PROVIDENCE -- US Senator Lincoln Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, has recommended Robert G. Flanders Jr., a former Rhode Island Supreme Court justice and prominent local lawyer, to serve on the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
If he is confirmed, Flanders would succeed Bruce M. Selya, who has served for 20 years on the appeals court. Selya, 71, plans to become a judge on senior status and would review cases on a part-time basis.
Of Flanders, Chafee said: ''His integrity is unquestioned, and I have great respect for his professional experience."
The appeals court hears cases from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Puerto Rico. Chafee's recommendation goes to President Bush and, if Bush nominates Flanders, to the US Senate for confirmation.
Flanders, a Harvard Law School graduate, served as an associate justice on the Rhode Island Supreme Court from 1996 until 2004. On the court, Flanders earned a reputation for dissenting from the majority on a range of issues. Flanders said he would be ''bound to follow Supreme Court precedent" by serving on a federal appeals court.