Via Howard, I see that the President has nominated four pretty accomplished individuals to the federal appellate bench. Criminal law scholar and Columbia lawprof Debra Livingston has been nominated to the Second Circuit; District Court Judge Kent Jordan (who I have heard is very sharp) has been nominated to the Third Circuit; Raymond Kethledge (who I’m not familiar with, but I note clerked for Justice Kennedy in OT97) was nominated to the Sixth Circuit; and Stephen Murphy, a U.S. Attorney (who I have met before, and seems great) also was nominated to the Sixth Circuit.
Law clerk readers take note: Two of these nominees are being nominated for the courts on which they once served as clerks, and one is being elevated from the court on which he served as a clerk to its appellate court. (Livingston clerked for Judge Lumbard on the Second; Kethledge clerked for Judge Guy on the Sixth; and Jordan clerked for Judge Latchum on the District Court of Delaware.) Also interesting: three of the four are former Assistant U.S. Attorneys.