The U.S. Senate confirmed Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Frank Volk to become the next U.S. District Court judge in West Virginia.
Senators confirmed Volk’s nomination to the court in a 92-0 vote early Wednesday evening.
Volk, 53, is successor to Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Copenhaver, who changed his status from full-time to senior status in November 2018.
Volk previously worked as a law clerk for Copenhaver, who was appointed to the bench by President Gerald Ford.
Volk will preside in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, which includes 23 counties in Southern West Virginia. Federal courthouses in the district are located in Charleston, Huntington, Beckley and Bluefield.
Volk will preside from the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, where he has been on the bench as a bankruptcy court judge since 2015.
A date for Volk’s swearing-in had not been announced Wednesday evening.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., gave speeches on the Senate floor in support of Volk’s confirmation Wednesday afternoon.
Manchin said he was proud to support Volk’s nomination.
“Frank shows the country how West Virginians act and serve through his hard work as a public servant,” Manchin said. “West Virginia and the federal bench need judges that are thoughtful, hardworking and have good judgement. Frank fits that role perfectly. He brings a tremendous level of experience to the bench and I am pleased that, today, the Senate confirmed him to continue serving West Virginia and our nation.”
Capito said she knows Volk will serve West Virginia honorably on the bench.
“His extensive experience and temperament make him uniquely qualified to fill this seat,” Capito said. “With the unanimous vote cast today, it’s clear senators on both sides of the aisle saw those qualities in Frank, as well. I thank Judge Volk for his continued service to West Virginia.”
Carl Tobias is the Williams Chair in Law at the University of Richmond School of Law. Federal judicial selection is among his areas of study, and he said Wednesday the Senate’s unanimous vote was a rare but resounding show of support.
“That is not surprising, because he is a well-qualified, experienced mainstream jurist, who enjoyed strong support of both West Virginia senators,” Tobias said.
Volk and his wife, Angie, have two children. He grew up in Morgantown, and earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and his law degree from WVU’s College of Law.
In college, Volk worked as the editor in chief of the West Virginia Law Review, according to Capito’s release.
In addition to Copenhaver, Volk worked as a law clerk for other ighly regarded West Virginia judges, including the late U.S. Circuit Judge M. Blane Michael, the late Chief U.S. District Judge Charles H. Haden and West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret L. Workman.
In addition to his work in federal court, Volk taught classes in federal civil rights and bankruptcy at the WVU law school for more than 10 years.