About the 4th Circuit

The 4th Circuit covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. It has fifteen seats, two of which are vacant. Ten judges are male and three are female. One is African American.

Reproductive Rights in the 4th Circuit

Grade: C-

The states in the 4th Circuit receive an average grade of C- regarding reproductive rights. The laws in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia reflect a mixed record on choice. Maryland and West Virginia receive high marks for upholding reproductive freedom, while the Carolinas and Virginia all have highly restrictive laws on the books. While some of the states in the 4th Circuit maintain a good record on choice, it will be up to the judges who sit on this Circuit Court to uphold or deny a woman's reproductive rights in the face of challenging legislative obstacles.

NCJW thanks the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation for the use of data contained in the "2005 Report Card on Women’s Reproductive Rights" included in Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States, 14th edition, 2005 In this publication, NARAL Pro-Choice America assigned each state and the District of Columbia a letter grade based on the nature of reproductive rights laws in 19 categories. These grades were averaged to offer a general overview of the status of reproductive rights in each circuit.
Pending Nominees to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Terrence W. Boyle
William Haynes

Judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

William W. Wilkins, Jr., Chief Judge,
appointed 6/16/86 by President Ronald Reagan

H. Emory Widener, Jr.,
appointed 10/17/72 by President Richard Nixon

J. Harvie Wilkinson III,
appointed 8/13/84 by President Ronald Reagan

Paul V. Niemeyer,
appointed 8/7/90 by President George Bush

J. Michael Luttig,
appointed 8/2/91 by President George Bush

Karen J. Williams,
appointed 3/2/92 by President George Bush

M. Blane Michael,
appointed 10/1/93 by President William Clinton

Diana Gribbon Motz,
appointed 6/16/94 by President William Clinton

William B. Traxler, Jr.,
appointed 10/1/98 by President William Clinton

Robert B. King,
appointed 10/9/98 by President William Clinton

Roger L. Gregory,
appointed 7/25/01 by President William Clinton

Dennis W. Shedd,
appointed 5/9/01 by President George W. Bush

Allyson Duncan,
appointed 7/17/03 by President George W. Bush