President Bush yesterday nominated U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. to a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Conrad (photo at right) is a judge in the Western District of North Carolina; he sits in Charlotte. He was nominated by Bush for his district court seat and confirmed unanimously in 2005. He became Chief Judge of the district last year.
He would take the position vacated by U.S. District Judge James Dickson Phillips Jr. in 1994. This seat on the 4th Circuit has been open longer than any other judicial position in the country. Bush has had trouble getting a nominee confirmed due to politics, as did President Bill Clinton before him.
A Clemson graduate, Conrad earned his law degree from the University of Virginia law school. He practiced law in Charlottesville from 1983 to 1986 with the firm now known as Michie, Hamlett, Lowry, Rasmussen & Tweel. He was in the U.S. Attorney’s office in North Carolina from 1989 to 2004, including three years as the head prosecutor. He practiced with a North Carolina firm until he went on the bench.