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President George W. Bush’s first appointments for circuit judgeships were selected from among a much larger class of candidates the White House has screened for possible nomination later this year. Several other names for the 31 circuit court vacancies have been floated by lawmakers or in news accounts in papers across the country. Three candidates — Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and D.C. attorney Peter Keisler for the 4th Circuit — were expected to be announced last week. But the White House decided not to put their names forward after absorbing criticism from Democratic senators in California and Maryland. Here is a list of other prospects reportedly under consideration: � 4th Circuit: William Webb, a federal magistrate judge in Raleigh, N.C. � 6th Circuit: Several names have surfaced from Michigan, where three judges have vacated 6th Circuit seats. Among the candidates, according to The Detroit News, are David McKeague, a U.S. district judge for the Western District of Michigan who was appointed by the elder President Bush in 1992, and Eastern District of Michigan Judge Gerald Rosen, who was tapped by Bush in 1990. In addition, Richard Allen Griffin and Kurtis Wilder, who sit on the Michigan Court of Appeals, have been mentioned. Two Bill Clinton nominees who did not receive hearings may also be under consideration. Last month, state appeals court Judge Helene White and Detroit litigator Kathleen McRee Lewis visited Bush officials in the White House. � 8th Circuit: Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has forwarded the name of Michael Melloy, a former federal bankruptcy judge appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by Bush in 1992. � 10th Circuit: Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., recommended both Harris Hartz and James Browning last month, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Hartz is a former federal prosecutor who spent 11 years on New Mexico’s Court of Appeals. He is now special counsel at the Washington, D.C., and New Jersey offices of Stier, Anderson & Malone. Browning, a partner at Albuquerque’s Browning & Peifer, is a member of the Federalist Society who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell Jr. � 11th Circuit: William Steele, a U.S. magistrate judge in Mobile, Ala., and a former state and federal prosecutor, has been the subject of an FBI background check. � Federal Circuit: Sharon Prost, a former National Labor Relations Board assistant solicitor and current chief counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

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