The Senate today confirmed Judge N. Randy Smith as a judge of the Ninth Circuit, 94-0. Judge Smith succeeds one of the more sensible judges of the notorious Ninth, Judge T.G. Nelson, so the succession does not affect the mainstream vs. hard-core-lefty ratio, but it is good that this multi-year vacancy has finally been filled. There is one more vacancy to go. Judge Smith's many years of service as a state court judge may also make him less contemptuous of state courts than some of the other Ninth Circuit judges.
For those who like to keep track of such things, the party-of-appointing-president tally stands at 16-11 among the active judges.
Update: The Idaho State Journal has some local coverage here (hat tip: How Appealing). Alternative sentencing fans will be glad to know that Judge Smith was the driving force behind his county's drug court.