The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a nomination hearing for Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Stephanie Thacker. Thacker will appear before the committee on Tuesday, October 4 at 3 p.m.
The Senate scheduled Thacker’s hearing relatively quickly. Unlike some of her peers who have toiled in appellate nominee purgatory for over a year, President Obama nominated Thacker for the bench only three weeks ago.
How did Thacker get a nomination hearing so quickly? It wasn't due to influence from her home state, West Virginia; the Mountain State isn't represented on the Judiciary Committee. In fact, the only Judiciary Committee member whose state falls within the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Perhaps the Judiciary Committee is expediting the confirmation because the seat is empty. If confirmed, Thacker will fill late Judge M. Blane Michael's seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Michael passed in March.
Thacker was raised in Hamlin, West Virginia. She graduated from Marshall University in (BA, 1987), and West Virginia University School of Law (JD 1990). After law school, Thacker worked in Pittsburgh at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now K&L Gates). After a brief stint in the West Virginia Attorney General's office, Thacker joined the law firm of King, Betts & Allen.
Thacker is currently a partner at Guthrie & Thomas PLLC, located in Charleston, W. Va., where she specializes in complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and criminal defense. She also teaches as an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University School of Law.
In addition to considering Stephanie Thacker's nomination, the Judiciary Committee will consider four federal district court nominations:
- Michael Walter Fitzgerald, to be United States District Judge for the Central District of California.
- Ronnie Abrams, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
- Rudolph Contreras, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia.
- Miranda Du, to be United States District Judge for the District of Nevada.
- FindLaw's Fourth Circuit blog (FindLaw)
- President Obama Nominates Stephanie Dawn Thacker to Serve on US Circuit Court of Appeals (White House)
- Obama Nominates Jacqueline Nguyen to Ninth Circuit (FindLaw's Ninth Circuit blog)
- Judge Bernice Donald Confirmed, Celebrates with Stripper Ruling (FindLaw's Sixth Circuit blog)