Federal court officials are requesting public feedback on whether U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou should serve a second term.
Ballou, a magistrate judge in Roanoke since 2011, will reach the end of his eight-year term in October. That has triggered the seating of a citizen panel to evaluate him for another period of service, according to a news release from the Western District of Virginia federal court.
John Fishwick, a former U.S. attorney, is chairman of the panel. The decision of whether to reappoint Ballou rests with the court’s judges. If he gets another term, it would begin in October.
Meanwhile, Ballou is also in the running for a full-fledged federal judgeship. In November, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine told the White House they were recommending Ballou and Scott County Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore for a vacancy on the federal bench in Roanoke.
President Donald Trump hasn’t announced a nominee. Trump has named dozens of judicial nominees for U.S. Senate approval, but the Senate has moved slowly, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.
The vacant judgeship in Roanoke dates back to December 2017, when U.S. District Court Judge Glen Conrad declared himself on senior status after 41 years on the bench.
Public comments on Ballou can be emailed to the citizen panel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are due by March 1.