On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed South Carolina U.S. District Court Judge Henry Floyd to the next-to-last open seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Floyd’s confirmation leaves only one seat remaining on the 15-seat Fourth Circuit. With 14 seats filled, this is the largest number of active judges the Fourth Circuit has had since Congress approved its expansion to 15 seats in 1990. Moreover, another nominee—Stephanie Thacker of West Virginia—is awaiting Senate confirmation to the Fourth Circuit. Thacker recieved a Senate hearing on Tuesday and hopes to fill the last remaining Fourth Circuit seat.
If Thacker is confirmed, she will become the sixth Obama nominee to join the Fourth Circuit. Obama’s five nominees that have already been confirmed to the Fourth are Floyd, Judges Wynn and Diaz of North Carolina, Judge Keenan of Virginia, and Judge Davis of Maryland. Obama’s success in confirming his Fourth Circuit judicial nominees could signal a stunning reversal for a court that the New York Times described in 2003 as “the shrewdest, most aggressively conservative federal appeals court in the nation.” Only time will tell.
To learn more about Judge Floyd, click here.