U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle has announced his intention to take senior status. The action creates a fourth vacancy on what is widely regarded as the nation’s second most influential court and again draws attention to the Washington politics that have stalled confirmation of nominees to it.
Judge Sentelle is chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Blog of Legal Times reported that the U.S. Courts website indicated he will take senior status in February.
Just last month, Gavel Grab mentioned that President Barack Obama is poised to become the first president in five decades to finish a full term in office without successfully placing a judge on the appeals court in D.C.
Senate Republicans filibustered Obama’s nomination of New York prosecutor Caitlin Halligan, whom Obama has nominated twice; his nomination in June of Justice Department official Sri Srinivasan is awaiting Senate action. Obama, who took office in 2009, did not make a nomination to that court until mid-2010.
The Wall Street Journal’s Law blog reported on Friday, “The [new] vacancy gives President Obama more opportunity to reshape the court. Of the court’s active judges, including Judge Sentelle, five were appointed by Republicans and three were appointed by President Clinton.” (more…)