The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed two South Carolina natives as judges the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Senators agreed to end debate and approve attorney Marvin Quattlebaum of Greenville and federal prosecutor Julius “Jay” Richardson of Columbia.
Both received lifetime appointments to the Fourth Circuit, which includes South Carolina cases in its jurisdiction. Senators voted 81-8 in favor of Richardson and 62-28 to approve Quattlebaum.
Richardson served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the agency’s Columbia office. He achieved national attention as the lead prosecutor in the trial of convicted Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof.
The Barnwell native also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted before the vote Thursday that Emanuel AME survivor Jennifer Pinckney endorsed Richardson. Pinckney’s husband Clementa was the church pastor killed in the attack.
“He’ll make a fine jurist,” McConnell quoted Pinckney as writing.
Quattlebaum is a Greenville attorney with the Nelson Mullins law firm. He focuses on product liability, business and civil litigation, according to his bio on the firm’s website. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke on Quattlebaum’s behalf, calling him “a very sound conservative judge who is incredibly fair-minded.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats had opposed Quattlebaum on principle, arguing Trump chose a white man for the seat after Republicans did not move on former President Barack Obama’s African-American nominees.