Via ACSBlog, the AP is reporting that Fourth Circuit nominees William J. Haynes and Judge Terrence Boyle of North Carolina have notified President Bush that their names be withdrawn from consideration, or in any event the White House is not going forward with their nominations. Judge Boyle, according to the Raleigh paper, did not "throw in the towel" himself.
The Washington Post has this editorial, applauding the withdrawal of these names. It says in part: "Mr. Bush's move was a wise acknowledgment of political reality, but it was also right on the merits. Democrats had valid objections to the nominations of William J. Haynes II, William G. Myers III, Terrence W. Boyle Jr. and Michael B. Wallace. Mr. Haynes, the Pentagon's general counsel, has been a key player in the military's policies on detentions and interrogations in the war on terrorism. . . . Judge Boyle, who serves on the U.S. District Court in North Carolina, has a troubling history in civil rights cases."
Perhaps this development increases the likelihood that the White House will actually nominate one or more of the several qualified Virginia judges for vacant positions on the Fourth Circuit, including Judge Widener's seat and Judge Luttig's seat. Back in June, Virginia Lawyers Weekly listed Virginia lawyers approved by the various bar associations, including among others, Supreme Court of Virginia Justices G. Steven Agee and Donald W. Lemons, Virginia Court of Appeals Judge D. Arthur Kelsey, and U.S. District Judges Glen E. Conrad of Roanoke, James R. Spencer of Richmond, and Rebecca Beach Smith of Norfolk.
The Richmond paper's article reports that new Senator Webb expects to play an active role in the selection of nominees from Virginia. Senator Webb's list of candidates might vary a good bit from those former Senator Allen would have preferred.