Big news from the Senate this week: Stephanie Dawn Thacker has been confirmed as a judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, writes The Hill.
Thacker was nominated by President Barack Obama in September 2011 to fill the vacancy left by the death of Judge M. Blane Michael earlier that year. She was nominated upon recommendation by Senator Jay Rockefeller, who praised her humility and intellectual honesty this week at her confirmation.
Thacker’s career has spanned over two decades, with a mix of experience in the public and private sectors. In 1999, she worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, reports The West Virginia Gazette.
There, she rose to be Principal Deputy Chief of the section. She was part of the legal team that prosecuted the first case brought under the Violence Against Women Act. She also developed the nationwide Innocence Lost Initiative to combat child sex trafficking.
A graduate of West Virginia University School of Law in 1990, she was editor of the Law Review. She worked at several law firms throughout her career, including Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, which eventually became K&L Gates. She also worked in the West Virginia Attorney General’s office.
Thacker was born and raised in Hamlin, WV, which Senator Rockefeller claimed was one of the poorest counties in the United States. He lauded her ability to defeat the odds and succeed despite her humble beginnings.
Her nomination was confirmed in a 91-3 vote, with opposition from Senators Jim De Mint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and David Vitter (R-La.).
- Judiciary Committee Schedules Nomination Hearing for Stephanie Thacker (FindLaw’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Blog)
- Judiciary Committee Approves Stephanie Thacker’s Nomination (FindLaw’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Blog)
- Browse 4th Circuit Court of Appeal Cases (FindLaw)