Meese on short list for federal judgeship

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April 27, 2007

2:20 AM

__Law professor would have to leave College to become a federal judge__

p. Alan J. Meese, Ball Professor at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law and co-chair of the William and Mary Committee on Religion at a Public University, has been recommended for a federal court judgeship by three of the state’s bar associations.

p. The two largest Bar Associations in Virginia sent Meese’s name to Sens. John Warner and Jim Webb. The Virginia Bar Association recommended 11 individuals to the senators, and the Virginia State Bar sent a list of nine individuals. He was also recommended by the Virginia Women Attorneys Association.

p. “I am honored by the confidence these associations have expressed in me. Sitting on the Fourth Circuit would be a unique and exciting opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and the Nation,” Meese said.

p. The confirmation process for a federal appeals court judgeship could take over a year because potential candidates must first be nominated and confirmed.

p. Meese’s name on the three Bar Association lists could be a significant step toward President Bush nominating Meese, who would then have to be approved by the Senate.

p. It is possible for a nominee not to be confirmed. John Roberts, chief justice of the Supreme Court, was nominated to the D.C. Circuit by George H.W. Bush and not confirmed, but he was later nominated by George W. Bush and confirmed.

p. A few years later, he was nominated for the Supreme Court. Every current Supreme Court justice was a Federal Appeals Court judge at one point in time.

p. The next step for Meese is a potential nomination by Bush based on the senators’ recommendations.

p. Federal judges, unlike state judges, do not have fixed terms and could serve a life tenure if they maintain good moral standards.

p. Meese’s illustrious history began when he graduated from the College ranked first in his class with a double major in Ancient Greek and economics.

p. He went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School in 1989 where he worked on the University of Chicago Law Review. He has clerked for two judges, including Antonin Scalia, and has practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slatem Meagher and Flom with a specialty in antitrust law.

p. He joined the College’s faculty in 1995 and became an associate professor of law in 1998. He is currently the Ball Professor of Law and the vice president and president elect of the Faculty Assembly.

p. He has published several scholarly articles on topics ranging from antitrust law to free speech rights of corporations.

p. If Meese were to become a federal judge, he would be unable to teach full-time at the College, but could perhaps teach part-time.
There are four former academics on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and a former University of Virginia professor serves on the Fourth Circuit.

p. There are currently two vacancies on the Fourth Circuit which, hears appeals in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Meese was recommended to the court by Sens. Warner and Webb.]

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