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Young Judge Takes Place on Federal Appeals Court

June 9, 1986

ATLANTA (AP) _ James Larry Edmondson was sworn in Monday as a member of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the youngest judges to sit on the court.

Edmondson, 38, was approved on May 7 by the U.S. Senate for the seat on the court, which reviews federal cases from Florida, Alabama and Georgia and is one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave Edmondson a low rating, but approved the president’s appointment.

″He goes on this bench ... with the intellectual tools necessary to perform ably on this very special court,″ said Roland Nachman Jr., a member of the standing committee, in a ceremony at the Federal Courthouse.

Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who questioned Edmondson at length during his hearing, told him he could find ″no obvious reason″ in his background for his nomination. Edmondson has no experience as a judge.

But Edmondson defended his record and said, ″I was found to be a worthy candidate.″

Edmondson has said opposition to his appointment to the 12-member court came because he worked in a small law firm outside a major city.

He is a graduate of the University of Georgia law school and taught at the Athens school for nine years. He also worked for former U.S. District Judge Sidney Smith.

The Lawrenceville attorney directed President Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign in Atlanta’s suburban Gwinnett County.

Edmondson replaces Judge Albert J. Henderson, who retired Feb. 1.

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