdraw her nomination by President Clinton for a seat on the federal bench, a source said.

Common Pleas Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson scheduled a news conference for this afternoon to announce her decision, according to the source at the Philadelphia Bar Association, which supported her nomination.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity.

With opposition in the Senate strong, Massiah-Jackson faced becoming the first of Clinton’s judicial nominations to be rejected. The vote was scheduled for Tuesday.

Critics have cited two instances in which she used profanity against prosecutors from the bench and dozens of cases in which she threw out evidence, dismissed criminal charges or took other action they considered unfair to prosecutors.

The Senate took up her nomination in February but held off on any action to allow Massiah-Jackson to address the allegations. She had a rare second hearing last week.

As Ms. Massiah-Jackson tried to address the allegations last week, Senate opponents kept bringing forward new cases. The judge was unable to recall details from many of those rulings, some dating back to 1984.

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