A snippet from the Richmond Times:
As president, Barack Obama and a new U.S. Senate could transform the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, long one of the most conservative in the country.
President Bush failed to fill four vacancies on the 15-judge court, which decides cases on issues such as abortion, the death penalty and terrorism.
The Bush administration steered terrorism cases to the court, where it largely has been successful in protecting the president's national-security powers, though not always.
Six of the court's current judges were appointed by Republican presidents and five by Democrats.