Virginia State Alum to Be Named First Black Chief Judge of 4th Circuit Court

Virginia State University alumnus Roger Gregory will be appointed as the chief judge of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the first African American to hold the title.

The 1975 graduate will be installed on Saturday, and will head a 17-member panel of active and senior judges in hearing appeals from cases based in several mid-atlantic and southern states. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“It’s the court of last resort for the five states in the circuit in 99 percent of the cases,” said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and an expert on the court.

Few cases from the federal circuit courts are accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal.

“So really it is your supreme court. … It has the final say in all but 1 percent of the cases,” he said.

Gregory is the first judge appointed to the court by both democratic and conservative presidents.