04. Albert Diaz
Albert Diaz (born 1960) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Diaz is the first Hispanic judge to serve on the Fourth Circuit. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Diaz was a North Carolina state superior court judge and an appellate judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
On November 4, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Diaz to be a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to replace Judge William Walter Wilkins, who had taken senior status in July 2007 and later retired.Diaz was nominated to the seat to which Steve A. Matthews previously had been nominated by President George W. Bush.
The nomination, made along with that of fellow North Carolina nominee James A. Wynn, Jr., was jointly endorsed by North Carolina senators Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and Richard Burr, a Republican.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 19–0 on January 28, 2010, to send his nomination to the Senate floor.
A combination of secret holds and the threat of filibuster by Republicans caused Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not to bring Diaz’s confirmation to a vote for nearly eleven months. On December 18, 2010, the Senate confirmed Diaz by voice vote. He received his commission on December 22, 2010.
Judiciary Committee hearing
Diaz received a unanimous vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee to forward his nomination to the full Senate. He had a hearing before the Committee on December 16, 2009. He was heard along with fellow nominee James Wynn by just three of the Committee members. When asked about his judicial philosophy, Diaz said: “We’re not simply dealing with an academic exercise, but we’re affecting people’s lives in each and every case”. They reported him to the senate on January 28, 2010 and the senate confirmed his nomination on December 18, 2010.