University of Montana professor Anthony Johnstone teaches courses on Montana's Constitution and has worked at UM for ten years.

United States President Joe Biden nominated a University of Montana law professor for a judicial seat in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the largest appellate court in the U.S.

Anthony Johnstone was nominated in part of Biden’s twenty-sixth round of federal judicial nominations. He is one of eight nationwide nominees announced on Thursday.

“It is too early to tell how this will impact the University,” UM director of strategic communications Dave Kuntz said. Kuntz said he has not spoken to Johnstone since the announcement.

Johnstone has taught at UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law since 2011, where he is the Helen & David Mason Professor of Law and an affiliated public administration professor.

Johnstone is the second Montana-based person to gain nomination to a federal Appeals Court judicial seat. Former President Donald Trump nominated Bozeman’s Lawrence Van Dyke to the 9th Circuit, where Van Dyke was confirmed in Jan. 2020 and continues to serve.

“Anthony Johnstone’s distinguished career as a lawyer and public servant make him well-qualified to serve in this critical role,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said in a press release Friday. “He has a proven track record of standing up for our constitution and applying the law without any personal bias – a quality that is desperately needed at a time when far too many people try to politicize our courts.”

This story will be updated.