Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Justice Barbara Keenan Nominated for the 4th Circuit

Last week President Obama nominated Justice Barbara Milano Keenan, of the Supreme Court of Virginia, to fill one of the five vacancies on the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Justice Keenan was the first female Virginia general district court judge (appointed in 1980) and the first female circuit court judge (1982). She has served on the Supreme Court of Virginia since 1991.

President Obama's first nominee to the 4th Circuit -- federal district judge Andre Davis -- has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee but not yet by the full Senate. Appellate court watchers anticipate a possible shift in 4th Circuit jurisprudence if Davis and Keenan (and future Obama appointees) are confirmed to fill the current vacancies.

In 2008 Justice Keenan authored the Supreme Court's opinion in Johnson v. Tice, which affirmed the conviction of Derek Elliott Tice, one of the "Norfolk 4."