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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Senate Confirms Law Professor to US Court of Appeals

C-SPAN Pamela Harris, giving a preview of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term.
Pamela Harris, giving a preview of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term.

The United States Senate confirmed Georgetown University Visiting Law Professor Pamela Harris’s nomination to the Fourth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals on Monday.

“Throughout her career, Pamela Harris has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service,” President Barack Obama, who nominated Harris on May 8, 2014, said in a press release. “I am proud to nominate her to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.”

Georgetown University Law Center Dean William Treanor hailed Harris as an excellent candidate for the position.

“Pamela Harris’ record of public service and her knowledge of the judiciary is nothing short of extraordinary,” he said in a press release. “She brings remarkable credentials to the job, and the same qualities that made her such a tremendous asset on our campus will be put to good use strengthening the pursuit of justice.”

Born 1962 in Hartford, Conn., Harris attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., before graduating from Yale University summa cum laude in 1985 and Yale Law in 1990.

Over the course of the next decade, Harris clerked for judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and later for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court, after a stint as an associate for a private firm. She served as an attorney-advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 to 1999, she worked at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as an associate professor, where she specialized in constitutional criminal procedure and the law of church and state, receiving the Harvey Levin Memorial Teaching Award.

In 1999, Harris joined O’Melveny & Myers LLP as counsel, specizlizing in Supreme Court litigation and appellate practice. She became a partner of the firm in 2005, before leaving in 2009. In 2007, Harris co-directed Harvard’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic and began working as a visiting professor at Georgetown, becoming the executive director of the Law Center’s Supreme Court Institute from 2009 to 2010.

After a two-year spell as principal deputy to the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, she returned to Georgetown Law. Her faculty profile lists “Constitutional Law I: The Federal System” as a taught course. Harris declined to comment in May, and could not be reached for contact this week.

Located in Richmond, Va., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s jurisdiction encompasses nine federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, in addition to hearing appeals from federal administrative agencies.

Since 2010, seven Georgetown alumni have been nominated to U.S. District Court positions, including the youngest-serving district judge, George Hazel (LAW ’99). Additionally, Nina Pillard, then a tenured Georgetown law professor, was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2013.

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