The politics of judge-picking have been a particularly virulent pox on the Senate over the past few years; lately, it’s the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where the battle lines are most closely drawn.

Of the three or four highly contentious circuit court nominees awaiting Senate confirmation, two are set to fill slots on the Richmond, Va.-based court: U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle and Department of Defense general counsel William Haynes II, whose tenure at DOD includes controversial policies on detainees and torture.

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