The federal judiciary has announced that Judge James Wynn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will be stepping down from an active role to take senior status, leading the way for President Biden to get another vacancy to fill.
On its website, the federal judiciary says Wynn — who was nominated to the court in November 2009 by former President Barack Obama — informed officials of his decision on Friday, Jan. 5 with a vacancy date still to be decided.
A clerk at the court confirmed the development to Fox News Digital while the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is comprised of 15 active circuit judges and is served by four senior judges, hears appeals cases from federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The court currently has seven judges appointed by Democratic presidents, including Wynn, 69, from North Carolina. Two of the judges — Toby Heytens and DeAndrea Benjamin — have been appointed during Biden’s presidency while he has nominated Nicole Berner, the general counsel to the Service Employees International Union, to fill another seat.
The federal judiciary says, “Article III of the Constitution governs the appointment, tenure, and payment of Supreme Court justices, and federal circuit and district judges. These judges, often referred to as ‘Article III judges,’ are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“Article III judges who have met age and service requirements set by federal statute are eligible to take senior status if they are at least 65 years old and have served at least 15 years on the bench, or any combination of age and years of service thereafter that equals 80. Regardless of age, judges must serve at least 10 years to qualify for senior status,” it continues.
“Upon taking senior status, judges may choose to handle a reduced caseload. Senior judges handle about 20 percent of the total district and appellate caseload,” the website adds. “By taking senior status, even if maintaining a full caseload, a judge creates a vacancy on the court, to be filled by the nomination and confirmation process for Article III judges.”
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