Chief Judge William Wilkins, who has presided over the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the past four years, sent President George W. Bush a letter last week announcing his plans to step down in June.

“I’ve had it for a good while now and it’s time to move on,” Wilkins tells Legal Times. Though Wilkins, a South Carolina native who will turn 65 in March, will still hear cases as a senior judge, his quasi-retirement creates a fourth official vacancy on the 15-member bench. (Technically, there are five openings, but Judge H. Emory Widener Jr., who announced plans to retire in 2003, has pledged to stay active until the nominee for his seat — Defense Department general counsel William Haynes II — is confirmed.)

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