Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court


Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and former President Barack Obama’s failed nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, to chair the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

The appointment became effective Oct. 1, according to a release from the federal judiciary on Tuesday. Garland replaced Judge Paul Barbadoro of the District of New Hampshire, who had held the position since July 2016.

Roberts also named new chairs for three of the conference’s committees, and another new member of the executive committee.

The judicial conference, chaired by the chief justice, is the policymaking body for the federal courts. It makes recommendations to Congress concerning matters involving the federal court system.

On April 25, Roberts named Judge Michael Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit chairman of the conference’s Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. Chagares, appointed to the court in 2006 by President George W. Bush, replaced Neil Gorsuch after the latter’s appointment the Supreme Court.

Roberts named Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia chairman of the Committee on Financial Disclosure. Trenga was nominated to the court in 2008 by Bush.

Roberts also appointed Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston chairwoman of the conference’s Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. Livingston, another Bush nominee, was appointed to the court in 1999.

Lastly, Roberts named Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann a member of the executive committee, the release said.

All appointments were effective Oct. 1.

Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court in March 2016. Senate Republicans refused to hold a confirmation hearing, and the nomination died on Jan. 3. Gorsuch eventually filled the seat created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13, 2016.

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