Obama Would Elevate Bush Judicial Appointee

President Obama has nominated for the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a South Carolina judge who was named to the federal bench by then-President George W. Bush.

U.S. District Judge Henry F. Floyd became the first judge named by President Bush to be nominated for a higher judgeship by Obama, according to a McClatchy Newspapers article.

The Blog of Legal Times reported that Judge Floyd had an important role in ruling on challenges to the Republican president’s indefinite detention system. In 2005, the judge ruled that President Bush went beyond his authority in holding Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, without charges. Padilla had been detained as an “enemy combatant.”

“He was very courageous in his ruling in Padilla,” said University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias. “That was not a popular ruling. He took a lot of flack for that. Any judge would (take flack), but especially a guy appointed by President Bush.”

The Fourth Circuit reversed the judge’s decision. Padilla was charged in a civilian court and convicted by a jury of terrorism-related counts.

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