By Carl Tobias
One responsibility the Constitution assigns the president is the nomination of life-tenured federal judges. President Barack Obama ably discharged this duty by cooperating with Virginia Democratic Sens.Jim Webb and Mark Warner and nominating and confirming excellent jurists. All the Virginia judgeships are currently filled. Now that Obama has won re-election and Democrats have retained the Senate, Virginia provides a model for promptly filling the 83 lower court vacancies.
At Obama’s inauguration, Virginia experienced one Fourth Circuit vacancy and one in the Eastern District of Virginia. The Eastern and Western districts each later encountered one more. When Obama assumed office, the new administration expeditiously invoked measures to fill openings. The White House worked closely with Webb and Warner. The senators requested that numerous Virginia bar groups swiftly evaluate applicants and make recommendations. Webb and Warner in turn rapidly suggested intelligent, ethical, independent and diligent candidates who have even temperaments.
Tobias holds the Williams Chair in Law, University of Richmond.