As one of its last acts before skipping out of Washington for a month, the U.S. Senate late Thursday confirmed James Wynn Jr., a North Carolina state judge, to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. It also confirmed three district court judges and nine U.S. attorneys.
The confirmations were part of a deal worked out between Democratic and Republican leaders, clearing the Senate’s agenda of many non-controversial nominees. Senators confirmed the nominees without roll-call votes.
Wynn has been a judge on North Carolina’s intermediate appellate court since 1990, except for a two-month appointment to the state Supreme Court. He has also served as a military judge in the U.S. Navy, and he’s a former law partner of U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
He was first nominated for the 4th Circuit by President Bill Clinton, but he was blocked by the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). He would have been the first ever African American on the 4th Circuit if the Senate had confirmed him then. President Barack Obama nominated Wynn again in November 2009, and Wynn is now the third Obama judge on the 4th Circuit.
The Senate had not acted on an Obama nominee for the circuit courts of appeal since April 22. Another nominee, Nashville, Tenn., lawyer Jane Stranch for the 6th Circuit, is scheduled for a vote on Sept. 13, which will be senators’ first day back after their recess.
The three district judges confirmed were J. Michelle Childs and Richard Gergel for the District of South Carolina and Leonard Stark for the District of Delaware.