No Naïve Deed Goes Unpunished

by Ed Whelan

Just a note on Fourth Circuit judge Roger Gregory, who sat on the panel that heard argument yesterday in a case challenging Virginia’s marriage laws and who, according to various accounts, was manifestly hostile to those laws.

Gregory was recess-appointed to the Fourth Circuit by President Clinton on December 27, 2000. His recess appointment would have expired at the end of 2001. But in a conciliatory measure for which he never received any meaningful credit, President George W. Bush included Gregory in his first batch of appellate nominees in May 2001, and Gregory was promptly confirmed to a lifetime position. He has consistently been among the most liberal members of that court.

Bush’s nomination of Gregory was the first of many steps by which the Fourth Circuit lost its reputation as the most stalwart court in the country and flipped dramatically into the Left’s grasp. Of its 13 active judges other than Gregory, eight are Democratic appointees (including five who are Obama appointees).

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