Keenan confirmed by Senate for 4th Circuit post
Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan of Alexandria was confirmed Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Senate to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The vote was 99-0, and came more than five months after President Obama nominated Keenan.
Obama inherited five vacancies on the Fourth Circuit, which has long been recognized as one of the most conservative appeals courts in the country, and Keenan becomes the second new judge for the court, which oversees federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Last week, with Keenan's nomination seemingly stalled after she had received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Virginia's Democratic senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner urged a final confirmation for her.
Keenan, 60, is a longtime Northern Virginian who has served at every level of the Virginia judiciary as it is now organized. She was the first woman general district court judge in Virginia when she joined the Fairfax bench in 1980, and she was the first woman circuit court judge in 1982.
When the Virginia Court of Appeals was created in 1985, she was the only woman named to that bench. She was selected for the Virginia Supreme Court in 1991.
Keenan was raised in Northern Virginia, and earned her bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1971. She earned her law degree from George Washington University in 1974 and a master's of law from the University of Virginia in 1992.
-- Tom Jackman
March 2, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Tom Jackman , Updates
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