Obama Appoints 1st Black Chief Judge of US Court of Federal Claims

Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith will begin her historic 15-year term immediately.

The Howard T. Markey National Courts Building, where the U.S. Federal Claims Court presides (Wikipedia)

(The Root) — Just a month after Patricia E. Campbell-Smith was appointed a judge for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and two days after being confirmed, President Barack Obama has promoted her to the position of chief judge of the court. With the appointment, Judge Campbell-Smith is the first African American to hold that position in the history of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

In a statement from the White House, President Obama said he was proud of Campbell-Smith’s designation. “She has a long and distinguished record of service,” the president said. “I am confident she will serve with distinction.”

Though her appointment as a judge to the court is recent, Campbell-Smith has a long history of working with the court. As the special master to the court from 2005 to 2011 and chief special master from 2011 to 2013, Campbell-Smith was responsible for overseeing court orders on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. She was also a law clerk for former U.S. Federal Claims Court Chief Judge Emily C. Hewitt.

All judges appointed to the U.S. Federal Claims Court are designated to 15-year-terms. The court was formed in 1982.