Judge Randall Rader announced his retirement from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, effective June 30, 2014.  Judge Rader’s retirement announcement was a surprise to many, particularly as it came only a few weeks after announcing he would step down as Chief Judge of the Court but would continue in active service on the Court.  Judge Rader has indicated future plans to teach and travel.  Following Judge Rader’s decision to step down as Chief Judge, and consistent with statutory succession provisions, Judge Sharon Prost assumed the position of Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit on May 31, 2014.  Chief Judge Prost was appointed to the Federal Circuit in 2001 by President George W. Bush.  Now that Judge Rader has retired from the Court, attention has turned to who President Obama will tap to replace him, although getting a candidate vetted, nominated, and confirmed is not anticipated to occur during this Congress.