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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


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Pamela Harris

Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Confirmed July 28, 2014


On May 8, 2018 President Obama nominated Pamela Harris to serve on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a June 24, 2014 hearing on the nomination. She was confirmed 50-43 on July 28, 2014 after a 54-41 cloture vote.

When Harris was nominated, h1er Maryland home state senators issued a statement: Sens. Mikulski, Cardin Praise Obama Nomination of Pamela Harris for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and Sens. Mikulski and Cardin introduced Harris at her Judiciary Committee hearing.

Appellate litigator John P. Elwood, who held senior-level positions in President George W. Bush’s  Department of Justice, remarked: “Others (rightly) praise 4th Cir nominee Pam Harris's smarts; having served with her on moot courts, her graciousness sets her apart.”

Letters strongly supporting Harris’ nomination were signed by numerous prominent lawyers from diverse backgrounds and varying affiliations. For example,

Letter from Gregory G. Garre, Michael Kellogg, Carter Phillips and dozens of other "lawyers from diverse backgrounds and varying affiliations" in "enthusiastic support” of Pamela Harris nomination to 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (06/20/14) Signatories include:

  • Greg Garre, former Solicitor General of the United States (2008-2009) and Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States (2005-2008) in the President George W. Bush Administration

  • Donald Ayer, former Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice in the President George H.W. Bush Administration (1989-1990); former Principal Deputy Solicitor General (1986-1989) and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California (1981-1986) in the President Ronald Reagan Administration

  • Rebecca Benyon, former Deputy General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (2001-2002) and Special Assistant to the President (2002-2003) in the President George W. Bush Administration

  • Steven Gill Bradbury, former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (2005-2007) and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (2004-2009) in the President George W. Bush Administration

  • Adam Charnes, former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy (2002-2003) in the President George W. Bush Administration

  • Wan Kim, former Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division (2005-2007) and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division (2003-2005) in the President George W. Bush Administration

  • Maureen Mahoney, former Deputy Solicitor General (1991-1993) in the President George H.W. Bush Administration

  • Stephen Shapiro, former Deputy Solicitor General (1981-1983) in the President Ronald Reagan Administration

Letter in strong support of Pamela Harris nomination to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, from current and former partners in O’Melveny & Myers LLP Washington, D.C., office (06/23/14) "[T]he signatories of this letter span the political and jurisprudential spectrum. Some of us have served in Republican Administrations or worked for Republican Senators, while others have served in Democratic Administrations or worked for Democratic Senators. Some of us are members of the Federalist Society, while others are members of the American Constitution Society. Our ranks include a former White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, top Commerce Department and Justice Department officials to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and senior aides to President Barack Obama. Although we may not all share Pam’s views on a range of legal and political issues, we are united in the belief that Pam possesses the intellect, fair-mindedness, humility, and fundamental decency to make an excellent federal judge."] Signatories include:

  • A.B. Culvahouse served as White House Counsel for President Reagan.
  • K. Lee Blalack was Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Collins (R-ME). Previously served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN).
  • Brian Boyle served as Principal Deputy Associate General under President George W. Bush.    
  • Ted Kassinger served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and General Counsel at the Commerce Department under President George W. Bush.

Pamela Harris was a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and a senior advisor to its Supreme Court Institute. GULC Dean William M. Treanor said: "Pamela is remarkably well suited to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals. She has been a dedicated public servant, practiced at one of the nation's most esteemed law firms, and, of course, been a highly valued member of the Georgetown Law community. She has enriched the lives of her students and colleagues beyond measure. Most importantly, Pamela has an unshakeable commitment to the pursuit of justice that will make her an extraordinary judge."

Harris previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Policy at the United States Department of Justice.

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