A rapid judicial appointment cascade

The White House recently announced that President Trump had nominated Judge A. Marvin Quattlebaum to a seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Quattlebaum currently sits as a federal district judge in South Carolina–a position he has held for only two months.

There is nothing inherently wrong with seeking to promote* Judge Quattlebaum to the appellate bench. But choosing a sitting district judge will once again create a vacancy in South Carolina, and that vacancy may take much longer to fill. Politics may well dictate filling appellate benches, especially in election years. But the trial courts, the place where the public most closely and commonly interacts with the judicial system, risk becoming the forgotten child. They deserve to filled as rapidly, and with as much care, as do appellate court vacancies.

* Many on the federal district bench would quibble with this term: the trial judges are the real judges! I use it here only in the sense that the Fourth Circuit is higher in the federal hierarchy.

Fourth Circuit mulls live streaming next month’s arguments on travel ban

The Fourth Circuit’s openness to live streaming comes in the wake of significant public interest in the Ninth Circuit’s live stream of similar arguments in February.  More the 137,000 people logged on to hear those arguments.

From the National Law Journal story:

Rob Rosborough, a partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna in Albany, New York, added that he was “impressed by how accessible it made the proceedings seem in a highly technical case like that one.”

“You could hear phenomenal attorneys on both sides advocate for their clients on issues that had an impact on millions of people nationwide,” Rosborough said. “I do think that the Fourth Circuit, and all courts, should livestream arguments in all cases, especially in cases like the travel ban that have drawn such public interest.”

The Fourth Circuit has not live streamed arguments to date, although it does post audio files of arguments on its website the day after they are held.