In another setback for President George W. Bush's judicial nominations, the White House withdrew on Wednesday the nomination of E. Duncan Getchell Jr. for one of five vacant judgeships on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bush's nomination of Getchell, a Federalist Society member and appellate group chairman at McGuireWoods in Richmond, Va., to fill a judgeship traditionally held by Virginia was dead on arrival last September because Bush ignored the list of candidates proposed by Virginia Sens. Jim Webb Jr., a Democrat, and John Warner, a Republican. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wasn't going to move Getchell's nomination forward to a confirmation hearing without the consent of the home-state senators.
"The nomination of Duncan Getchell seemed to be an effort to pick a political fight rather than a nominee the Senate could confirm to fill a vacancy on the 4th Circuit," Leahy said Wednesday in a statement. "Now more time has been wasted, and we are into the president's last year in office. With the withdrawal of Mr. Getchell's nomination, the president has another chance to get it right. I hope that he takes the opportunity to work with Sen. Warner and Sen. Webb to select a nominee whose nomination can move forward in the Judiciary Committee."
Getchell wrote a letter to Bush last week asking that his name be withdrawn from consideration, reported The Virginian-Pilot. "Recent press reports indicate that despite the support I have received, the Senate Democratic leadership will not allow a hearing to go forward and so, after prayerful consideration, I have determined to withdraw my name from consideration," Getchell wrote.
Bush's two other 4th Circuit nominees include Steve Matthews, managing director of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd in Columbia, S.C., and Chief Judge Robert Conrad Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Neither nominee has had a confirmation hearing yet in the Senate.
First reported in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times