Two North Carolina judges who have been nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit are on the agenda for Thursday’s business meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Albert Diaz (left) and James A. Wynn Jr. (right) fielded questions from committee members on Dec. 16, but the committee didn’t take up their nominations before the holiday recess. Now that Congress is back in session, Thursday marks the first opportunity for the committee to endorse Winn and Diaz to the full senate.
When they introduced Diaz and Wynn, both North Carolina senators, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan, urged the committee to move quickly to fill the four vacancies on the 4th Circuit’s 15-seat panel. Given this bipartisan support (and that both judges received “unanimously well qualified” ratings from the American Bar Association), it will be interesting to see if the committee approves their nominations right away, or if they are held over for a week, which has been standard procedure for the judiciary committee.
Meanwhile, another nominee to the 4th Circuit, Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan, passed out of committee on Oct. 29. While the latest edition of the senate’s executive calendar indicates that the full senate will vote Wednesday on Barbara Baldwin Martin, a U.S. District Judge from Atlanta nominated for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, there is no indication that Keenan’s nomination will get a vote anytime soon.