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The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission has submitted six names to President George W. Bush for two open seats on the D.C. Court of Appeals. The vacancies were created when Judge John Terry retired at the beginning of the year and by the upcoming retirement of Judge Frank Schwelb, who will step down in June. The candidates for Terry’s seat are current D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz, D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti, and Covington & Burling partner Phyllis Thompson. D.C. Superior Court Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and Judge Anita Josey-Herring, the presiding judge of the Superior Court’s Family Court, were nominated for Schwelb’s seat, along with Walter Smith Jr., a former partner at Hogan & Hartson who is currently executive director of D.C. Appleseed, a local public interest group. “So far I am batting a thousand,” Smith says, since this is his first time seeking a seat on D.C.’s highest court. But he also acknowledges the competition is tough. Kravitz, Thompson, and Blackburne-Rigsby all made the short list for the last vacancy on the Court of Appeals as well. At that time Bush selected Judge John Fisher, who was the appellate chief at the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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