Federal Judge Terrence Boyle Unfit for Promotion to Appeals Court

Terrence Boyle's Background

Terrence Boyle was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in 1984 by President Reagan. Prior to becoming a judge, Boyle spent ten years in private practice with the Elizabeth City, North Carolina firm of LeRoy, Wells, Shaw, Hornthal & Riley, handling a variety of matters, including civil and criminal litigation in state and federal court.4

Earlier in his career, Boyle spent several years serving on Capitol Hill, first as Minority Counsel to the Housing Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee from 1970 to 1973, then as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Jesse Helms in 1973.5 Years later, Senator Helms actively supported Boyle’s nomination to the District Court. In a letter to President Reagan concerning the nomination, Senator Helms assured the President that, “[Mr. Boyle] wholeheartedly shares your deeply held views on the proper role of the federal judiciary in our system of government.”6

Judge Boyle was previously nominated to the Fourth Circuit by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.7 Serious concerns were raised about Boyle’s record and, while less controversial nominees were approved in 1991–92, Boyle failed to win confirmation. According to reports, Senator Helms proceeded during the Clinton Administration to block almost all of President Clinton’s nominees from North Carolina,8 creating many long-standing vacancies in that state and bringing about the “judicial emergency” that some say now justifies rapidly pushing through Boyle’s current nomination.9

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