There is heavy speculation that N.C. Appeals Judge Jim Wynn may be headed to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.
The speculation is based not only on gossip but the fact that Wynn has twice before nominated for the 4th Circuit only to have his nomination stalled by then Republican Sen. Jesse Helms, Rob Christensen reports.
Some of the key players, have been avoiding reporter’s calls.
Former NC. Chief Justice Burley Mitchell headed a four-member committee that screened potential candidates for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, would not say who the panel recommended.
But he heaped praise on Wynn, noting that he had known Wynn as a fellow judge and attorney for several decades.
"Nobody in the state is better qualified for the 4th Circuit in North Carolina in my view than Jim Wynn," Mitchell said.
More after the jump.
Mitchell noted that Wynn had twice been screened by the FBI and had received the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association.
President Clinton nominated him in 1999 to be the first African-American to serve on the 4th Circuit. Clinton renominated Wynn in 2001 for the post.
Wynn, 55, a native of Robersonville, who is a trial judge in the U.S. Navy Reserves, attended UNC-Chapel Hill and earned his law degrees from Marquette University and the University of Virginia. He was attending a judicial conference in Washington Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Mitchell said he hoped that Obama would nominate two judges from North Carolina to the 4th Circuit. Although North Carolina is the largest state in the 4th Circuit it has been historically under represented.
"I think we can realistically anticipate that we will have two," Mitchell said.
Judge Allyson Duncan of Raleigh is the only North Carolinian on the court. Among the active judges there are four from South Carolina, three from Virginia, two from Maryland and two from West Virginia.