Published on: Monday, August 9, 2021

Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine sent a letter to the White House recommending Chief Federal Public Defender 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 (announcement available here). If nominated and confirmed, Ms. Scott would be the first African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. 

Ms. 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, Ms. Scott has represented hundreds of indigent clients.

Magistrate Judge Ballou has served as magistrate judge in the Western District since 2011. Prior to joining the bench, he spent twenty-three years in private practice. 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. Judge Ballou was previously recommended for a nomination that then-President Donald Trump gave to Judge Thomas Cullen.

President Biden will nominate one person for the position, which is subject to confirmation by the full Senate.