Local News

Former Duke instructor nominated for federal appellate judgeship

Posted February 7, 2013 2:44 p.m. EST

— President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Todd Hughes, a Duke University graduate and former instructor, to an opening on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Hughes is deputy director of the Commercial Litigation Branch in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division. He has worked with the Commercial Litigation Branch since 1994, focusing on federal personnel law, veterans’ benefits, international trade, government contracts and jurisdictional issues regarding the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard and received both a law degree and master's degree from Duke in 1992. He later served as an adjunct lecturer in law with the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and as an instructor for Duke’s writing program.

If confirmed, Hughes would become the first openly gay federal appeals judge.

The Washington-based Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit hears cases dealing with patents and trademarks, international trade, veterans benefits and federal employment claims, among others.