The White House on Thursday nominated a longtime federal prosecutor most famous for prosecuting the federal case against Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof to serve as an appeals court judge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julius “Jay” Richardson has served as a federal prosecutor in the agency’s South Carolina office for nine years, frequently finding himself in high-profile cases. The U.S. Senate will need to approve his confirmation.
The Barnwell native would fill a vacancy on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers cases from courts across the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas.
Richardson helped prosecute the federal case against Roof in the 2015 shooting of nine black parishioners at the Charleston church. A jury sentenced Roof to death last year. He was also the lead federal prosecutor in the case against former Lexington County Sheriff James Metts, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to harboring and concealing individuals in the country illegally (in an interesting twist, the defense attorney for Metts Sherri Lydon was nominated by the White House to be the next lead federal prosecutor for South Carolina).
Richardson is an alum of Vanderbilt and the Chicago School of Law. He previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He later worked for a Washington, DC law firm before returning to South Carolina in 2009.