With a unanimous Aug. 7 Senate confirmation vote behind him, conservative legal scholar Douglas Kmiec is now officially the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Malta. The prolific legal commentator and former Reagan Justice Department official will be on leave from his current teaching position at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily whose official religion is Catholicism, is a good fit for the former dean of Catholic University School of Law and before that a professor at Notre Dame Law School.