President Bush has nominated Virginia Supreme Court Justice G. Steven Agee for the seat vacated by Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, following the failed nomination of Richmond lawyer Duncan Getchell. Unlike Getchell, Agee is on the list to which both Senators Webb and Warner agreed, of names for the position.
Justice Agee is from Salem, and he was a Republican legislator in the General Assembly and a lawyer with the Osterhoudt firm before he became a judge. Per Westlaw, Justice Agee argued a few cases before the Fourth Circuit, but his cases included Patterson v. Shumate, which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court (and not on the side of Mr. Shumate).
Despite the increasing proximity to lame duck status for President Bush and his nominees, the Senate ought to move ahead with Agee's nomination, particularly since it will probably give Senator Webb's buddy, Governor Kaine, a chance to appoint another Democrat to the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Richmond paper has this story, noting that Webb and Warner both gave statements of approval. BLT has this post. Confirm Them has this post, with a few comments, including one that says: "Now nominate Lemons too, George. Cripes almighty. Unreal. Of course, he finally caves to the list when it'll do no good. As I've said many times before, Nixon, Truman & Harding just have to be shaking their heads that they can't play poker with this Administration."
The Roanoke paper has this lame article, which concludes inanely "Widener said he will step down once his successor is confirmed." Such may have been Judge Widener's intention, before his death in 2007.
Agee joins Robert Conrad, Steve Matthews, and Rod Rosenstein, the other three lawyers with pending nominations to the Fourth Circuit.