07.17.14

SJC Approves 5 Nominees

WASHINGTON (Thursday, July 17, 2014) – The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved five nominees to fill judicial vacancies, including an important vacancy on the Fourth Circuit.

The nomination of Pamela Harris, a highly accomplished appellate litigator and professor at Georgetown University Law Center, was approved 10-8 on Thursday. Her nomination received the American Bar Association’s highest rating of unanimously well qualified, and she has broad support from the legal community. One letter, signed by more than 80 of her professional peers, including Gregory Garre, the former Solicitor General for President George W. Bush, states: “We are lawyers from diverse backgrounds and varying affiliations, but we are united in our admiration for Pam's skills as a lawyer and our respect for her integrity, her intellect, her judgment, and her fair-mindedness.” 

Over the course of her distinguished career, Harris has served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice, as a partner in private practice, as a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and as the Executive Director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown.  After graduating from Yale Law School, she served as a law clerk to Judge Harry Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court.  She appeared before the Judiciary Committee in June for her confirmation hearing.

“I have heard some Senators claim that Pamela Harris would be unable to set aside political views and faithfully uphold the Constitution,” Leahy said. “This is contradicted by both her testimony before the Committee and her professional record. The Committee has received many letters of support for Ms. Harris’ nomination, including from numerous prominent Republicans who are respected in the legal community. She also has the strong support of her home states senators, Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin.”

The Committee also approved two district court nominees and two nominees to serve on the Court of Federal Claims.

Results and a webcast of Thursday’s executive business meeting can be found online

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