Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D. C. 20543

Office of
Public Information

For Immediate Release
December 19, 1997

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist announced today his appointment of Retired Justice Byron R. White; U.S. Circuit Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; U.S. Circuit Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Judge William D. Browning of Arizona; and N. Lee Cooper of Birmingham, Ala., to the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals.

The commission was established by Congress last fall to study the structure and alignment of the nation’s court of appeals system, particularly the Ninth Circuit, and to report its findings to the President and Congress within 12 months of its appointment. The law creating the commission was signed by the President on Nov. 26, 1997.

Justice White served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1962 until his retirement in 1993. Judge Merritt has served as the chief judge of the Sixth Circuit and as chairman of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference. Judge Rymer served as a district judge in the Central District of California before being appointed to the Ninth Circuit. Judge Browning has served as chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Arizona and as a district representative to the U.S. Judicial Conference. N. Lee Cooper is the immediate past president of the American Bar Association (1996-1997) and is a partner in the law firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale in Birmingham.