Der-Yeghiayan was a judge on the U.S. Immigration Court in Chicago. Senator Peter Fitzgerald had recommended to Bush that Der-Yeghiayan succeed U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen, who reduced his duties upon taking senior status last year.
The nomination of the Vernon Hills resident also had the backing of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
Der-Yeghiayan was born in Syria in 1952 and is of Armenian descent.
He has more than 20 years in the federal judicial system, including two decades as a Justice Department attorney.