Obama nominates two to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama Wednesday named two new nominees to serve on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has a reputation as one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country.
Obama nominated Judge Albert Diaz, a North Carolina superior court judge who handles complex business cases, and Judge James Wynn, of North Carolina's state Court of Appeals, to serve on the federal appeals court.
"Judges Diaz and Wynn have been exceptional public servants for the people of North Carolina," Obama said in a statement. "Their distinguished judicial careers leave no doubt that they will be esteemed additions to the Fourth Circuit."
Obama has now named a total of 25 nominees to the federal bench since taking office. So far, he has won confirmation for only three of the nominees -- including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The others have been caught in anonymous holds and filibuster threats from Senate Republicans that have slowed the proceedings.
Both of Obama's latest nominees seem to fulfill his pledge to appoint judges who have diverse experiences. Diaz began his legal career in the United States Marine Corps Legal Services Support Section, where he served as a prosecutor, defense counsel, and chief review officer. Later, he worked in the Navy's Office of the Judge Advocate General, where he served for four years as appellate government counsel handling criminal appeals. After that, he worked as a lawyer in private practice before becoming the first Latino appointed to the North Carolina Superior Court in 2001.
Wynn, meanwhile, has worked as a public defender and as a lawyer in private practice before going on the bench in 1990. He is also a certified military trial judge and a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
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