Fourth Circuit judicial selection deserves an examination, which this Article undertakes. The first part investigates the background of the Fourth Circuit appointments process, emphasizing relevant developments throughout the Bush Administration. The second part descriptively and critically assesses nomination and confirmation in the Obama Administration. The third part derives lessons from the Fourth Circuit selection efforts by comparing them with Obama's national selection efforts and processes in other administrations. For example, all four Obama nominees are ethnic minorities or women and were sitting judges when nominated, and one is younger than fifty-five. Accordingly, their confirmation increases the appeals court's ethnic and gender diversity and may portend the institution of a "career judiciary"; however, the appointments do not enhance the court's diversity of experience and enhance its diversity only somewhat in terms of age. The last part proffers recommendations for how the President and Senate might improve appointments.
Carl Tobias, Fourth Circuit Judicial Appointments, 61 S. C. L. Rev. 445 (2010)