Obama appoints former state judge from Winston-Salem to federal bench

Loretta Biggs

Former North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Loretta Biggs – Photo: Allman, Spry, Davis, Leggett and Crumpler

Though Senator Richard Burr continues to block his nomination of federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker to serve as a  U.S. District Court judge for North Carolina’s Eastern District, President Obama acted yesterday to fill another, newer North Carolina federal judicial vacancy when he nominated former state Court of Appeals judge Loretta Copeland Biggs of Winston-Salem to fill a seat in the  state’s Middle District.

This is from the White House announcement:

Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs has been a partner at Allman Spry Davis Leggett Crumpler, PA, since May 2014 and previously was a partner and managing shareholder at Davis Harwell Biggs, PA, from 2003 to 2014. From 2001 to 2002, Judge Biggs served as a Judge on the Court of Appeals of North Carolina. From 1994 to 2001, she worked in the United States Attorneys Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, serving as Executive Assistant United States Attorney from 1997 to 2001. Judge Biggs also served as a Judge on the Forsyth County District Court from 1987 to 1994 and as an Assistant District Attorney in Forsyth County from 1984 to 1987. She began her legal career as Staff Counsel for The Coca-Cola Company from 1979 to 1982. Judge Biggs received her J.D. with honors in 1979 from Howard University School of Law and her B.A. cum laude in 1976 from Spelman College.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield, who has worked to push the White House to diversify the federal bench in North Carolina, issued a statement praising the nomination:

“I commend President Obama’s nomination of Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.  Loretta is a long-time friend and colleague that is eminently qualified to serve in this capacity.  She has a remarkable legal mind, and broad legal experience that I’m certain will be of great benefit to the federal bench.  I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support she appears to have, and I look forward to her swift confirmation.”

If confirmed, Biggs would fill the seat vacated by the retirement to “senior status” of the only African-American current serving as a federal district court judge in North Carolina, Judge James Beaty.

Click here for more on the tortured history of North Carolina’s federal judicial vacancies and the lack of diversity of those who have served.

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