Posted on Fri, Jun. 19, 2009
President Obama on Friday nominated U.S. District Judge Beverly B. Martin of Atlanta to fill a vacant seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Martin, a former U.S. attorney in Macon, has been on the district court bench since 2000, when she was appointed by President Clinton.
If confirmed by the Senate, the 53-year-old Martin would fill a spot on the 12-member appeals court left by Judge R. Lanier Anderson III, who assumed senior status Feb. 1.
She is Obama's first appointee to the court, which hears federal appeals from Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Among the other 11 active judges, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan appointed one each, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton four a piece, and George W. Bush one, Judge William H. Pryor Jr., who was the last to be named.
Martin was one of two appeals court nominations by Obama on Friday. He also nominated Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. of New Jersey for a seat in the Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia.
"Judge Greenaway and Judge Martin have distinguished themselves as first-rate jurists with unflagging integrity and evenhandedness," Obama said. "I am grateful for their service to the states of New Jersey and Georgia and look forward to adding their considerable wisdom and experience to the Third and 11th Circuit Courts."
Martin grew up in Macon, graduated from Stetson University and the University of Georgia School of Law.
After private practice in Macon, she worked for 10 years as an assistant state attorney general, then served as assistant U.S. attorney and then as the chief prosecutor in the Middle District of Georgia.
As a federal prosecutor, Martin served as the government's lead counsel in a variety of criminal matters, including drug conspiracy, firearms possession, and counterfeiting cases.
Her time on the U.S. District Court bench has been largely uncontroversial. Her rulings include one upholding Georgia's method of lethal injection for executions, in April 2008.
In February 2006, she also rejected an appeal by Wayne Williams, who was blamed in a string of child murders and disappearances in Atlanta 25 years ago, and in 2002 rejected a claim by environmental groups that state and federal agencies violated the Clean Air Act by approving metro Atlanta's $36 billion transportation plan.
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