This article from the Richmond paper is the best of the lot in its description of the Senate Judiciary committee hearing on the nomination of Claude Allen to the Fourth Circuit. It notes among other things that Republicans objected when President Clinton nominated Judge Gregory to a "North Carolina" seat, but then President Bush renominated him, anyway.
It also describes the scene as Michele Finn watched Allen explain his role in the Hugh Finn case:
"Michele Finn of Kentucky watched somberly from the audience when Allen was asked to define his role in the case of her late husband, Hugh Finn. She had fought for removal in 1998 of her brain-damaged husband's feeding tube, a step the administration of then-Gov. Jim Gilmore ultimately opposed.
In a June letter, Michele Finn staunchly opposed Allen's confirmation. She wrote that as Virginia secretary of health and human resources, he 'was a core participant in a concerted effort to impose his personal agenda and beliefs over the legal and moral rights' of her husband.
Under questioning by senators, however, Allen described as 'ministerial' and 'minimal' his role in the episode. He said he had no personal role in Virginia's decision to intervene in the case."
Against the background of this hearing, last night I read this post from the Legal Theory Blog, where he argues for the old-fashioned standard in selecting judging judge candidates, that they possess "judicial virtues," that is, whether they are persons who are "learned in the law, who had practical wisdom, who possessed civic courage and a judicial temper[a]ment."