Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday appointed the first woman and the first African-American in Anne Arundel County history to fill two vacancies on the Circuit Court.
Clayton Greene Jr., a 44-year-old administrative judge of Anne Arundel County District Court, will replace Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr., who stepped down Aug. 1.
Pamela Lee North, a former public defender now in private practice, will fill the vacancy left by Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr., who is retiring at the end of the month.
Judge Greene, a District judge since 1988 and the court's administrative judge since 1990, was widely seen as a leading contender for one of the judgeships while Ms. North, an assistant public defender until 1991, was viewed more as a long-shot candidate.
Both appointments were warmly received yesterday by advocates for women and minorities.
Annapolis Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a longtime civic activist, called the appointments "long overdue."
"The governor, with one stroke of a pen, has broken down a major barrier to women and to African-Americans in the judicial system in Anne Arundel County," Mr. Snowden said.
Mr. Glendening announced in April that he planned to appoint more women and minorities to Circuit judgeships.
In Howard County, race and gender have been raised as issues for two Circuit judgeships that have been vacant for most of 1995. The governor is expected to choose from a pool of five men and five women, including one black woman -- by the end of this year.
Lawyers in Anne Arundel County yesterday said Judge Greene and Ms. North, 43, earned the appointments based on their qualifications, not because of their race or gender.
"They're two people with a great trial experience and incredible experience with people," said Anne Arundel County Public Defender Alan R. Friedman, who worked with both appointees.
Ms. North had a private practice while she worked as an assistant public defender in Anne Arundel County from 1983 to 1988.
She worked full-time as a public defender from 1988 until 1991, when she left to set up practice in Annapolis.
She has handled family law and personal injury cases, but most of her practice has been in criminal law, and she is considered an expert on the constitutional issues of search and seizure and the validity of arrest and search warrants.
Judge Green is a graduate of Northeast High School and the University of Maryland, where he worked his way through school as a clothing store salesman, ironworker and as a member of the university kitchen staff.
A graduate of the University of Maryland law school, he was an assistant Anne Arundel County solicitor from 1977 to 1978 and was an assistant public defender in Anne Arundel County from 1978 to 1985.
He served as deputy public defender from 1985 until his $H appointment to the District Court in 1988.