President Barack Obama nominated Richmond lawyer John A. Gibney Jr. today for a U.S. District Court vacancy in Richmond.
Virginia’s U.S. senators, Jim Webb and Mark Warner, had recommended Gibney for the post and hailed the nomination. It has been more than a year since statewide bar groups vetted candidates for the vacancy created when Judge Robert E. Payne took senior status and more than six months since the senators recommended Gibney for the position.
“Sen. Warner and I recommended Mr. Gibney because of his exceptional legal qualifications,” Webb said. “He is an outstanding choice for the Eastern District, with more than 30 years of legal experience in the Commonwealth and the respect of esteemed members of the legal community. He conveys the humility, honesty and temperament that one hopes to find in federal judges.”
Gibney, a partner in the firm of ThompsonMcMullan, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary and received his law degree from the University of Virginia law school in 1976.
He clerked for two years for Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico and was an assistant attorney general before joining Shuford, Rubin & Gibney in 1987. He was a director of the firm for 16 years before moving to ThompsonMcMullan in 2003.
Gibney frequently represents state constitutional officers in state and federal court.
The next step in the process is a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Appointment of federal judges requires confirmation by the Senate.
Gibney’s nomination does not appear to be at all controversial, but that was the case with former Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan, and her nomination for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals languished for almost six months before she was confirmed last month.
By Alan Cooper