President Obama has asked the American Bar Association to evaluate the credentials of Debo Patrick Adegbile, director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The 12-member court, often called the second most important in the country, after the Supreme Court, has been the launchpad for four of the high court’s nine justices. The appeals court has three vacancies, though Obama has sent the Senate a nominee for one of the seats.