Last Wednesday the Senate confirmed O. Rogeriee Thompson 98-0 as the First Circuit's newest member, taking Judge Selya's seat. She is the second woman and the first African-American on the First Circuit Bench. She is the great granddaughter of a slave and grew up in the south, coming up to Rhode Island to go to Pembroke (the then-women's college for Brown), graduating from Brown when the schools merged, then receiving her law degree from BU. She was appointed to the state district court in 1988 and the Superior Court in 1997. Welcome!
I hope, however, that this isn't the last we see of Judge Selya on the bench. While he can take it a little easier now, I'd hate to see him go entirely. It's always nice arguing before him because, among other things, he usually tells you what he's thinking and what his issues are upfront, allowing the argument to be the dialogue that it's meant to be.
In other news, a panel of the Court will be riding the circuit up to Maine April 5 to hear oral arguments at the University of Maine Law School. This is a little like the Maine SJC's annual October Tour o' Maine. It's less frequent, just a panel not the whole crew, and law students v. high schools, but I think it comes from a similar desire to get out and about. The cases and judges haven't been posted on the First Circuit web site yet. Welcome to you, too!