Sunday, July 11, 2004

The impact of Senators Thurmond and Helms on the Fourth Circuit

The Richmond paper has this very interesting article measuring the effects of the efforts of Senators Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Jesse Helms of North Carolina on the makeup and ideology of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The article notes that when President Reagan took office in 1981, six of the Fourth Circuit judges were Democratic appointees, while four were Republican appointees. None but Judge Widener are still on the Court. Senators Thurmond and Helms both had some control over who joined the Court in the 1980s and 1990s.

The article describes the connections between Thurmond and the current judges oon the Court from South Carolina, including Chief Judge Wilkins and Judges Traxler, Williams, Shedd, and Senior Judge Hamilton. It also describes the current confirmation difficulties of nominees Judge Boyle, Claude Allen, and William Haynes.

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