Veteran Washington appellate attorney Roy McLeese III will be a judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
The Senate confirmed McLeese with a unanimous consent vote late Thursday, sending the chief of the appellate division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to a bench spot left vacant when Judge Vanessa Ruiz announced her retirement earlier this year.
During his confirmation hearings in March, McLeese suggested that expanding the electronic case management could be a solution to the district’s heavy caseload, which makes it a challenge to provide high-quality yet timely opinions.
He also said he could hit the ground running and make a contribution right away because of the hectic pace of the appellate division, which files up to 750 briefs per year. His boss, District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr., said that McLeese was “made for this new position.”
“His brilliance, unwavering integrity and encyclopedic knowledge of federal and local case law predestine him to be an exceptional judge,” Machen said. “His quarter-century of service in this office has made him a legend across the Department of Justice, and I have little doubt that Judge McLeese will be a legendary jurist as well.”
A former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, McLeese was an assistant to the solicitor general from 1997 to 1999, arguing four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently, he temporarily served as the acting deputy solicitor general, filling in for Michael Dreeben while Dreeben taught at Duke Law School.
His wife, Virginia Seitz, is the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. McLeese has been a member of the D.C. Bar since 1988.