Clear Sailing For Two North Carolina Judicial Nominees?
As noted in this article, the election of Richard Burr (R - NC) to the US Senate will very likely mean that the previously stalled nominations of three North Carolina judges will be brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Previously, Senator Edwards had declined to return so-called "blue slips" indicating his approval of the three nominees from his home state, thus preventing them from coming before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Edwards' Republican replacement Burr has no such reservations about Bush's three nominees, however, and it appears highly likely that all three nominees will be quickly confirmed by the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee.
It seems highly likely that district court nominees Bob Conrad and James Dever will be confirmed with little or no opposition from Democratic Senators, who have, in recent years, concentrated their attention on circuit court nominees. Democratic Senators will likely scrutinize U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle's nomination to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals much more closely. The conservative Fourth Circuit occupies a special place of loathing in the hearts of many liberals, and Judge Boyle, a former aide to ex-Senator Jesse Helms, has evoked predictable criticism from left-leaning judiciary observers.
Judge Boyle may have forgotten that he is still a nominee for the Fourth Circuit, considering that he was first nominated to serve on that court by Bush- George HW Bush, that is - in 1991! Nomination Nation strives for impartiality, but it cannot help but be moved by Judge Boyle's lengthy judicial odyssey, although it seems doubtful that Ted Kennedy and Co. will be similarly moved. Stay tuned.