The vacancy saga of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wears on. Effective immediately, Judge H. Emory Widener Jr., a 35-year veteran of the court, is taking senior status, says court clerk Patricia Connor.

The judge announced his intentions July 17 in a letter to President George W. Bush. That same day, the White House tapped Chief Judge Robert Conrad Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to fill a vacancy created in the 4th Circuit in 1994.

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