Updated 6:37 p.m.
Roy McLeese III, a veteran appellate attorney in Washington, was nominated Thursday to a slot on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
President Barack Obama, who nominated McLeese, said in a statement that he has "shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service."
McLeese is the chief of the appellate division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He served as deputy chief of the section from 1990 to 2005. McLeese, through a spokesman, declined to comment on his nomination.
McLeese supervises the office’s criminal appellate litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest local court in Washington.
The D.C. Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over cases from the District’s trial court. McLeese was nominated to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Vanessa Ruiz. Ruiz was appointed to the court in 1994. She announced her retirement earlier this year.
A former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, McLeese has served other roles in the U.S. Justice Department throughout his career. He was an assistant to the Solicitor General from 1997 to 1999, arguing four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.
More recently, McLeese temporarily served as the acting deputy solicitor general in the office, filling in for Michael Dreeben while he teaches at Duke University Law School.
“Roy McLeese has been an outstanding public servant on behalf of the residents of the District of Columbia for nearly a quarter century,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said in a statement. “His judgment and intellect, as Chief of our Appellate Division, have been true assets to myself and numerous other U.S. Attorneys throughout the years, and I cannot think of a better selection to serve on our Court of Appeals.”
McLeese, whose wife is Virginia Seitz, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, is a New York University Law School graduate. McLeese has been a member of the D.C. Bar since 1988.
Obama nominated McLeese among the three candidates the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission forwarded to the White House. The other two candidates were District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz and Geoffrey Klineberg, a partner in the Washington office of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.