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Afternoon Briefs: 2 appeals nominees in latest judicial picks; axed dean will remain as law prof

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Biden announces new round of judicial picks

President Joe Biden’s fifth round of judicial picks includes nominees to two federal appeals courts. Virginia Solicitor General Toby Heytens is nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Richmond, Virginia. A former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Heytens worked in the Supreme Court and appellate practice group at O’Melveny & Myers, was an assistant U.S. solicitor general, and was a law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Jennifer Sung is a labor lawyer and former union organizer nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco. Sung is currently a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board. (White House press release,

Removed law school dean will stay on as professor

A little more than a month after the University of Miami’s president, Julio Frenk, announced that Anthony Varona would be removed as law school dean—which led to its tenured faculty and Varona himself calling for a decision reversal—Varona announced in a Tuesday tweet that he would be staying at the school as a tenured professor. (Varona’s tweet)

5th Circuit keeps sanction against 3 Democratic lawyers

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans refused to lift sanctions Wednesday against Democratic lawyer Marc Elias and other Perkins Coie lawyers, imposed in March for a “redundant and misleading” motion in election litigation. But the appeals court vacated sanctions against three junior attorneys. Paul Clement of Kirkland & Ellis, arguing against the sanctions, had said the lawyers made a “good-faith mistake.” But the 5th Circuit said there was no need for a finding of bad faith when imposing sanctions for violations of local rules. (, Reuters)

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