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May 2008

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


New Chair for Executive Committee

Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica (3rd Cir.) has been named chair of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.. He succeeds Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan (D. D.C.), who has chaired the Executive Committee since October 2005.

In making the appointment, the Chief Justice said, “Tony Scirica is a wise and thoughtful judge. The Executive Committee will benefit from his deep reservoir of experience and proven leadership skills.”

Scirica’s appointment took effect May 1, 2008. The seven-member Executive Committee serves as the senior executive arm of the Conference and is authorized to act on behalf of the Conference between its biannual sessions. Also serving on the Executive Committee are Chief Judges Danny J. Boggs (6th Cir.), Michael Boudin (1st Cir.), and Paul R. Michel (Fed. Cir.), and Judges Charles R. Breyer (N.D. Calif.) and Lawrence L. Piersol (D. S.D.). James C. Duff, Director of the Administrative Office, is an ex-officio member of the Committee.

Scirica has served as chairman of the Judicial Conference’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, was a member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, and serves as chair of the working group on mass torts. Before his appointment to the bench, Scirica practiced law in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where he also served as an Assistant District Attorney and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Scirica was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature and also served as chair of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission. In 1984, he was appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and in 1987 he was elevated to the Court of Appeals. He is a 1962 graduate of Wesleyan University and a 1965 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Two New Chairs Appointed

In addition to Scirica’s appointment to the Executive Committee, the Chief Justice appointed Judge Charles R. Simpson III (W.D. Ky.) as the new chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations, succeeding Chief Judge Robert H. Henry (10th Cir.), and Judge Michael S. Kanne (7th Cir.) as the new chair of the Conference Committee on Judicial Security, succeeding Chief Judge David B. Sentelle (D.C. Cir.). Both committee chair appointments were effective April 16, 2008.

All Judicial Conference committee appointments are made by the Chief Justice. With the exception of the Executive, Judicial Branch and Budget Committees, committee chairs usually serve for a term of three years. Six years of cumulative committee service, including past committee assignments, usually is considered the maximum a member may serve. A committee chair elevated to chief judge for his or her circuit generally may not serve the Conference in both capacities.