Circuit Court updates
Catharina Haynes (Texas) has been nominated to the Fifth Circuit, and John Daniel Tinder (Indiana) to the Seventh. Shalom D. Stone (New Jersey) has been nominated to the Third Circuit vacancy created by Justice Samuel Alito's elevation to the Supreme Court.
Finally, Robert J. Conrad, Jr. (North Carolina) has been nominated to the Fourth Circuit vacancy created in 1994 by the retirement of Judge James Dickson Phillips, Jr. - the longest-standing vacancy in the federal court system.
This leaves four more vacancies in the still-critical Fourth Circuit, since Judge H. Emory Widener, Jr. has apparently announced his intention to assume senior status immediately - having previously indicated (in 2001) that he would wait to do so until a replacement was confirmed.