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Stephanie Thacker was sworn in as the first female judge from West Virginia to serve on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, reports the West Virginia Record. West Virginia’s senators, Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, joined Chief District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, Thacker’s family, friends and some former co-workers at her investiture.
Judge Thacker was confirmed by the Senate for the appellate bench in April by a vote of 91-3. Senators Jim De Mint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and David Vitter (R-La.) opposed her confirmation.
Thacker was raised in Hamlin, West Virginia. She graduated from Marshall University (BA, 1987) and West Virginia University School of Law (JD 1990). After law school, Thacker worked at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now K&L Gates) in Pittsburgh and the West Virginia Attorney General's office before joining King, Betts & Allen.
Prior to her confirmation to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Thacker was a partner at Guthrie & Thomas PLLC, located in Charleston, W. Va., where she specialized in complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and criminal defense. She was also an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University School of Law.
After she was sworn in, Judge Thacker told the Record, "I am truly honored and humbled to be a member of this court. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect or imagine I would be sitting here today ... . I want to thank my mother for saying I should go to law school, because that wasn't my idea and she's proven once again that your mother always knows best."