Warner, Kaine recommend two for federal court vacancy
U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine have sent a letter to the White House recommending Juval Scott and U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou to fill the upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Abingdon Division, which will be created when Judge James P. Jones assumes senior status on Aug. 30.
Scott is currently the federal public defender for the Western District of Virginia. She has also served as an assistant federal defender in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Southern District of Indiana. As an attorney advisor at the Administrative Office of Courts, Defender Services Office, Training Division, she worked to develop and implement national, state, and local training programs for public defenders. As a public defender, Scott has represented hundreds of indigent clients.
If nominated and confirmed, Scott would be the first African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
Judge Ballou has served as a federal magistrate judge in the Western District since 2011. Prior to joining the bench, he spent 23 years in private practice. He tried fifty cases before juries over that period of time.
On the bench, he has overseen a wide variety of federal civil and criminal matters, conducted dozens of misdemeanor criminal trials, and several civil jury trials. He has also dedicated time and attention to the Veterans Court and the prisoner pro se docket.
“Both would serve with great distinction and have our highest recommendation,” said the senators. “Ultimately, we believe either of these individuals would win confirmation from the Senate and serve capably on the bench.”
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia is based in Roanoke. Appeals from the Western District of Virginia are taken to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. President Biden will nominate one individual for the position, which is subject to confirmation by the full Senate.