Terrence William Boyle
|Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina|
May 3, 1984
|Nominated by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||Franklin Taylor Dupree Jr.|
|Born||December 22, 1945
Passaic, New Jersey
|Alma mater||Brown University
Washington College of Law, American University
Terrence William Boyle (born December 22, 1945 in Passaic, New Jersey) is a judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He was Chief Judge of that court from 1997-2004. From 1991 to 1993 and again from 2001 to 2007, he was a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His federal appellate nomination from 2001 to 2007 is the longest in history not to be acted upon by the United States Senate.
Boyle received a B.A. from Brown University in 1967 and a J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1970. From 1970 to 1973, he was the minority counsel of the Housing Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency.
He was appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina by President Ronald Reagan on May 3, 1984 following unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate.
First Fourth Circuit nomination
On October 22, 1991, Boyle was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a newly created seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. However, his nomination was not acted upon by a Senate controlled by the Democrats. His nomination was allowed to lapse at the end of Bush's presidency.
Fourth Circuit controversy over North Carolina seat under Clinton
On December 24, 1995, in the hope of integrating the Fourth Circuit, President Bill Clinton nominated James A. Beaty, Jr., an African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, to a Fourth Circuit seat vacated by Judge James Dickson Phillips, Jr. in 1994 when he took senior status. Almost immediately, Beaty's nomination ran into opposition from Jesse Helms, who was angry that Clinton had refused to renominate Boyle to the Fourth Circuit.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee did not hold a hearing or a vote on Beaty's Fourth Circuit nomination during 1996. Clinton renominated Beaty in 1997, but Helms then announced that the court had a light caseload and did not need any more judges. Helms and the Fourth Circuit's Chief Judge at the time, James Harvie Wilkinson III, even lobbied Congress to leave the seat vacant on the grounds that the seat was not needed. In addition, Beaty was accused of being an activist judge because while sitting as a visiting judge on a Fourth Circuit panel in 1995, he concurred in a decision overturning the murder conviction of Timothy Scott Sherman of Hickory, Maryland because one juror had visited the crime scene, according to a February 1999 article in the ABA Journal. Beaty would have been the first African-American judge on the Fourth Circuit.
As a result of Helms' opposition, Beaty's nomination again did not receive a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during 1997 or 1998. Clinton elected not to renominate Beaty to the Fourth Circuit in 1999. Ultimately, Beaty's nomination languished for more than 1,000 days, making it one of the longest appeals-court nominations in U.S. history never to be acted on by the U.S. Senate.
On August 5, 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., an African American judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, to replace Beaty as his nominee for the open North Carolina seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Wynn's nomination also never received a hearing from the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee or received a full vote from the U.S. Senate due to the resistance of Sen. Jesse Helms, who used his previous claim that the court did not need any more judges as his justification.
Clinton renominated Wynn to the Fourth Circuit on January 3, 2001, but his nomination was returned by President Bush on March 20, 2001.
Second Fourth Circuit nomination and controversy
On May 9, 2001, Boyle was renominated by President George W. Bush to the Fourth Circuit, this time to the seat vacated by James Dickson Phillips, Jr.. His nomination was never brought to a vote on the floor of the Senate. For over five years, the nomination was stalled. Boyle's nomination is the longest federal appeals court nomination never given a full Senate vote.
His nomination was adamantly opposed by Democrats from the beginning. Former North Carolina Democrat and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards claimed Boyle was an opponent of civil rights and disabilities legislation. Boyle's supporters viewed Boyle as the victim of political payback and obstruction because of his ties to Helms, who had derailed several judicial nominations by President Bill Clinton because of Boyle.
In March 2005, following Bush's re-election and an increased Republican Senate majority, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave Boyle a hearing almost a full four years after his nomination. On June 16, 2005, Boyle was voted out of Committee on a 10-8 party line vote.
In April 2006, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he would try to schedule a vote in May on the nomination of Boyle. No vote occurred however. With the Democrats taking over the U.S. Senate in the 110th Congress, Boyle's confirmation chances markedly decreased. On January 9, 2007, the White House announced that it would not re-nominate Boyle. At the time, Boyle clearly stated he did not voluntarily withdraw his nomination.
- George H.W. Bush judicial appointment controversies
- George W. Bush judicial appointment controversies
- President Makes Two Nominations To United States District Court
- Unpacking the Court | Article from The Washington Post | HighBeam Research
- Online NewsHour: Clearing the Bench- January 5, 2000
- >Senator Feinstein Declares Opposition to “Nuclear Option”
- Online NewsHour: Race and Justice - May 8, 2001
- President Clinton Appoints Roger Gregory to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- Bush Dumps Clinton Nominees, 62 Executive And Judicial Nominees Are Pulled... - CBS News
- NY Times
- Terrence Boyle at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- U.S. Department of Justice Profile