Judge J. Michael Luttig has resigned from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to accept a job as senior vice president and general counsel for Boeing Co. (BA), the company said Wednesday.

Luttig, 51, a conservative judge, had been mentioned last year as a possible nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

He was appointed to the 4th Circuit by former President Bush in 1991, becoming the youngest federal appeals court judge in the country. The Richmond-based appeals court is widely viewed as the most conservative in the nation.

Calls to the court for comment Wednesday were not immediately returned.