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Views of Chicago's City Hall photographed Feb 7, 2012.(Nancy Stone/ Chicago Tribune) B581881480Z.1 OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, NEW YORK TIMES OUT, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION... (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune / February 7, 2012)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Tuesday announced federal judge nominations for two veterans of "26th and Cal," Chicago's Criminal Courts Building.

They are Associate Judge Jorge Luis Alonso and prosecutor John Robert Blakey.

The nominations, which must be approved by the Senate, are for the Chicago-based Northern District of Illinois.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., recommended Alonso for the judgeship and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., suggested Blakey, Durbin said in a news release.

Alonso has been an associate judge for the Cook County Circuit Court since 2003 and was an assistant public defender in Cook County from 1991 to 2003, the White House said.

He received a law degree in 1991 from George Washington University Law School and a bachelor's degree in 1988 from the University of Miami.

Blakey since 2009 has been both the chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau for the Cook County state's attorney's office and a special assistant U.S. attorney in Illinois' Northern District, the White House said.

When he was named to the Special Prosecutions Bureau, he was singled out in a news release for his experience in prosecuting public corruption and organized gang and narcotics crimes.

Earlier Blakey was an assistant federal prosecutor first in the Southern District of Florida and later in the Northern District of Illinois. He worked previously for the Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz law firm.

Blakey earned a law degree in 1992 and a bachelor's degree in 1988 from Notre Dame and a C.F.A. in 1989 from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.

Blakey's father is G. Robert Blakey, a professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame Law School who is known as an authority on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or RICO, which he helped write.

Alonso would replace Judge Ronald Guzman and Blakey would replace Judge James Holderman, the White House said.

In a statement about the nominees, Obama said: "Throughout their careers, these distinguished individuals have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service. I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the District Court bench."

kskiba@tribune.com

Twitter @KatherineSkiba