RICHMOND (Legal Newsline) - Virginia's Democratic Senators have picked a state Supreme Court justice as their choice to fill a vacancy on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Barack Obama must now nominate Justice Barbara Keenan and the U.S. Senate must approve the nomination. Keenan was first elected to the Virginia Supreme Court in 1991, and Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner chose Keenan to fill one of the four vacant seats on the court.

The court serves Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.

"Justice Keenan has served with distinction at every level of state court in Virginia," Warner said, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina also sent three names to Obama, though she would not disclose the names of those she picked.

Maryland federal judge Andre Davis, an Obama nomination for the court, received approval from 16 of the 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

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

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