New judge for Fourth Circuit


RICHMOND (Legal Newsline) - Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan has been unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate and will become the next judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

President Barack Obama nominated Keenan to fill a vacancy created by Judge H. Emory Widener's death in 2007. The Fourth Circuit decides appeals from federal courts in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.

The Senate voted 99-0 to approve Keenan on Tuesday.

"Justice Keenan has a long and distinguished record of service on the bench," Obama said while nominating her in September.

"She was the first female judge elected in the state of Virginia and the only woman appointed to the Virginia Court of Appeals upon its creation. Her commitment to fairness and judicial integrity has been unwavering throughout her career."

Keenan began her judicial career in 1980 and was elected to the Virginia Supreme Court in 1991.

She received her law degree from George Washington University and worked as a prosecutor from 1974-76.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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