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President George Bush nominated Rhode Island federal judge William E. Smith to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Smith, 48, has been a federal judge in the District of Rhode Island since 2002. From 1987 to 2002, Smith was a labor and employment lawyer in the Providence office of a firm that merged into Boston’s Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. He was previously a municipal court judge for the Town of West Warwick, R.I. from 1993 to 1998. The 1st Circuit hears appeals from the federal district courts of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. If the U.S. Senate confirms Smith, he would replace judge Bruce M. Selya, who has been on senior status, which involves carrying a reduced workload, since December 31, 2006.

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