In this recent post, Article III Groupie mentioned that Judge Stephanie K. Seymour (10th Cir.) might be taking senior status in the fall. A reader helpfully directed A3G's attention to the "Future Vacancies" section at the U.S. Courts website, which confirms Judge Seymour's plan to take senior status effective October 16, 2005. This reader then offered the following gossip about possible nominees for the Seymour seat:
Regarding the replacement, Judge Claire Eagan from the Northern District of Oklahoma was long regarded as the consensus replacement. However, allegedly, she made a ruling on an abortion case or some other controversial topic that was not well-received by the Bush Administration. Supposedly she was dropped, and now her colleague, Judge Terence C. Kern (N.D. Okla.), will get the 10th Circuit nom. We shall see.
Very interesting... A3G thanks her readers for this info, as well as for bringing the "Future Vacancies" column to her attention. It contains oodles of interesting information.
For example, that column indicates that Judge Harry T. Edwards, former Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit, is scheduled to go senior as of November 3, 2005. Judge Edwards, of course, is one of the Divinely Celestial Circuit's most colorful characters -- as well as a leading liberal and big-time feeder judge on that court. (Last year, UTR's Robing Room Report named him its "out" feeder judge. But hey, there's no such thing as bad publicity!)
Before Judge Edwards took the bench, he taught at the University of Michigan Law School, where he was the school's first tenured African-American law professor. Like so many law-profs-turned-judges -- e.g., Scalia, R. Ginsburg, S. Breyer, D. Ginsburg, Posner, Easterbrook, Calabresi, Boudin, W. Fletcher, McConnell, etc. -- Judge Edwards is routinely described as "brilliant" and "a legal genius." But he also has a reputation for being "exceedingly irritable," "bad-tempered," and even "downright nasty" when on the bench (and he "works his law clerks like dogs").
One UTR correspondent, who charitably describes Judge Edwards as "delightfully irascible," offers this little anecdote: "I clerked on the D.C. Circuit back in the day. I can still remember the thrill in the courthouse when he asked, at oral argument, 'Counsel, are you shitting me?' That pretty much says it all, really."