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Trump Announces Intent To Nominate Additional Judicial Nominees

Today President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate additional judicial nominees for federal court vacancies throughout the country. One such vacancy currently exists within the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Fourth Circuit”), created by Judge Dennis W. Shedd assuming senior status on January 30, 2018. It is expected that another member of the Court, Judge William B. Traxler, will also take senior status later this year—thereby creating a second vacancy on the Court.

These current vacancies offer President Trump his first opportunity to affect the composition of the Fourth Circuit. The Court is currently populated, in large part, by judges who were appointed by democratic administrations (i.e., President Clinton and President Obama). A statement released only an hour ago provides the following two nominations for seats on the Fourth Circuit:

If confirmed, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr., of South Carolina will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Marvin Quattlebaum serves as a U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina, where he has served since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate and appointment by President Trump in 2018. Before ascending to the bench, Judge Quattlebaum was a partner in the Greenville, South Carolina, office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP—the same firm where he started his legal career as an associate in 1989. During his 28 years at Nelson Mullins, Judge Quattlebaum’s practice focused on complex business and civil litigation in Federal courts nationwide. On the basis of this expertise, he was invited to serve both as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and as a permanent member of the Judicial Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 2011 to 2012, Judge Quattlebaum served as the President of the South Carolina Bar. Judge Quattlebaum earned his B.A., cum laude, from Rhodes College and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served as a member of the South Carolina Law Review.

If confirmed, Julius “Jay” N. Richardson of South Carolina will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Jay Richardson serves as the Deputy Criminal Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. Since becoming an Assistant United States Attorney in 2009, he has focused on prosecuting violent crime, gangs, terrorism, public corruption, civil rights, and narcotics trafficking. He recently served as the lead prosecutor on United States v. Dylann Storm Roof, where the jury convicted and sentenced Roof to death for his racist massacre of nine African-American worshippers during a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Richardson previously handled complex civil litigation for three years as an associate with the Washington, D.C., firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel (now known as Kellogg Hansen). Before entering private practice, Mr. Richardson served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Richardson earned his B.S. from Vanderbilt University and his J.D., with high honors, from the University of Chicago, where he served as an articles editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.

We will continue to monitor these nominations and let our readers know if there are any unexpected problems that occur in the confirmation process.

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